Tradition and Youth
If I haven't said this before, I worked for the Church for about 5 years. I worked in various positions, mostly in youth and young adult apostolate. I learned something. Something many people are unwilling to accept. There are many people within the Church who know what the Church teaches on specific issues. They simply do not like them. I could recount numerous conversations with youth or young adult leaders whom when asked a direct question on a doctrinal issue rejected the doctrine though they knew it and openly advised they preferred something different. These were usually adults. Once upon a time a priest I worked for scolded me for suggesting to a young woman who openly advised me that she rejected the Churches teaching on contraception and confession, that she refrain from receiving the Eucharist until she was able to correct this erroneous understanding. This particular priest told me that I couldn't tell people these things and when I began to express the importance of remaining in the grace of God, he cut me off and sarcastically said "confession isn't a band-aid, Ron!" Admittedly, he was right, it is far more than a band-aid. It is major reconstructive surgery. But, his point, was that we could take it or leave it. I of course did not agree. And to his dismay, one day later, she approached him and made confession, for the first time in 7 years. I had advised her to seek his counsel and make confession to him during the retreat as he would be very gentle with her. How do I know this? Because, she approached me afterward and thanked me. She said it was amazing and she was grateful for my honesty. She said that no one had ever had the courage to talk to her that way before. She said, from now on I will be going to confession once a month like you suggested. Praise God! That was the work of the Holy Spirit.Why do I tell that story? Because, in my time working with the youth, I learned a lot. But one thing stuck with me. The youth are open to the truth. They have seen the devastation caused to families, marriages, and in general to this culture, and they are ready for something far greater. They are ready for supernatural things. When you introduce them, they eat them up. You cannot be afraid to give it to them. The Eucharist? Absolutely! I cannot tell you how many Catholic employees told me that young people "can't handle" adoration or that they "don't want" adoration. Really? They don't want the fullness of Jesus Christ? Huh? I bet they do I would say. Let's find out, I would say. You know what would happen when we would hand out evaluations at the end of an event or retreat? I would always ask the question, where did you specifically encounter Jesus Christ this weekend? A little catechesis and encouragement led to the same three answers over and over again, almost every kid. They would say, Mass, Confession, or Adoration. Now is the time for a radical presentation of the truth to our youth. They are open and they are ready to encounter the love and mercy that God has planned for them in the sacraments. They are ready for Tradition. They are ready for latin, and incense, and ad orientum, and beautiful vestments, and chant, beautiful architecture, and I cold go on but you get the point. Point them there. Pray for renewal of the Church though a return to tradition and truth.