Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Young people save adults

Today is the feast of Laura Vicuna, a 14 year old girl beatified in 1988.
She gave her life over to God at the age of 9 and found a spiritual director who eventually allowed her to live the vows of a religious in her own student lifestyle.
One of Laura's worries was about her mother who was living on the edge of a number of destructive relationships. On her deathbed Laura begged her mother to change and after her death her Mother sorted out her life and returned to church.

Is Laura extraordinary? I think that she is but she is not unusual.

Young people like Laura are around us all the time. They are optimistic, idealistic, determined and courageous. They can be found in the thousands of young carers who hold their families together especially when the Father is absent. They are the young people who dig deep into the meaning of life to carry burdens too heavy for many adult family members. Sometimes they are young prophets, reminding the adults in their world of uncomfortable truths, rubbing salt into the wounds of adult compromises. Their other gift is the joy and wonder with which they meet life that earths adult cynicism and teaches grown ups to play.

We often think that saints must be serious, old, dripping with wisdom and mystery. In fact, as Don Bosco often said "we want no long faced saints here." Young people are the hidden saints that emerge from the deeper goodness of adult lives. Their dedication, their courage and their cheerfulness point to the child of God at the heart of each adult. Young people preach the Gospel with their lives to us adults who are often deaf to the message.