Highlights from the Second Half of Christus Vivit

Here are some highlights from the second half of Christus Vivit, Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation:

  • The love of God and our relationship with the living Christ do not hold us back from dreaming; they do not require us to narrow our horizons.  On the contrary, that love elevates us, encourages us and inspires us to a better and more beautiful life. (138)
  • Anxiety can work against us by making us give up whenever we do not see instant results.  Our best dreams are only attained through hope, patience and commitment, and not in haste.  At the same time, we should not be hesitant, afraid to take chances or make mistakes.  Avoid the paralysis of the living dead, who have no life because they are afraid to take risks, to make mistakes or to persevere in their commitments.  Even if you make mistakes, you can always get up and start over, for no one has the right to rob you of hope. (142)
  • Dear young people, make the most of these years of your youth.  Don’t observe life from a balcony.  Don’t confuse happiness with an armchair, or live your life behind a screen.  Whatever you do, do not become the sorry sight of an abandoned vehicle!  Don’t be parked cars, but dream freely and make good decisions.  Take risks, even if it means making mistakes. Don’t go through life anesthetized or approach the world like tourists.  Make a ruckus!   Cast out the fears that paralyze you, so that you don’t become young mummies.  Live!  Give yourselves over to the best of life!  Open the door of the cage, go out and fly!  Please, don’t take an early retirement. (143)
  • How could God take pleasure in someone incapable of enjoying his small everyday blessings, someone blind to the simple pleasures we find all around us? (146)
  • As you work to achieve your dreams, make the most of each day and do your best to let each moment brim with love. (148)
  • The desire to live fully and experience new things is also felt by many young people with physical, mental and sensory disabilities.  Even though they may not always be able to have the same experiences as others, they possess amazing resources and abilities that are often far above average.  The Lord Jesus grants them other gifts, which the community is called to recognize and appreciate, so that they can discover his plan of love for each of them. (149)
  • The experience of friendship teaches us to be open, understanding and caring towards others, to come out of our own comfortable isolation and to share our lives with others. (151)
  • Friendship is no fleeting or temporary relationship, but one that is stable, firm and faithful, and matures with the passage of time.  A relationship of affection that brings us together and a generous love that makes us seek the good of our friend. (152)
  • Seeking the Lord, keeping his word, entrusting our life to him and growing in the virtues: all these things make young hearts strong.  That is why you need to stay connected with Jesus, to “remain online” with him, since you will not grow happy and holy by your own efforts and intelligence alone. (158)
  • Along with all the other exciting things about youth, there is also the beauty of seeking “righteousness, faith, love and peace” (2 Tim 2:22).  This does not involve losing anything of your spontaneity, boldness, enthusiasm and tenderness.  Becoming an adult does not mean you have to abandon what is best about this stage of your lives. (159)
  • You have to discover who you are and develop your own way of being holy, whatever others may say or think.  Becoming a saint means becoming more fully yourself, becoming what the Lord wished to dream and create, and not a photocopy.  Your life ought to be a prophetic stimulus to others and leave a mark on this world, the unique mark that only you can leave.  Whereas if you simply copy someone else, you will deprive this earth, and heaven too, of something that no one else can offer. (162)
  • Your spiritual growth is expressed above all by your growth in fraternal, generous and merciful love. (163)
  • When an encounter with God is called an “ecstasy”, it is because it takes us out of ourselves, lifts us up and overwhelms us with God’s love and beauty.  Yet we can also experience ecstasy when we recognize in others their hidden beauty, their dignity and their grandeur as images of God and children of the Father.  The Holy Spirit wants to make us come out of ourselves, to embrace others with love and to seek their good.  That is why it is always better to live the faith together and to show our love by living in community and sharing with other young people our affection, our time, our faith and our troubles.  (164)
  • Hurts you have experienced might tempt you to withdraw from others, to turn in on yourself and to nurse feelings of anger, but never stop listening to God’s call to forgiveness. (165)
  • May your youthful spontaneity increasingly find expression in fraternal love and a constant readiness to forgive, to be generous, and to build community.  As an African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, walk by yourself.  If you want to go far, walk with others”.  Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of fraternity. (167)
