Relator: S.E. Mons. EDWARDS, O.M.I., Mark Stuart
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We propose that chapter 1 be rewritten to focus on appreciating the particular and abiding grace of being young. God is the author of youthfulness and is at work in young people. Youthfulness is a blessed time for our youth and a blessing for the Church and the world. Appreciating youthfulness involves seeing this time of life as a valuable and not a passing phase where young people rush or are pushed to experience adulthood. This opening chapter should emphasise the grace, joy and blessedness that comes with being young.
Our discussion on chapter 2 included deepening the sense of vocation by stressing the universal call to holiness and self-giving in everything.
We believe that chapter 3 should more forcefully present discernment as entering into a dialogic relationship with God. Indeed, discernment is a natural consequence of my relationship with God. In article 110, we read with approval that “discernment acquires a new depth, insofar as it is placed within the dynamics of a personal relationship with the Lord”. As I am loved and love in return, I want to work out my personal, unique way of going to God in and through Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the ultimate spiritual guide and is active in all discernment. Pope Francis has urged homilists to understand their task as facilitating the dialogue people are already having with God. We would like this truth to be what holds this chapter together. Doing so would better introduce the theme of accompaniment and mentoring also.
Ordinary accompaniment happens initially in the family. Usually parents are the people who know their child best and are the ones children trust. The root of the word ‘accompany’ is cum pane or to share bread with. It is about sharing daily life and parents, siblings and close friends are in this privileged position. These people need to be supported to be able to accompany effectively and made aware of their important role in accompanying young people.