S+L logo

Pope Francis writes to young people ahead of Synod on Vocational Discernment

January 13, 2017
CNS photo/Paul Haring
Pope Francis has written a letter to young people as the Church prepares for a Synod of Bishops on the theme: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”. The Pope’s letter was published on Friday ahead of a press conference at the Holy See Press Office to present the preparatory document for the Synod which will take place in October 2018.
Please find below the text of the letter:
My Dear Young People,
I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart. Today, the Preparatory Document is being presented, a document which I am also entrusting to you as your “compass” on this synodal journey.
I am reminded of the words which God spoke to Abraham: “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen 12.1). These words are now also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to “go”, to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God's voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.
When God said to Abram, “Go!”, what did he want to say? He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world. Abram received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this “new land” for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?
But unfortunately, today, “Go!” also has a different meaning, namely, that of abuse of power, injustice and war. Many among you are subjected to the real threat of violence and forced to flee their native land. Their cry goes up to God, like that of Israel, when the people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh (cf. Ex 2:23).
I would also remind you of the words that Jesus once said to the disciples who asked him: “Teacher [...] where are you staying?” He replied, “Come and see” (Jn 1:38). Jesus looks at you and invites you to go with him. Dear young people, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? Have you felt this urge to undertake this journey? I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that, even with professional guides, you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God's plan in your life. Even when the journey is uncertain and you fall, God, rich in mercy, will extend his hand to pick you up.
In Krakow, at the opening of the last World Youth Day, I asked you several times: “Can we change things?” And you shouted: “yes!”. That shout came from your young and youthful hearts, which do not tolerate injustice and cannot bow to a “throw-away culture” nor give in to the globalization of indifference. Listen to the cry arising from your inner selves! Even when you feel, like the prophet Jeremiah, the inexperience of youth, God encourages you to go where He sends you: “Do not be afraid, [...], because I am with you to deliver you” (Jer 1:8).
A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls. St. Benedict urged the abbots to consult, even the young, before any important decision, because “the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.” (Rule of St. Benedict, III, 3).
Such is the case, even in the journey of this Synod. My brother bishops and I want even more to “work with you for your joy” (2 Cor 1:24). I entrust you to Mary of Nazareth, a young person like yourselves, whom God beheld lovingly, so she might take your hand and guide you to the joy of fully and generously responding to God’s call with the words: “Here I am” (cf. Lk 1:38).
With paternal affection,
FRANCIS
Related posts
The Chilean crisis: Lessons on reform and leadership from Pope Francis
FacebookTwitter
Sebastian Gomes talks about and reflects on a new and complex story with far-reaching implications. Read his reflection: 'The Chilean crisis: Lessons on reform and leadership from Pope Francis.' ...read more
Homily of Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Pentecost
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of Pope Francis' Homily in commemoration of the Solemnity of Pentecost. The Holy Father gives us his thoughts and words on this celebration of new life. ...read more
Pope Francis’ Message for The 52nd World Day of Communications
FacebookTwitter
Read Pope Francis' Message for the 52nd World Day of Communications. Jan 24. He will be focusing on the overarching theme of "fake news." What is so "fake" about fake news? Full Text below. ...read more
Salt+Light’s Top 5 Favorite Pope Francis Quotes on Pro-Life
FacebookTwitter
In regards to the March for Life in Ottawa today (March 10), here are some of Salt+Light's Top 5 Favorite Pope Francis Quotes on Pro-Life from throughout the years. ...read more
Text of Pope Francis’ preface of Benedict’s works: A compass to Understand our Present day
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of Pope Francis’ preface of Benedict’s works: A compass to Understand our Present day. Curtesy of Aleteia Magazine. ...read more