Friday, March 9, 2012

Who is the JPII Generation?

Fr. Seamus Griesbach has a fascinating look into the role of the John Paul II generation on his blog. He explores his own experience being formed by the writings and example of the late Holy Father, as well as musings of the way in which this generation has been equipped to evangelize ... and how they have not been fully equipped. It's a fascinating read.

Just a glimpse (though, note that World Youth Day was in 2002, not 2003):

It was all coming down around us in that summer of 2003, the summer of World Youth Day. And I think it was then, as we looked upon the humble yet strong frame of that man of God, John Paul II, that many of us realized that the generation before us had sold us a useless bill of goods, rather than the Gospel. We had not been taught the fullness of the faith, we were not given adequate tools to handle real life – to deal with evil, to seek what is good. We were not trained in the virtues, we were not given a solid foundation in logic and critical thinking, we were not exposed to the cultural and religious treasures of our western heritage. Instead, we had been brought up by a generation that was convinced that the way to show their love for us was by being likable and entertaining us. The youth ministry mantra was, I’ll never forget, the “4 F words”: food, fun, friends, and faith.

But in the face of terrorists trying to kill us, criminal priests, divorce, substance abuse, psychological illnesses, violence, and promiscuity, the 4 F words just didn’t cut it, being likable and entertaining didn’t cut it either. Many of my peers left the faith, tired of being around a bunch of people who seemed obsessed with being likable, rather than being good. Who didn’t have any answers for the larger questions of life. Who didn’t seem to want to talk about suffering and death and desire and addiction.

But there were some of us who, through God’s providence and grace-filled guidance, were able to hold on to our faith. And with much struggle and prayer, we began an arduous transformation, a fundamental shift in the understanding of what it means to love and be loved as Christ has shown us. To this day we are trying to make that shift, even as we remain a conflicted generation, this JPII generation.

And it's all available here.

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