(from the Alphonsian Academy Blog)
Growing in holiness and in commitment to one’s personal vocation (ChV, n. 3)
Some time ago, always on the Blog, we had the opportunity to approach, albeit of smear, the Chistus vivit of Pope Francis, the apostolic exhortation addressed – firstly – to young people a few months after the celebration of the Synod of Bishops 2018 (3-28 October 2018).
We would like to continue to deepen the knowledge of this document motivated by the same words and the invitation that the Holy Father has made to them, that is, the commitment to “live in everyday life the indications of the recent Apostolic Exhortation” in which every young person – and not only – “can find fruitful ideas for his life and his own path of growth in faith and service to our brothers” (Angelus of Palm Sunday, 14.2019).
“He lives and wants you alive…”
As you know, the Exhortation begins with the announcement of a dual “certainty”, “Christ lives” and “it takes us alive” (cf. Ch.V, No. 1). An announcement that Francis addresses to all young Christians and, together, to every member of the Church (cf. Ibid., No. 3). In this choice of the recipients is manifested, in some way, the will of the Holy Father not to want to archive the reflection and the path started with the Synod 2018 – in which the young people themselves were protagonists – but, rather encourage and move the whole human family because the commitment “for” young people and “with” young people does not concern only some, much less only young people, but all of us: young people, adults, the elderly, Church. Ibid). It is no coincidence that the “letter” – as the Holy Father himself called it – is presented as a “milestone”, that is, a “sign” along the road that proves incomprehensible if you do not link it to the steps already taken with the recent Synods, and if you do not open it to those still to be accomplished to reach the desired common goal (cf. Ibid.) And here, of course, emerges the dutiful commitment to which we are all called: to discover and respond to one’s vocation and to support “every” young person and “all” young people in their personal journey of growth in holiness and commitment to their vocation.
In Christus vivit the Pope responds in person to this appeal by committing, as “Elder” among “elderly” (cf. Ibid., No. 195), to offer a path full of ideas and useful directions for the journey. In the text, which certainly presents itself as broad (299 numbers), but easy and immediate reading, Pope Francis addresses young people mainly by talking to them with you, but does not forget to offer words “useful” and “necessary” also to those who, in the Church and beyond, are called to accompany the new generations in specific and personal paths of human-spiritual maturation.
Listening, discernment and decision-making
The passwords to access the document and then orient themselves in the proposed reflection path (9 chapters), are somehow suggested by the Pontiff himself on the occasion of his last visit to Loreto (25.03.2019). It is in this place, so particular, where everything speaks of vocation, that the Pope wanted to sign the post-synodal exhortation and remind those present of the moments characterizing every vocational journey: listening to a Word that precedes man and that opens up to the full understanding of God’s project; the necessary discernment to grasp in-depth the needs of this project so as to assume them in freedom and responsibility; and finally the decision of God’s project; that is, the conscious, confident and willing “yes” of God.
This vocational dynamic, the Pope recalled, appears clearly in the event of the Announcement (Lc 1.28), and is also the one that marked the three moments of the Sinodale journey centered on young people, faith and vocational discernment. Carefully rereading the Exhortation, it is possible to trace in the various chapters the aforementioned “keywords” – listening, God’s plan, discernment, decision – and recognize them as structuring elements of the growth path suggested here. (it be continued )
Fr. Antonio Donato, C.Ss.R.
Source: text&photo – http://www.alfonsiana.org; the original text is in Italian.