Pastor’s Keyboard: I was standing on a very windy cliff overlooking the water at Camp Maria, celebrating Mass for many high school Freshmen, striving to keep their attention and to direct them toward the Lord. As I looked out over these students, some looking very scared and others looking board, “School is Back in Session”, or at least it will be for everyone after this weekend. As many of you know I have the great privilege of not only being the Pastor of two amazing parishes, filled with future Saints, but I also help to provide pastoral oversight of Saint Michael’s school, Ryken, and St. Mary’s College. I can literally meet a kid in Pre-K and minister to them the sacraments all the way through college! While it is a blessing it is also a daunting task. When they are young they are so open to the Lord and learning everything they can about Him. Their minds are like sponges that soak up information easily.
The older they become the more I find they are distracted by the busyness of life. Often God can get crowded out in their minds and eventually their hearts. The more this happens the harder it is for them to feed the flames of faith, and the flame starts to die. Living in a very secularized culture it is very easy to forget God. If their families fail to take them to Mass and/or to at least pray with them, then God becomes a distant figure. like a Rich uncle one barely calls, only to be turned to in times of great distress after everything and everyone else has failed. While God always acts towards us in love and mercy even when we have not done the same, it becomes harder to hear His voice speaking to them in scripture. As it can be difficult to see His actions in all the blessings they take for granted. The net result is a society where increasingly young people have little to no awareness or care for God or the state of their souls.
I Know, this does not sound like Good News, in fact it sounds down right Sad! Yet there is Hope! Why? Because there is something that we can all do to help these young people, we can pray for them, fast for them, offer sacrifices for them. Especially the ones in our families, schools, neighborhoods, and among our friends. We can reach out and invite them to come to go Church with us, we can witness to all the good Lord has done in our lives. Every year I have seen young people come back to the practice of the faith, or to start to practice for the first time. Let us never forget that we were made for God, it’s in our DNA (not literally but you know what I mean). Let us not “curse the darkness, but bring forth the Light”. God is on the move let us be on the move with spreading the Good News of the salvation He offers every day!
Your Brother and Father in Christ, Father Scott