Youth and the Church Essay Example
Youth and the Church Essay Example

Youth and the Church Essay Example

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  • Pages: 11 (2837 words)
  • Published: September 15, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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The Church and the Youth

The worldwide Church recognizes that the young person is a crucial apostolic field and views them as the foundation for spreading the new Gospel message in the 3rd millennium.

Pope John Paul II significantly contributed to this pastoral and revitalized it in the latter part of the previous century. It is noteworthy that his visibility was in response to the increasing secularism that emerged in the early 1900s. His Holiness constructed this pastoral on the foundation of trust between youth and the church, by engaging in dialogue with them, displaying courage and transparency. The youth are seen as the church's hope, as the church is their mother and teacher, and it serves as the messenger for their message in the present world.

The youth of today, who seek happiness and a sense of purpose, and a


re interested in science and education, respond positively to the Church's message when they find genuine meaning and reliable guidance. They are honest and open-minded, and therefore have opinions to share with the Church's authority, sometimes expressing criticism. Pope John Paul II spoke to the youth gathered in St. Peter's courtyard at the end of the year 1984, explaining the complex and challenging relationship between the youth and the Church. He acknowledged that older generations may find it difficult to accept this relationship.

But he worries about the constant requests and negative judgments, but insists on being completely honest.

Lebanese state of affairs

After the events that shook Lebanon in 1975, resulting in increased acts of violence, destruction, displacement, and death, many young people turned to prayer and delved deeper into

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the Bible and Church teachings. They sought to reconsider the meaning of their lives, their mission, and the afterlife. Despite the harshness of hardship and severe trials, many young people exhibit honesty, bravery, and commitment. They are primarily raised in families, schools, and parishes that offer them some peace and stability.

Some of them belong to local and planetary apostolic motions. There are fluctuations in the apostolic motions in Lebanon, in footings of their origin and in footings of their aims, but they work and in different ways, to intensify the religious life of the young person, harmonizing to several educational plans, and pressing them to adhere to their religion and to pattern the apostolic life. Those committed young person who are the hope of the church.

Plagues threaten our young person in their religion and values

If the war had pushed portion of the Maronite young person to reconsider the significance of their lives and their religion, the compound members are hurt to see some others has led to a wrangle with God and values straight or indirectly.

Due to ignorance, fear of commitment, or a lack of religious attention, individuals may stray from the church. As a result, the relationships within their families may suffer and constructive dialogue, especially with the youth, may cease. Consequently, parents neglect their responsibilities and fail to provide proper care and support for their children. Seeking solace and self-expression, they join various non-traditional or unconventional groups, falsely believing they can compensate for the loss of family unity. This misguided pursuit leads them into a destructive bondage. They become emotionally detached, seeking cheap thrills and pleasure while losing the ability to form

genuine emotional connections with others. Transparency, honesty, stability, and respect are replaced by infidelity and an increase in disrespectful behavior. This emotional chaos and instability can eventually lead to drug abuse and addiction as a means of coping. These issues tend to be more prevalent in certain social groups that differentiate themselves from others and prioritize a life of ease and prosperity, often disregarding moral values and community bonds.

It is not surprising that in such an environment, young people experience identity crises and instances of loss and isolation from their world and unique values, leading them to despair and even suicidal thoughts. This situation is exacerbated by the emergence of atheistic tendencies that are prevalent in youth culture and are promoted, whether intentionally or unintentionally, by global and local media outlets. These tendencies encourage excessive physical indulgence and moral decay among our youth, as well as distort their perception of God and prevent them from discovering the truth and embracing it. Young people are susceptible to the negative effects of screens and communication networks, which prioritize appearances over substance and promote falsehoods and a lack of transparency. This influences various aspects of their lives, such as music and culture, causing them to lose their aesthetic creativity. Furthermore, the dominant economic system, which prioritizes scientific and financial gains over moral reasoning and possession, significantly impacts the world of work. The youth are especially vulnerable to the negative consequences of this overwhelming power.

After receiving instruction and embracing the practicalities of life, individuals confront the challenges of employment and labor. Unfortunately, scarce job opportunities and rising unemployment rates create a sense of desperation and anguish, prompting various expressions

of distress. Some resort to a purely physical approach to earn a living, while others prioritize quick profits and early success at the expense of their values and principles. This dilemma also resonates with the youth in Lebanon and their social suffering, which shares similarities with the patriarchal context. They anticipate solutions from foreign sources and place excessive emphasis on materialistic pursuits, as if they are the ultimate goal of life. At a spiritual level, they face the dangerous rise of fundamentalism, while constantly worrying about their future in these Eastern countries.

