Fr. Roy Cimagala
I am happy to learn that the next Synod of Bishops in Rome will focus on the topic of Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. I believe it is a very timely and even urgent concern for the simple reason that the youth need to discover their lifetime vocation as early as possible and they actually are in the best condition to discover their vocation.
We cannot deny that today’s young people are in a very dizzying environment of galloping developments and things. And there should be real effort to help them get a foothold of what is truly essential in life. And that can only be their relation of love with God and with everybody else, and the specific role they play in life and in the world.
Otherwise, they will be swallowed up merci-lessly by the many worldly forces that have their deceptive charms and allurements which, if not related to God, can only do a lot of harm not only to the young but also to all of us, the oldies included.
It’s imperative that as early as possible these young people get to realize the real foundation and goal of their life. This means that first of all they have to look at the things with faith, more than just with their senses, feelings, or with the trends around. They have to realize that Christ is interacting with them in actual time.
That may pose as a big challenge, since faith is a spiritual and supernatural affair that can only be received, lived and used if one tries to be spiritual and supernatural also in his attitude to life. Otherwise, these things will never enter into their mind.
These things are not easily understood, much less, appreciated and lived by many people, let alone the young ones. The challenge is precisely in convincing and teaching them in how to be spiritual and supernatural.
Of course, we cannot deny that the youth can be capable of high ideals. But a lot of things can also undermine that capa-bility. This was thoroughly illustrated in that episode of the rich young man who asked Christ how he can enter the kingdom of heaven. He had great desire to be good and holy. But when told of the conditions and the demands, he went away from Christ sad. (cfr Mt 19,16-30)
We have to understand that everyone has a vocation. And this vocation for each one of us has been in the mind of God from all eternity. It is for each one of us to discover it. And the earlier we do it, the better, so one can do a lot of good here on earth.
This was the case of St. John who became one of the 12 apostles at a very young age and who died very old, spending a lot of time doing a lot of good. There are many advanta-ges when one discovers his vocation at a very young age.
One gets to learn the ropes of the spiritual and apostolic life very early, and can get exposed to more things, and can get involved in more things. We should not worry so much about the possible downside of the early vocation, because if one truly corresponds to God’s grace, all the means to make one faithful to the end and fruitful in his vocation are given.
Let’s hope that we can get more young people discovering their specific vocation! Fr. Roy Cima-gala is Chaplain, Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE), Talamban, Cebu City. Email: roycimagala@gmail. com.