Link to Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation CHRISTUS VIVIT of the Holy Father Francis

The link to POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION CHRISTUS VIVIT OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND TO THE ENTIRE PEOPLE OF GOD:

http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20190325_christus-vivit.html

Below we offer you the shorten text of this document (8 pages).

We are kindly asking you to read it and to underline 7-10 sentences that relate to your personal life and touch you deeply. Please send these sentences with the references in brackets (CV, ?) or this text with highlighted parts to uwitness2youth@gmail.com. Thank you.

Text for CHRISTUS VIVIT Project Document

In a word, true youth means having a heart capable of loving, whereas everything that separates us from others makes the soul grow old. (CV, 13)

Young people are not meant to become discouraged; they are meant to dream great things, to seek vast horizons, to aim higher, to take on the world, to accept challenges and to offer the best of themselves to the building of something better. (CV, 15)

The Bible never ceases to insist that profound respect be shown to the elderly, since they have a wealth of experience; they have known success and failure, life’s joys and afflictions, its dreams and disappointments. In the silence of their heart, they have a store of experiences that can teach us not to make mistakes or be taken in by false promises. (CV, 16)

A wise young person is open to the future, yet still capable of learning something from the experience of others. (CV, 16)

We can, in fact, spend our youth being distracted, skimming the surface of life, half-asleep, incapable of cultivating meaningful relationships or experiencing the deeper things in life. In this way, we can store up a paltry and unsubstantial future. Or we can spend our youth aspiring to beautiful and great things, and thus store up a future full of life and interior richness. (CV, 19)

Every young person who feels called to a mission in this world is invited to hear the Father speaking those same words within his or her heart: “You are my beloved child”. (CV, 25)

we need projects that can strengthen them, accompany them and impel them to encounter others, to engage in generous service, in mission. (CV, 30)

Jesus’ trust in the Father (CV, 31)

Youth is more than simply a period of time; it is a state of mind. (CV, 34)

The Church is young when she shows herself capable of constantly returning to her source. (CV, 35)

Christ’s Church can always yield to the temptation to lose enthusiasm because she no longer hears the Lord calling her to take the risk of faith, (CV, 36)

Church as nuisance and irritant – It can also have serious and understandable reasons: sexual and financial scandals; a clergy ill-prepared to engage effectively with the sensitivities of the young; lack of care in homily preparation and the presentation of the word of God; the passive role assigned to the young within the Christian community; the Church’s difficulty in explaining her doctrine and ethical positions to contemporary society”. (CV, 40)

In the heart of the Church, Mary shines forth. (CV, 43)

From her, we learn how to say ‘yes’ to the stubborn endurance and creativity of those who, undaunted, are ever ready to start over again”. (CV, 45)

Under the gaze of our Mother, there is room only for the silence of hope. Thus Mary illumines anew our youth. (CV, 48)

Each young person’s heart should thus be considered “holy ground”, a bearer of seeds of divine life, before which we must “take off our shoes” in order to draw near and enter more deeply into the Mystery. (CV, 67)

Youth is not something to be analyzed in the abstract. Indeed, “youth” does not exist: there exist only young people, each with the reality of his or her own life. In today’s rapidly changing world, many of those lives are exposed to suffering and manipulation. (CV, 71)

As a Church, may we never fail to weep before these tragedies of our young. May we never become inured to them, for anyone incapable of tears cannot be a mother. We want to weep so that society itself can be more of a mother, so that in place of killing it can learn to give birth, to become a promise of life. None of this pain goes away; it stays with us, because the harsh reality can no longer be concealed. The worst thing we can do is adopt that worldly spirit whose solution is simply to anaesthetize young people with other messages, with other distractions, with trivial pursuits. (CV, 71)

Weeping is also an expression of mercy and compassion. … Once you can weep, then you will be able to help others from the heart. (CV, 76)