Challenges Faced by Young People in Today's World

The previous Lebanese war had significant consequences on the political, economic, cultural, and social structures. It also had an impact on religious institutions, particularly the Maronite Church and its followers. The war disrupted the Maronite Church and its people, causing a loss of faith and trust. However, in recent times, the Maronite Patriarchate has regained its role and has attracted young people through its positions and national discussions. These young individuals still view the church as a mother figure and guide, despite its flaws and shortcomings. They long for the church officials to provide them with opportunities to connect with Christ and deepen their understanding of the church. When this chance is absent, the church in these institutions becomes purely institutional rather than embodying theological and sacramental principles.

Enterprises and wants

The youth's enterprises and their desire to belong to the church have a significant positive impact on their life and energy. Parishes have initiatives to support young people, such as listening to their aspirations, engaging in serious and

sincere dialogue, and respecting their lifestyle. It is important for shepherds to recognize that some youth still feel anxious and marginalized within the church, and they need opportunities to participate and contribute.

Young people value authentic Christian living

The behavior of the Maronite Church's institutions and their leaders greatly influence the quality of the relationship with the youth. While young people are drawn to the genuine teachings they hear from their instructors, they are deeply disappointed by the inconsistency between words and actions.

Maronite youth are evaluating the offerings provided by the bishoprics and spiritual Maronite orders in terms of attentions and services in educational, developmental, and hospital establishments. However, they occasionally criticize these establishments for prioritizing administrative and commercial activities over religious and humanitarian endeavors. For instance, while these educational institutions provide high-quality education, some of them are driven solely by commercial and administrative motives or have a narrow educational approach that disregards values and principles, neglecting to follow the example set by Christ. This often leads to a negative reaction from the youth towards the church. On the other hand, Maronite youth are aware, through their deep religious sense, that it is crucial for Maronite establishments to work towards a common goal. However, conflicts between them and the negative aspects of attraction among certain officials deeply affect them.

The Maronite youth desire transformative changes that go beyond superficial changes in their church. They do not seek a revolution, but a genuine desire for reform that stems from their love for the Church. The youth hope that their church leaders will accept them as they are and prioritize their upbringing. They see them as trusted sources of guidance

in following the life of Christ.

Youth longing for unity

The Maronite youth in Lebanon are part of a larger Christian community, which can cause confusion about their church's identity. They believe that their allegiance should be solely to Christ, rather than their respective communities. They emphasize the importance of Christian unity and recognize that obstacles to achieving this unity include the influence of external authorities on each individual church. However, they believe that unity can still be achieved amidst diversity.

If the urgent matter for Maronite youth is to clarify their identity within the context of other churches, their top priority is to explain it within their environment. The ecumenical efforts, led by the Shepherds, are making a positive impact. Maronite youth are delighted to see their members collaborating with other Christian clergy and appreciating joint parish councils in various countries. They also actively participate in the construction of the Church by engaging in national commissions such as the Youth Commission, the Temporal Committee, and the Motions Commission. Furthermore, they dream of conducting pastoral work with non-Catholic churches.

The Influence of Globalization on Young People's Lives

Despite many of them devoting themselves to religious and apostolic life, Maronite youth generally live in complex and diverse environments like everyone else. They face the challenges of life in a constantly changing and vast world without boundaries. This is primarily due to globalization, which they eagerly embrace through various forms of communication.

The absence of control at this degree poses a danger, as it allows for easy assimilation into harmful societal currents. These currents promote a civilization that embraces deception and encourages

the use of force, alteration, and erotica as means of veering away from celibacy before marriage. Instead of focusing on religion, there is a tendency to indulge in materialistic pursuits. In order to combat this, it is crucial for globalization to foster openness towards different communities and their engagement with new ideas. The message of the Annunciation must be disseminated in its entirety, reaching a wide range of young people through modern forms of communication such as satellite television and the Internet. The Church must cater to the needs and interests of young people, convincing them to follow the path of Christ and guiding them in becoming credible witnesses. However, the Church cannot fulfill this mission unless its leaders exemplify the principles they preach. It is essential for them to lead by example, not just through words but also through their actions, as this is fundamental for nurturing future generations.

