Thursday, December 12, 2013

Youth ministry done right

I'll be honest: for a long time I was convinced that much of what is called "youth ministry" was a bunch of silly hippie bullshit. I didn't care for it when I was a youth and the sickly sweet "Jesus is my boyfriend" emoting turns me off even more as an adult. It's disappointing but not surprising that so many Catholic youths either apostatize or go feral upon graduating from high school. From their point of view, the Catholic faith is something they did as kids but is something to be set aside upon reaching adulthood like stuffed animals or action figures.

There's a time and a place for fun and games. But the souls of those kids may depend on getting the impression that religion is a serious thing. If all Christianity means is being a nice guy, then it won't take them long to figure out that they don't need to go to Mass to be nice guys. They don't need to believe in God for that matter to be nice guys. To pursue holiness and enter the kingdom of heaven however, it is necessary to be baptized into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church outside of which there is no salvation. Agree or disagree, that's a sales pitch that compels you to listen.

Last week we spoke to the kids about the spiritual combat and about the existence of angels and demons. The latter very much want to drag us down into hell, while the former exist to provide us with heavenly assistance to resist temptations. This past Sunday we spoke about the Rosary in honor of the Immaculate Conception. The talks were broken into five minute chunks, followed by small group discussions, and concluding with praying the Joyous Mysteries of the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Beefy Levinson can be a difficult man to work with due to his invincible superiority complex. But I'm content to let the boss do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to preparing each night. If I had my druthers, we'd conclude every night with a rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament. That would be far better for their formation and their souls than anything I could ever say to them.

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