SHINE LIKE STARS IN THE WORLD! (2009)
a) Young man/Young woman and the Family
It is in the family that we first experience the fellowship of others. The family is where we are born, where we grow and where our vision of the world is defined. It is where we get our resources to face society. Your family is, therefore, a powerful star that accompanies you!
Your life has been moulded by the love of your parents; it is through the generosity of your parents that your life began and grew in your mother’s womb; you came to this world at the appointed time. You grew up nurtured by that same love. The responsibility of your parents towards you does not end with feeding and nurturing you; they help you to grow into the image of God which they recognize in you. As they open you up to the world around, they help you to discern the good and the evil in it; this is their mission, this is also your formation.
And the process goes on. It is imperative that you co-operate fully in this work (of your formation). In this your age, particularly when you experience various upheavals, leading even to changes in behaviour, it is important that you maintain a healthy and open dialogue with your parents and remain submissive to their guidance: this co-operation with your parents is essential. In a meeting of the United Nations, on 2nd October, 1979, Pope John Paul II had said: “No country on earth and no political system can think of its own future otherwise than through the image of these new generations that will receive from their parents the manifold heritage of values, duties and aspirations of the nation to which they belong and of the whole human family."
Aren’t you excited to draw this image of true humanity in your life?
The influence of human values and of the communications media
You will certainly find true human values in your homes. Your parents love each other, respect each other and carry each other’s burdens. You can see so much of generosity in them! Reaching out to the other through self-denial, the mother pining for the father who is abroad and worrying about him: there is so much to learn from such a life witness --- the value of suffering, the worth of a mother’s hug more than material things, your father’s arm around your shoulder, siblings helping each other, being concerned for others, specially the old, the sick, the differently abled, etc.
Modern development has brought channel TV, Internet, mobile technology and other such communications media into our homes. They are good, indeed. However, if our formation in values is lacking, we may not know how to control them. Quite often, the media promote ideologies opposed to good morals, truth and justice, besides spreading anti-Christian bias. Pope John Paul II, in his Message on the occasion of World Communications Day, in the year 2004, said that the media have two faces: on the one side, they highlight those things that strengthen family life and bonding and, on the other, they glorify infidelity, extra marital relationships, an immoral vision of the marriage covenant, etc. He advised that it is important to recognize such ambivalence and to conscientiously reflect on the moral dimension of the medi."