CHRISTUS VIVIT – THE LETTER OF OUR HOLY FATHER TO YOUNG PEOPLE, Maria Fischer •
The first answer came from Peru, from Fr Alberto Celis, a member of the first course of the Schoenstatt Priests’ Federation there. In a few words he answered with a photo of his edition of Christus vivit that had clearly been well read. Hemma Struntz and Lucas Galhardo, the two representatives of the Schoenstatt Movement to the XI International Youth Forum, worked until late in the night, or more precisely, until the early hours of the morning, to tape a video with a greeting and invitation to the whole international Schoenstatt Family: Let all of us, those who are physically young or young at heart, make our Holy Father’s letter to young people and the entire holy People of God, our own. Let us meditate on it, reflect on it, and try to discover what touches us most personally and most strongly. Let us talk to one another and with others about it, just as the young people did at the time in Rome. —
The video is in Spanish, which is not the mother tongue of either Hemma or Lucas, but it has long ago become the Lingua franca of the great majority of Schoenstatters. Even without understanding the words, it is worth looking at the video, because you can pick up their enthusiasm and commitment from it. It is infectious. The heart of the message is: Read Christus vivit and let it get you moving! Talk about it, tell others about it, and about what moved you , surprised you and motivated you. …
“How nice it is to see young people who are committed to the Church, who live for Jesus Christ and are on fire with love for him”, we heard from Costa Rica when they received the video on WhatsApp. “Thank you and may our Father and Founder accompany and bless you”, said Juan Fernandez, the sculptor of Fr Kentenich’s statues.
Roberto Henestroso in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, has already discovered his paragraph in Christus vivit. “Paragraph 13, especially towards the end, is really in line with Schoenstatt’s spirituality”, he wrote. “To put off the old man and put on the new, young man, is something said to us. Then, St Paul’s words at the end about the bond of perfection, that sounds to me like the bond, covenant, covenant of love …!”
Jesus, himself eternally young, wants to give us hearts that are ever young. God’s word asks us to “cast out the old leaven that you may be fresh dough” (1 Cor 5:7). Saint Paul invites us to strip ourselves of the “old self” and to put on a “young” self (Col 3:9-10). In explaining what it means to put on that youthfulness “which is being renewed” (v. 10), he mentions “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other if anyone has a complaint against another” (Col 3:12-13). In a word, true youth means having a heart capable of loving, whereas everything that separates us from others makes the soul grow old. And so he concludes: “above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14).
Giuliana from Costa Rica wrote, “Thanks for the video, I will pass it on to the young people here”. Maria Inés de Masi, a member of the Family Federation in Argentina, wrote, ”I gave each of my children a copy of Christus vivit!”
Our young people at the International Youth Forum invite us, motivate us, challenge us, to make our Holy Father’s Letter to Young People and the whole People of God our own!
In case someone still does not have Christus vivit as a book, here is the link to the text on the Vatican website.
Some weeks ago we invited everyone to join in a conversation about Christus vivit.