  • We grow in wisdom and maturity when we take the time to touch the suffering of others.  The poor have a hidden wisdom and, with a few simple words, they can help us discover unexpected values. (171)
  • Above all, in one way or another, fight for the common good, serve the poor, be protagonists of the revolution of charity and service, capable of resisting the pathologies of consumerism and superficial individualism. (174)
  • Wherever we are, we always have an opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel.  That is how the Lord goes out to meet everyone.  He loves you, dear young people, for you are the means by which he can spread his light and hope.  He is counting on your courage, your boldness and your enthusiasm. (177)
  • Young friends, don’t wait until tomorrow to contribute your energy, your audacity and your creativity to changing our world.  Your youth is not an “in-between time”.  You are the now of God, and he wants you to bear fruit. (178)
  • Dear young friends, do not let them exploit your youth to promote a shallow life that confuses beauty with appearances.  Realize that there is beauty in the labourer who returns home grimy and unkempt, but with the joy of having earned food for his family.  There is extraordinary beauty in the fellowship of a family at table, generously sharing what food it has.  There is beauty in the wife, slightly dishevelled and no longer young, who continues to care for her sick husband despite her own failing health.  Long after the springtime of their courtship has passed, there is beauty in the fidelity of those couples who still love one another in the autumn of life, those elderly people who still hold hands as they walk.  There is also a beauty, unrelated to appearances or fashionable dress, in all those men and women who pursue their personal vocation with love, in selfless service of community or nation, in the hard work of building a happy family, in the selfless and demanding effort to advance social harmony.  To find, to disclose and to highlight this beauty, which is like that of Christ on the cross, is to lay the foundations of genuine social solidarity and the culture of encounter. (183)
  • If we journey together, young and old, we can be firmly rooted in the present, and from here, revisit the past and look to the future.  To revisit the past in order to learn from history and heal old wounds that at times still trouble us.  To look to the future in order to nourish our enthusiasm, cause dreams to emerge, awaken prophecies and enable hope to blossom.  Together, we can learn from one another, warm hearts, inspire minds with the light of the Gospel, and lend new strength to our hands. (199)
  • Young people need to be approached with the grammar of love, not by being preached at.  The language that young people understand is spoken by those who radiate life, by those who are there for them and with them.  And those who, for all their limitations and weaknesses, try to live their faith with integrity.  We also have to give greater thought to ways of incarnating the kerygma in the language of today’s youth. (211)
  • Many young people today feel that they have inherited the failed dreams of their parents and grandparents, dreams betrayed by injustice, social violence, selfishness and lack of concern for others.  In a word, they feel uprooted.  If the young grow up in a world in ashes, it will be hard for them to keep alive the flame of great dreams and projects.  If they grow up in a desert devoid of meaning, where will they develop a desire to devote their lives to sowing seeds?  The experience of discontinuity, uprootedness and the collapse of fundamental certainties, fostered by today’s media culture, creates a deep sense of orphanhood to which we must respond by creating an attractive and fraternal environment where others can live with a sense of purpose. (216)
  • We should never underestimate the ability of young people to be open to contemplative prayer.  We need only find the right ways and means to help them embark on this precious experience….It is important to make the most of the great moments of the liturgical year, particularly Holy Week, Pentecost and Christmas.  But other festive occasions can provide a welcome break in their routine and help them experience the joy of faith. (224)
  • Christian service represents a unique opportunity for growth and openness to God’s gifts of faith and charity.  Many young people are attracted by the possibility of helping others, especially children and the poor.  Often this service is the first step to a discovery or rediscovery of life in Christ and the Church. (225)
  • Your work stops being just about making money, keeping busy or pleasing others.  It becomes your vocation because you are called to it; it is something more than merely a pragmatic decision.  In the end, it is a recognition of why I was made, why I am here on earth, and what the Lord’s plan is for my life. (256)