BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THERE are now more obstacles preventing young people from practising their faith than at any time since Catholics were persecuted in Elizabethan times, the Bishop of Shrewsbury has said.
Preaching at a Youth 2000 Mass at St Mary’s church in Middlewich, Cheshire, Bishop Mark Davies said: “Never since the days of persecution have so many obstacles been put in front of a generation to prevent you finding your way to Him.And it isn’t so much Sunday working, Sunday shopping, social lives which block out Saturday nights and Sunday mornings but losing sight of Jesus Himself which eclipses Sunday, not knowing where He is found which leaves it empty.
He added: “It isn’t the incidentals of music or style which draw or deter you from finding your way to Him. Those things may help or hinder us but they’re not why we’re ever here. We are here because we know in the words of St John Vianney that ‘He is here, the One who loves us so much He is here.’May we find our way to Him where we know He will always be found.” The bishop told his young congregation that to follow the Lord faithfully they must put Mass at the centre of their lives.
He said: “As the women and the Apostles had made their way in the first light of Easter Sunday morning to that meeting with the Lord so we are called on the first day of the week to meet the same Lord truly present with us now in the Eucharist.
“You will sometimes hear people say: ‘What would Jesus have done? What would Jesus have said?’as if He were some distant figure of history whose words and actions we can now only guess at.” The bishop also said that the older generation often failed to instruct young people in the faith. He said: “For a generation before you so often failed to pass on those directions, the fullness of our Catholic faith which in Isaiah’s words at every crucial turn of our lives tells us: ‘This is the way, follow it!’ ”
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