We live in a time when society is increasingly losing its true bearings. The constant contact with our young people in our secondary schools reminds us of this: "What do you want to be when you grow up? we ask young people at the beginning of the school year in human and religious formation classes. The aim of this question is to help our young people to set objectives and not to lose their bearings. The answers given by our young people are impressive: I would like to become a banker, an accountant, an architect, an entrepreneur, the director of the office of the president of the republic .....; everything except becoming a religious.
Young people don't even think about it, and for good reason! The prejudices surrounding religious life and the family and societal atmosphere play an important role. In fact, when a young girl says in front of her friends or parents, I am thinking of religious life, this provokes mockery and a reproving look; as a result, people start to say to the young person, "the sisters do not have children, do not marry, do not have their own house or car, everything is in common, and as a result, the young person is discouraged and does not dare to speak about it. This is where our duty to "call" in the name of Christ comes in, by engaging with them in a dialogue like Jesus and the disciples of Emmaus, to enlighten and encourage.
We must dare to "call" young people in the name of Christ: "Don't you feel the call to give yourself to God in the religious life? This question makes it possible to establish dialogue, to arouse desire and to make young people see that, apart from what society offers them today, there is the following of Christ which gives joy and allows for a profound commitment to the service of humanity.
In this century, where we have the impression that the "world is shutting itself up in "the love of nothingness and the race to lie" Ps 4:2, will we know how to be witnesses who show young people the way to true happiness, that of giving our lives to God? Are we in a hurry to help young people discover the beauty of religious life, as well as its demands? When our convents are empty, will we sit back and say to ourselves: "It is the Lord who calls, let Him do His work"? Yes, of course, it is He who calls, but He counts on us to be His ambassadors. If we are happy in this consecrated life, let us dare! Young people need witnesses who reassure them, who encourage them in their search, in their desire. Today more than ever, this is a necessity: we must think of vocations ministry in this sense. Our closeness to young people will give them a taste of this life of happiness in following Christ. They will be able to touch the joy of this "sequela Cristi" by seeing us live, not as malcontents, but as men and women happy in the gift of their lives to Christ in the service of the Kingdom! The audacity is worth it! At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given to us in abundance, let us pray in simplicity of heart, that He may give us the audacity of the apostles: "Lord Jesus, you who gave us your Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith, our hope and our charity, make us witnesses of your love to the young. Amen".
Sr. Marie-Madeleine A. R.A