Youth Apostles Online
Newsletter for Catholic Teens : December 2001
This Christmas brings an important message to us as Youth Apostles. If you want to be a great apostle and change the world for Jesus Christ, you must be humble. All we have to do is look at our model and Lord, Jesus. He didn't come into the world with smoke and lights and microphones like a rock star at a concert with everyone screaming and cheering. Instead, he came as a helpless little baby, born in a stable amidst the animals.
It's a simple concept, but hard to live. The more you want Jesus to be glorified through you, the littler you must become. Father John Corapi (a super duper apostle for Jesus who isn't afraid to speak the truth) says our best defense against the devil and his desire to pull us away from a life of serving God is humility. Check out any life of the saints and you won't see them saying, "I am da bomb! I sooo rock for Jesus! I am the best apostle that He has ever had! Woo! I am the holiest of all the people I know!" Instead, they called themselves the smallest specs in the cosmos and the greatest of sinners.
So as you celebrate Christmas with your families, I want you to think about how you can be more humble. One simple way is if you need to reconcile with anyone in your family. If you've hurt someone in any way, say you're sorry. It might be something really little, or something really big. You have to swallow your pride to admit you are wrong, and Jesus can use that to help you grow in humility in other areas of your life. And then, you are really on your way to becoming a true Youth Apostle.
I wish you all a Blessed Christmas full of the humble spirit of the Christ Child. May He birth in you a new desire to serve Him with littleness.
Until next month, I remain...
Your Eucharist loving, Blessed Mother petitioning, rockin' Catholic Church obeying, Pope John Paul II devotee and fellow sinner in need of God's grace and mercy,
Youth Apostles Online
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Envy is a capital sin. It refers to the sadness at the sight of another's goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself, even unjustly. When it wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin.
Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility.
- from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2539-2540
Dear Young People,
The Church looks to you with hope; she counts on you. You are the generation called to transmit the gift of faith to the new millennium. Do not fail Christ who full of love, calls you to follow him and sends you out like the Apostle James to the ends of the earth.
Take into your hands the pilgrim's staff, which is the Word of God, and travel the world announcing with courage the good news of Christ the perfect man, the new man who reveals to the men and women of all times their greatness and dignity as children of God. This is the best service you can give society today; to offer the Gospel of Christ, incarnated in your life with all its radical newness. A newness that can win over the hearts of the young with its beauty, goodness and truth.
Let yourselves be renewed by Christ! The new evangelizing, of which you must be leaders, begins in oneself, through the conversion of the heart to Christ. Live in intimacy with him; discover the riches of his person and his mystery in prayer; turn to him when you are in need of the grace of forgiveness; seek him in the Eucharist the source of life; serve him in the poor and needy who await his beneficial coming. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. The kingdom of heaven is for those who are determined to enter it.
Do not be afraid to be Holy! Have the courage and humility to present yourselves to the world determined to be Holy, since true freedom is born of holiness. This aspiration will help you discover genuine love, untainted by selfish and alienating permissiveness. It will make you grow in humanity through study and work; it will open you to a possible vocation to the total gift of self in the priesthood or the consecrated life; it will transform you from being slaves of power, pleasure, money, or a career to being free young persons, masters of your own life, even ready to serve your needy brothers and sisters in the image of Christ the servant to bear witness to the gospel of love."
- Pope John Paul II on August 7, 1999 to Catholic youth