Thursday, June 08, 2006

Youth Ministry in the Early Church

Though, as Mike Acquilina observes, there were no ski trips, pizza parties, or dances, the Fathers and the bishops and priests of the early Church were quite successful with teens and young adults. Mike tells us that this success due, in part, to the wild promises of the Fathers:

They promised young people great things, like
lower social status,
public ridicule,
severely limited employment opportunities,
frequent fasting,
a high risk of jail and torture, and maybe, just maybe,
an early, violent death at the hands of their pagan rulers.

The Fathers looked young people in the eye and called them to live purely in the midst of a pornographic culture. They looked at some young men and women and boldly told them they had a calling to virginity. And it worked. Even the pagans noticed how well it worked.

A very good read this is...Can it work today? Most certainly. It may be one of the very few ways to really motivate Catholics, both young and old - reminding them that if we are to be true followers of Christ, we must be prepared to take up our cross as He did and that we are very likely to see those promises fulfilled.

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