JUNE OVERVIEW. Children belong in Families. Birth, childhood and growth during adolescence are the most vibrant stages of life in all of creation, human, animal and plant as we recognise that family relationships exist too in the animal kingdom. Vigorous growth and regrowth happen in phases that can often be stressful and conflict-filled. However, ideally in a family, the young need conscious protection, care and support to monitor and direct their youthful energy towards full and responsible maturity.
Pope Francis tells youth in his letter “Christus Vivit,”: Young people intensely feel the call to love; they dream of meeting the right person with whom they can form a family and build a life together. God himself makes this known to them through their feelings, desires and dreams. CV 259. Difficulties they experience in their own family can lead the young to ask whether it is worthwhile to start a new family, to be faithful, to be generous. I say that it is worth your every effort to invest in the family, there you will find the best incentives to mature and the greatest joys to experience and share. Don’t let yourselves be led astray by those who propose a life of rampant individualism that in the end leads to isolation and the worst sort of loneliness. CV263. Young people feel the hurt of past failures, frustrated desires, experiences of discrimination and injustice, of feeling unloved and unaccepted. There are moral wounds, the burden of past errors and guilt for having made mistakes. Jesus makes his presence felt amongst these crosses and offers them his friendship. CV 83
Good habits need to be developed. It is essential to help children and adolescents to realise that misbehaviour has consequence. They need to be encouraged to put themselves in other people’s shoes and to acknowledge the hurt they have caused. AL 268.