The transformation of young individuals through deep religious and humanity formation relies on human freedom. Here are the steps to achieve these goals:

Process steps to achieve these goals

  • Preparing priests and counselors who can understand and nurture young individuals with love and truth. They serve as paternal figures who guide them in school, university parishes, and apostolic movements.
  • Ensuring religious education in our schools and universities to help build individuals who combine science, knowledge, education, faith, ethics, respect for others, and commitment to the church and the state.
  • Creating youth preparation programs for marriage in parishes and providing them with qualified instructors for this purpose.
  • Monitoring the establishment of religious education and faith formation institutes in Maronite

parishes and developing programs that address the concerns and aspirations of young individuals.

  • Keeping updated on liturgical practices, considering the life circumstances of youth and incorporating prayers that reflect their experiences and aspirations.
  • - The Maronites Patriarch sends a message to the young person, speaking to them in their own language and presenting a united vision. The message also serves as a reminder of their abilities and energies.
    - A short and comprehensive book about the history of the Maronite Church is published and distributed to the young Maronites, highlighting both the spiritual and temporal aspects of their identity.
    - Christian media pays serious attention to the needs and aspirations of the young person.
    - To promote a healthy relationship between curates and young people, collaboration between them should continue in various fields as a testament to their belief in the importance of showing greater love to young people and gaining a deeper understanding of their perspectives.
    - Global youth gatherings demonstrate that when young people meet with their curates, barriers are broken down and dialogue is fostered, resulting in a renewal of faith for both the youth and the church.
    - Suggestions for improving curate-youth relations include establishing a Patriarchal commission specifically dedicated to youth affairs, separate from diocese commissions, and involving young people in pastoral councils to enhance their input in decision-making processes.

  • Follow up the organizing of one-year parish meetings for young people under the protection of the bishops and their attendance, in order to foster knowledge and trust between curates and parishioners.
  • Create hearing and guidance centers for young people in the parishes, similar to those in schools.
  • For the sake of societal solidarity

    If poverty is affecting the

    state and affecting most parts of society, resulting in the migration of Maronite young people, should we not strengthen solidarity and unity, instead of focusing on individuality?
    If the economic situation leads to desperation, should we not take specific measures to revive hope and solidarity through acts of love?
    Therefore, the following suggestions are proposed:

  • Convince Maronite young people to stay in their homeland through small development projects that allow them to remain in their own country and protect them from falling into despair.
  • Invest in church-owned lands in a strategic manner, enabling Maronite young people to contribute to and benefit from them during these challenging times.
  • Establish social projects in remote areas to attract Maronite young people and support them in their own lands.
  • Encouraged young individuals to engage in voluntary work within organizations, associations, and apostolic movements...with the aim of fostering self-reliance and solidarity among them, in order to build a committed and responsible generation.
  • The clergy sees themselves as stewards of the word and the message, having hope in the youth and expecting them to have a sense of belonging to the church that arises from their autonomy, guided by the spirit. They want young people to be steadfast in their faith and heritage, attending and continuing their commitment to the church. Not just attendance, but also transcendence, which leads them to interact and understand each other with love, becoming a positive influence in the world.


    1. U?US O?O§O±USO® U„O?U†O§U† O§U„U…O?O§OµO±O?O§U„O?U?O?U?O± O?OµO§U… O®U„USU?O©O?O?O§O± O§U„O¬O?U„O?O?USO±U?O? : O­U„U‚O§O? O§U„U…O¬U…O? O§U„U…O§O±U?U†USU‘ 2013.
    2. Research in the modern-day history of Lebanon, Dr. Essam Khalifa, Mountain House, Beirut: Maronite Synod 2013.
    3. O§U„O?USO§U† O§U„O®O?O§U…US U„U„U…O¤O?U…O± O§U„O?U?U‘U„ U„U„O?O?O§O?

    O§U„U?O§O«U?U„USU?USU‘ U?US O§U„O?O±U‚ O§U„O?U?O?O·O? O§U„U…U†O?U‚O? O?O?O?U?O© U…U† U…O¬U„O? O?O·O§O±U?O© O§U„O?O±U‚ O§U„U?O§O«U?U„USU?O? U…U† 21 O?U„U‰ 24 O?USU„U?U„ 2001.The First Conference of Catholic young person in the Middle East, which was invited by the Council of Catholic Patriarchs of the East and held from 21 to 24 September 2001, concluded with the following statement:

  • The fourth young person meeting in the Maronite Diocese of Jounieh in 1998, which was prepared and implemented by the Lebanese Synod and other Lebanese synods, was also referenced.

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