Rivista DMA

Yearning for the future

Yearning for the future An eastern sage once said: “If I would have the omnipotence of God for a moment, the only miracle I would work would be that of giving words their original meaning”. In reality, noted Tonino Bello, words today have acquired a multi-use. The same term frequently holds meanings that are diametrically opposed. It seems to me that one of these multi-use words is future. Those among us who are older and more experienced think of young people as the future of society, of the Church of our religious family. We are happy to meet young people who passionately commit themselves to something that is worth dedicating time and energy. We are proud of the good number of young people in all parts of the world who say “yes” to the God who calls them to a life of consecration. We are full of hope because there is a future!

I joyfully told a group of young Sisters whom I met: “You are the future of the Institute” It came to me spontaneously, even though it was an overused and multi-used expression. I became aware of their discomfort when they fell silent. For many young people in different life situations, the future no longer constitutes a magic word that colors dreams, plans and an ideal. Many people look to the future with fear, in a confused, undetermined way. They live the fear of not being able to carry out their own plans. They feel wrapped in an uncertainty that places them in the difficulty of deciding and deciding to do something for life.

In many of today’s cultures being committed forever becomes one of the greatest challenges. One tends to prevaricate, to put things off. One may even arrive at deferring choices to the point of arriving too late. This problem frequently finds its roots in adult victims of disenchantment, of tolerance, of a routine that smothers idealism and suffocates enthusiasm. They themselves are uncertain and incapable of offering the younger generations the gift of hope and trust.

We ask ourselves how a young person can serenely face marriage and motherhood when publicized opinions deal with “Forty reasons for not having children” that has as a subtitle “No kids”, a recently published book that is very widespread. Or how can a young person perceive the fascination of religious life when a mass media campaign ridicules it and makes Sisters seem insignificant. We know that we live in a time of great challenges and great opportunities. It is a time of the Spirit that continues to act in history. We believe that young people yearn for the future. They also know how to look to it with hope, with curiosity, with the
desire to commit them to fill it with meaning. We who are on their side and believe in them can make ourselves companions in their seeking that is so often uncertain or frustrated.

We can still make them hear: “Whatever your heart hopes for is possible. A good, beautiful future is possible. If you want, I will walk with you so that you will be able to find your way.


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