I had a "state of youth ministry" conversation with sic. It's not his fault, but my hair is now in clumps from pulling it out. Mortification is great, and God does work in mysterious ways, but I'm not sure this is the typical way to die to the flesh.
So let me start here, folks. See, GOD IS GOOD. God wants good for your life. God gives meaning to all things. We're not trying to sell moldy fruit here, although you'd think so given the attitude of some involved in youth ministry. This is great stuff! We want to share that with young people. This isn't "thank goodness they're out of the house for an hour" infotainment.
Think the young'uns are hopeless causes? Who do you think they're learning from? That's right...us. This is my idea of a youth program (stage one). And I'm talking to all of you (and me too):
- Receive Eucharist like it is the highlight of your day, because frankly, it is.
- Raise your kids like the parish doesn't exist: that is, as if their Christian formation depends entirely on you. Because frankly, it may.
- Pray every day. In front of your kids, and more than table grace. Because frankly, actions speak louder than words.
- Stop using teens as volunteer fodder for every dang aspect of parish programming for they can check off the Confirmation checksheet. Because frankly, the Israelites didn't like being slave labor either.
- Work for the poor and vulnerable in your area. Yeah, you. Do more than write the check. Because frankly, kids smell hypocrites faster than rotting fish.
- Just as the best thing a husband can do for his children is to love their mother, the best thing Christian parents can do for their children is to love God. Because frankly, nothing else matters as much when you're dying (or living, but it's clearer on your deathbed).
Finally, as much as I like the events, don't depend on World Youth Day or NCYC either. Live it local, people.
Grumpy IC out.