With the teenagers – leaving them the time to grow

For two years a group of teenagers, accompanied by Little Sisters, has been meeting once a week in Barcelona, in the Ciutat Meridiana district. It is a matter of taking some time, quite simply, to grow in the Christian life.

’We talk about our values, about who Jesus Christ is for us and how we live by that… We discuss something unexpected that may have occurred during the week and we review our lives in the light of our identity as Christians. Then, the four groups meet together for an hour and a half for games and relaxation, with the monitors. As Christian educators, we must resist the temptation to give them easy resources, or bring them readymade answers. It is more interesting to keep up tension about a question and lead them to learn by themselves. For example, during the meeting with the teenagers last Friday we asked them this question: "Have you ever asked yourself what being a Christian means in your life?" A boy in the group replied: "It means having faith in God and never to stop trusting God… receiving the sacraments, praying every day… and if some day I marry and my wife is an atheist, I won’t change religion, I will continue to be a Christian, doing good." 

Imagine that you planted the seed of an orange tree in a field. Would you ever think of going there the next day with a basket in the hope of picking some oranges? It would be a mistake to become discouraged. It would also be stupid to abandon the seed to its fate thinking it is a poor quality seed because it produced nothing. Patience, calmness, perseverance – it will grow. But, in the meantime, you must water, fertilise, prune and protect the orange tree from epidemics and bad weather. It will produce fruit.’ 
 
Sister Pilar Cabanes, Barcelona, Spain
19/09/2011
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