This ideological colonization is especially harmful to the young. We also see how a certain kind of advertising teaches young people to be perpetually dissatisfied and contributes to the throwaway culture, in which young people themselves end up being discarded. (CV, 78)

Present day culture’s understanding of youth – It only means that adults want to snatch youth for themselves, not that they respect, love and care for young people. (CV, 79)

Sometimes adults fail, or do not even try, to hand on the basic values of life, or they try to imitate young people, thus inverting the relationship between generations. (CV, 80)

Jesus makes his presence felt amid these crosses borne by young people; he offers them his friendship, his consolation and his healing companionship. The Church wants to be his instrument on this path to interior healing and peace of heart. (CV, 83)

The proliferation of fake news is the expression of a culture that has lost its sense of truth and bends the facts to suit particular interests. (CV, 89)

Technology used in this way creates a delusional parallel reality that ignores human dignity”. (CV, 90)

The desire to dominate, lack of dialogue and transparency, forms of double life, spiritual emptiness, as well as psychological weaknesses, are the terrain on which corruption thrives”. Clericalism is a constant temptation on the part of priests who see “the ministry they have received as a power to be exercised, rather than a free and generous service to be offered. It makes us think that we belong to a group that has all the answers and no longer needs to listen or has anything to learn”. Doubtless, such clericalism can make consecrated persons lose respect for the sacred and inalienable worth of each person and of his or her freedom. (CV, 98)

Many of the young people present at the Synod also expressed gratitude to those who have accompanied them and they emphasized the great need for adults who can serve as points of reference”. (CV, 99)

if you see a priest at risk, because he has lost the joy of his ministry, or seeks affective compensation, or is taking the wrong path, remind him of his commitment to God and his people, remind him of the Gospel and urge him to hold to his course. This dark cloud also challenges all young people who love Jesus Christ and his Church: they can be a source of great healing if they employ their great capacity to bring about renewal, to urge and demand consistent witness, to keep dreaming and coming up with new ideas. (CV, 100)

[Venerable] Carlo said, “everyone is born as an original, but many people end up dying as photocopies”. Don’t let that happen to you! (CV, f106)

You can become what God your Creator knows you are, if only you realize that you are called to something greater. Ask the help of the Holy Spirit and confidently aim for the great goal of holiness. In this way, you will not be a photocopy. You will be fully yourself. (CV, 107)

If this is to happen, you need to realize one basic truth: being young is not only about pursuing fleeting pleasures and superficial achievements. (CV, 108)

In God’s word, we find many expressions of his love. It is as if he tried to find different ways of showing that love, so that, with one of them at least, he could touch your heart. (CV, 114)

He does not keep track of your failings and he always helps you learn something even from your mistakes. Because he loves you. Try to keep still for a moment and let yourself feel his love. Try to silence all the noise within, and rest for a second in his loving embrace. (CV, 115)

When he asks something of you, or simply makes you face life’s challenges, he is hoping that you will make room for him to push you, to help you grow. He does not get upset if you share your questions with him. He is concerned when you don’t talk to him, when you are not open to dialogue with him. The Lord himself urges us: “Come, let us argue it out” (Is 1:18). His love is so real, so true, so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and fruitful dialogue. Seek the closeness of our heavenly Father in the loving face of his courageous witnesses on earth! (CV, 117).

No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness that never disappoints but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew”. (CV, 119)

For only what is loved can be saved. Only what is embraced can be transformed. (CV, 120)

Personal note I heard from Fr Ephrem quoting a Ukrainian Catholic Basilian: “God does not forgive us because we repent, we repent because God has forgiven us/forgives us.”

