Day 21 : Last Advice Before Saying Goodbye
Dear Friend (and partner in prayer),
Our common journey ends today. We hope that the last 21 days have given you a taste for prayer and helped you live better, love better, and grow closer to God. We set up this project with our youthful heart, having never expected that so many people would join. On each one of these 21 days, we experienced great joy in seeing how Christ was uniting us, and how even people telling about themselves that they were estranged from Him have found again the delight of such a deep friendship. Many thanks for your trust towards us, and for your prayers, which, we firmly believe, have been and will keep being abundantly fruitful! We are simply glad we had the opportunity of being part of such a wonderful adventure.
Special thanks to Rieuc, Gigi, Emmanuel, Priscille, and the many friends who gave a helping hand in reaching out to the broader public. We are grateful as well for the stunning spiritual support -we have learnt that older individuals joined to pray for young people during the 21 days session-, and particularly to Fathers Amar, Arthur, Dansette, François Dedieu, Friess, Hubert, Xavier Pollart, and Wiedemann-Goiran for their friendly backing.
Before saying goodbye, we would like to tell you three last things very dear to us: provide you some advice for the future, share with you our ideal for our generation, and ask you to share about your experience.
Last advice for the future
- Persevere in prayer: take a commitment with yourself to persevere in daily prayer. Keep praying by means of the alliance prayer (the one introduced to you on Day 1).
You can enrich your everyday prayer by meditating God's word. Not sure what passages to start with? It's very straightforward: keep up, in deep communion with the whole Church, with the daily Gospel reading. You can find it in text form here or as a podcast.
- An isolated Christian is an endangered Christian: find -and as you know, finding implies actively seeking! – a place you feel comfortable in and suitable to practice your faith, e.g. a religious community, a prayer group, a youth ministry, etc.
- Find spiritual guidance from a reliable person with much maturity, experience in faith, and who is firmly rooted in sound Church teaching. It can a priest, a consecrated monk or nun, or spouses or other lay individuals deeply involved in the Catholic community.
Your director should echo your spiritual needs, have your trust, be listening and helpful, yet in the meantime prove frank when required. The bottom line is that you had better feel completely at ease to address freely important topics with him and be accepting of his at times demanding advice to make you progress. As saint John Cassian, the founder of religious life in Western Christianity, learnt from his long observation of people's inner development:
By no vice does the devil draw [someone] headlong and bring him to death sooner than by persuading him to neglect the counsel of the Elders and trust to his own judgment and determination”.
Here are some additional clarifications and practical guidelines about picking your spiritual director, and don't let potential difficulties discourage you if, as countless great saints, you initially struggle to come across someone fitting you: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7: 7-8). Saint Theresa of Avila could not find one suiting her for years even after having got in touch with dozens of candidates. What a blessing that she experienced so many failures, because ultimately, God put saint John of the Cross on her way. This meeting gave us the summit of Western mysticism, which deeply shaped people such as saint Therese of Lisieux, saint Elisabeth of the Trinity, saint Edith Stein, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, etc.
Before saying goodbye, allow us to share our ideal with you. Hundreds of people have been praying together during these 21 days. Imagine that each of us continued to set aside ten minutes every day for silence and prayer. Hundreds of young people letting the Lord enter their life daily. Hundreds standing up to follow in Christ's footsteps to be the leaven of a new generation of prayer, joyfulness, love, and holiness. A new generation renewing the face of the earth.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6