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7-COLLEGE-STUDENTS-WRITING

Can you express yourself in more than 140 characters?

The Strong in Faith forum for young Catholics is back with a new format. AIDAN MICHAEL COOK is looking for your views here and on Facebook

Well, the Strong in Faith project is back for a third year! For the past two years we have been hosting discussions for young Catholics in Scotland. Over that time, we’ve realised that people have far more to say than that format allowed, so this year we’re trying something different. We are opening this space up for longer columns, allowing young people in the Church to say everything they have to say, without having to squeeze it into just a few words. As well as being printed on this page, these columns will be posted on our Facebook page for further discussion.

Young people have much to say that can be of benefit to the wider Church. At a time when many parishes face aging congregations, it can be inspiring to see the faith of those young people who are committed to their faith. Young people are bringing a new energy and vitality to the Church in Scotland. As Pope Benedict XVI said to young Catholics in Bellahouston Park ‘the Church now belongs to you!’

It is not only within the Church, however, that young Catholics are called to be a beacon. The world is crying out (in need if not in desire) for someone to witness to the truth. As we seek to build a better nation in the wake of the referendum, the need for young Catholics to speak up and show the way is greater than ever. Political renewal will only be possible if there is cultural, social and spiritual renewal. That will only truly be possible in the light of Christ, and it is the young generation especially who are called to take that light to the world.

And young people are ready for the challenge: our attitude is summed up in Christ’s call to His disciples ‘what you hear whispered, proclaim from the rooftops’ (Matt 10:27). We have had the Faith timidly passed on or have had to search it out for ourselves, and are left wondering why such a great gift is not more widely shared. There may not be many of us as a percentage of our generation, and we are surrounded by a culture that is more overwhelmingly and intrusively anti-Christian than for a very long time. But this only emphasises how radical the Christian message is and reminds us of the need to be strong in our faith, for only a strong Faith can survive such attacks.

Being in such a minority prevents the risk of any human triumphalism, as it is so obvious that we have not triumphed. But we know the power of the Truth, and we know that Christ will prevail, and so we hope to be witnesses to Christ’s love, both in the Church and in the world.

It might seem like this is placing a high demand on young people, and indeed it is. Pope St John Paul II acknowledged as much but also explained how, in Christ, it becomes possible:

‘Ask yourselves, young people, about the love of Christ. Acknowledge His voice resounding in the temple of your heart. Return His bright and penetrating glance which opens the paths of your life to the horizons of the Church’s mission. It is a taxing mission, today more than ever, to teach men the truth about themselves, about their end, their destiny, and to show faithful souls the unspeakable riches of the love of Christ. Do not be afraid of the radicalness of His demands, because Jesus, who loved us first, is prepared to give Himself to you, as well as asking of you. If He asks much of you, it is because He knows you can give much.’

 

— Visit us online: facebook.com/scostronginfaith

— If you have an idea about something you would like to write about, contact us through Facebook or email editor@sconews.co.uk

— We will also be organising a mini pilgrimage, so watch this space.

 

 

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