You are priceless. You must repeat this always: I am not up for sale; I do not have a price. I am free! Fall in love with this freedom, which is what Jesus offers”. (CV, 122)

Keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ crucified, let yourself be saved over and over again. And when you go to confess your sins, believe firmly in his mercy which frees you of your guilt. Contemplate his blood poured out with such great love, and let yourself be cleansed by it. In this way, you can be reborn ever anew. (CV, 123)

Because he lives, there can be no doubt that goodness will have the upper hand in your life and that all our struggles will prove worthwhile. If this is the case, we can stop complaining and look to the future, for with him this is always possible. … Jesus is eternally alive. (CV, 127)

With Jesus, on the other hand, our hearts experience a security that is firmly rooted and enduring. (CV, 128)

If in your heart you can learn to appreciate the beauty of this message, if you are willing to encounter the Lord, if you are willing to let him love you and save you, if you can make friends with him and start to talk to him, the living Christ, about the realities of your life, then you will have a profound experience capable of sustaining your entire Christian life. You will also be able to share that experience with other young people. For “being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”. (CV, 129)

“Fall in love!” (or “let yourself be loved!”) … What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. (CV, 132)

Much of the longing present in the hearts of young people can be summed up in the word “restlessness”. (CV, 138)

To talk about young people is to talk about promise and to talk about joy. Young people have so much strength; they are able to look ahead with hope. A young person is a promise of life that implies a certain degree of tenacity. (CV, 139)

Avoid the paralysis of the living dead, who have no life because they are afraid to take risks, to make mistakes or to persevere in their commitments. (CV, 142)

Our world is filled with beauty! (CV, 144)

As you work to achieve your dreams, make the most of each day and do your best to let each moment brim with love. This youthful day may well be your last, and so it is worth the effort to live it as enthusiastically and fully as possible. (CV, 148)

Friendship with Jesus cannot be broken. He never leaves us, even though at times it appears that he keeps silent. (CV, 154)

The experience of a youth well lived always remains in our heart. (CV, 160)

At every moment in life, we can renew our youthfulness. (CV, 160)

Growing older means preserving and cherishing the most precious things about our youth, but it also involves having to purify those things that are not good and receiving new gifts from God so we can develop the things that really matter. (CV, 161)

let yourself be loved by God, for he loves you just as you are. (CV, 161)

You have to discover who you are and develop your own way of being holy, whatever others may say or think. Becoming a saint means becoming more fully yourself, becoming what the Lord wished to dream and create, and not a photocopy. Your life ought to be a prophetic stimulus to others and leave a mark on this world, the unique mark that only you can leave. (CV, 162)

When an encounter with God is called an “ecstasy”, it is because it takes us out of ourselves, lifts us up and overwhelms us with God’s love and beauty. (CV, 164)

Live for others, come out of ourselves

“In order to reconcile with another person, you must first of all be able to see the goodness in that person, the goodness God created him with… This requires great effort to distinguish the offence from the offender; it means you hate the offence the person has committed, but you love the person despite his weakness, because in him you see the image of God”. (CV, 165)

the lay vocation is directed above all to charity within the family and to social and political charity (CV, 168)

We grow in wisdom and maturity when we take the time to touch the suffering of others. The poor have a hidden wisdom and, with a few simple words, they can help us discover unexpected values. (CV, 171)

Mercy, creativity and hope make life grow. (CV, 173)

Being an apostle does not mean carrying a torch in hand, possessing the light, but being that light… The Gospel, more than a lesson, is an example. A message that becomes a life fully lived”. (CV, 175)

[Jesus] is counting on your courage, your boldness and your enthusiasm. (CV, 177)

Dear young friends, do not let them exploit your youth to promote a shallow life that confuses beauty with appearances. (CV, 183)

When intergenerational relationships exist, a collective memory is present in communities, as each generation takes up the teachings of its predecessors and in turn bequeaths a legacy to its successors. In this way, they provide frames of reference for firmly establishing a new society. (CV, 191)

The old dream dreams, and the young see visions. How do the two complement one another? (CV, 192)

The elderly have dreams built up of memories and images that bear the mark of their long experience. If young people sink roots in those dreams, they can peer into the future; they can have visions that broaden their horizons and show them new paths. But if the elderly do not dream, young people lose clear sight of the horizon. (CV, 193)

The very first dream of all is the creative dream of God our Father, which precedes and accompanies the lives of all his children. The memory of this blessing that extends from generation to generation is a precious legacy that we should keep alive so that we too can pass it on. (CV, 194)

During the Synod, one of the young auditors from the Samoan Islands spoke of the Church as a canoe, in which the elderly help to keep on course by judging the position of the stars, while the young keep rowing, imagining what waits for them ahead. Let us steer clear of young people who think that adults represent a meaningless past, and those adults who always think they know how young people should act. Instead, let us all climb aboard the same canoe and together seek a better world, with the constantly renewed momentum of the Holy Spirit. (CV, 201)

Youth ministry needs to become more flexible: inviting young people to events or occasions that provide an opportunity not only for learning, but also for conversing, celebrating, singing, listening to real stories and experiencing a shared encounter with the living God. (CV, 204)

What is important is that we make use of everything that has borne good fruit and effectively communicates the joy of the Gospel. (CV, 205)

I wish simply to emphasize that youth ministry involves two main courses of action. One is outreach, the way we attract new young people to an experience of the Lord. The other is growth, the way we help those who have already had that experience to mature in it. (CV, 209)

In this outreach, we need to use above all the language of closeness, the language of generous, relational and existential love that touches the heart, impacts life, and awakens hope and desires. … grammar of love … radiate life … integrity (CV, 211)

two main goals [of growth]. One is the development of the kerygma, the foundational experience of encounter with God through Christ’s death and resurrection. The other is growth in fraternal love, community life and service. (CV, 213)

Nothing is more solid, profound, secure, meaningful and wisdom-filled than that initial proclamation. … renewing and deepening our personal experience of the love of God and the living Christ. It can do this in a variety of ways: testimonies, songs, moments of adoration, times of spiritual reflection on the sacred Scriptures, and even an intelligent use of social networks. (CV, 214)

Love of other should have the primary place in all things. (215)

Many young people today feel that they have inherited the failed dreams of their parents and grandparents, dreams betrayed by injustice, social violence, selfishness and lack of concern for others. In a word, they feel uprooted. (CV, 216)

In a word, to create a “home” is to create “a family”. (CV, 217)

To create strong bonds requires confidence and trust nurtured daily by patience and forgiveness. (CV, 217)

[guiding principles] include a fresh experience of the kerygma, wide-ranging dialogue, interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches, the promotion of a culture of encounter, the urgency of creating networks and an option in favour of those who are least, those whom society discards.[116] Similarly important is the ability to integrate the knowledge of head, heart and hands. (CV, 222)

Today, above all, the right to a good education means protecting wisdom, that is, knowledge that is human and humanizing. … education makes us raise questions, keeps us from being anaesthetized by banality, and impels us to pursue meaning in life. (CV, 223)

If we can hear what the Spirit is saying to us, we have to realize that youth ministry is always missionary. (CV, 240)

The same young people described to us the qualities they hope to find in a mentor, and they expressed this with much clarity. “The qualities of such a mentor include: being a faithful Christian who engages with the Church and the world; someone who constantly seeks holiness; someone who is a confidant without judging. … Similarly, someone who actively listens to the needs of young people and responds in kind; someone deeply loving and self-aware; someone who recognizes his or her limits and knows the joys and sorrows of the spiritual journey. An especially important quality in mentors is the acknowledgement of their own humanity – the fact that they are human beings who make mistakes: not perfect people but forgiven sinners. Sometimes mentors are put on a pedestal, and when they fall, it may have a devastating impact on young people’s ability to continue to engage with the Church. (CV, 246)

The salvation that God offers us is an invitation to be part of a love story interwoven with our personal stories; it is alive and wants to be born in our midst so that we can bear fruit just as we are, wherever we are and with everyone all around us. (CV, 252)

Your vocation is something more: it is a path guiding your many efforts and actions towards service to others. So in discerning your vocation, it is important to determine if you see in yourself the abilities needed to perform that specific service to society. (CV, 255)

it is a recognition of why I was made, why I am here on earth, and what the Lord’s plan is for my life. (CV, 256)

To respond to our vocation, we need to foster and develop all that we are. This has nothing to do with inventing ourselves or creating ourselves out of nothing. It has to do with finding our true selves in the light of God and letting our lives flourish and bear fruit. (CV, 257)

In the life of each young person, this “being there for others” normally has to do with two basic issues: forming a new family and working. (CV, 258)

two Christians who marry have recognized the call of the Lord in their own love story, the vocation to form one flesh and one life from two, male and female. (CV, 260)

Young men and women speak of work as fulfilling a function and providing meaning. (CV, 268)

Work is an expression of human dignity, a path of development and of social inclusion. It is a constant stimulus to grow in responsibility and creativity, a protection against the tendency towards individualism and personal gratification. At the same time, it is an opportunity to give glory to God by developing one’s abilities. (CV, 271)

Knowing that we don’t do things just for the sake of doing them, but rather we endow them with meaning, as a response to a call that resounds in the depth of our being to offer something to others: that is what makes these occupations bring a sense of deep fulfilment. (CV, 273)

If it is true that some priests do not give good witness, that does not mean that the Lord stops calling. (CV, 275)

You can be sure that, if you do recognize and follow a call from God, there you will find complete fulfilment. (CV, 276)

It is better to seek out that calm and quiet that enable you to reflect, pray, look more clearly at the world around you, and then, with Jesus, come to recognize the vocation that is yours in this world. (CV, 277)

[inspiration by God or the devil] Such discernment, “even though it includes reason and prudence, goes beyond them, for it seeks a glimpse of that unique and mysterious plan that God has for each of us (CV, 280)

In this process of formation, we let ourselves be transformed by Christ, even as we develop “the habit of doing good, which also is a part of our examination of conscience. We do not simply identify sins, but also recognize God’s work in our daily lives, in the events of our personal history and the world around us, and in the witness of all those men and women who have gone before us or accompany us with their wisdom. This helps us to grow in the virtue of prudence and to give an overall direction to our life through concrete choices, in the serene awareness of both our gifts and our limitations”. (CV, 282)

we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. (CV, 284)

We need to ask: Do I know myself, quite apart from my illusions and emotions? Do I know what brings joy or sorrow to my heart? What are my strengths and weaknesses? These questions immediately give rise to others: How can I serve people better and prove most helpful to our world and to the Church? What is my real place in this world? What can I offer to society? Even more realistic questions then follow: Do I have the abilities needed to offer this kind of service? Could I develop those abilities? (CV, 285)

These questions should be centred less on ourselves and our own inclinations, but on others, so that our discernment leads us to see our life in relation to their lives. That is why I would remind you of the most important question of all. “So often in life, we waste time asking ourselves: ‘Who am I?’ You can keep asking, ‘Who am I?’ for the rest of your lives. But the real question is: ‘For whom am I?’”.[159] Of course, you are for God. But he has decided that you should also be for others, and he has given you many qualities, inclinations, gifts and charisms that are not for you, but to share with those around you. (CV, 286)

And if he plans to grant you a grace, a charism that will help you live to the full and become someone who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life, it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement than anything else in this world. Not because that gift will be rare or extraordinary, but because it will perfectly fit you. It will be a perfect fit for your entire life. (CV, 288)

A vocation, while a gift, will undoubtedly also be demanding. God’s gifts are interactive; to enjoy them we have to be ready to take risks. … become a gift for others. When the Lord awakens a vocation, he thinks not only of what you already are, but of what you will one day be, in his company and in that of others. (CV, 289)

Three types of sensitivities: individual, discernment, inclination

good discernment is a path of freedom that brings to full fruit what is unique in each person, something so personal that only God knows it. (CV, 295)

If you are to accompany others on this path, you must be the first to follow it, day in and day out. (CV, 298)

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