The Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Canada sent a message for young people on Wednesday, when the World Day of Orthodox Youth was marked. He urged them to keep faith and grow in virtue so that they may overcome all challenges. “I urge you to be in the light of Christ!” wrote the hierarch.
“This year is the Solemn Year of prayer in the Church’s life and the Christian’s life in the Romanian Orthodox Church. Reflecting on the importance of this theme, we are all urged to pay special attention to prayer in our lives,” transmitted Bishop Ioan Casian.
“Through the effort of your parents, and with our care in prayer at home and in the community, we have you young people, the present and future of our church, here in the diaspora. We pray that your aspirations, enthusiasm, purity, and values of this God-blessed age will be defended and encouraged.”
The hierarch quoted an exhortation made by St Basil the Great: “We claim that we must love and follow with all our might those who can help us in the preparation of the other life, and those who do not aim for that life, to overlook them, as worthless” (Homily of XXII to young people).
“Even if the world in which we live, urges us to be superficial, indifferent to our neighbor, and to live a fast-forward, life, we invite you to be wise and spiritual, well anchored in prayer and faith,” His Grace added.
The bishop’s message continues with some items of advice for young people:
- “Love Him and feel close to Christ as a brother, friend and parent, and so you will have and feel the whole world around you and obstacles of any kind will seem to be non-existent.”
- “Be dedicated, present and active in the churches. We are convinced that this will help your generation to discover and testify to the cultural, Orthodox and Romanian identity. Be proud of your roots!”
- “Cultivate and preserve the treasure of friendship with sincerity and fidelity, reject and discourage any form of aggression and lack of love for one’s neighbor.”
- “Cultivate beauty and plant with enthusiasm and dedication the joy of the gift, in everything you undertake.”
- “Let your deeds and thoughts be humble. Be humble toward your parents, toward your teachers, and toward your peers, as the first witness of humility, Christ, did. Trust in His help.”
- “May your spiritual joy, noble thinking, and the hopeful enthusiasm of your youth be your guide. Share them around you! May the Orthodox faith be your foundation, guide and support here in Canada.”
- “I urge you and I wish that at the moment of the old age you look with joy and optimism at the generations that will come after you, as we look at you.”
- “Eternal life is gained through love of God and neighbour. From all the trials of these troubled times, nothing will help us more than deep prayer, the steadfast faith in our God, in our Savior, in the Holy Gospels, in the Church, in the Holy Sacraments.”
His Grace Ioan Casian concluded the message to the young people with a blessing.
In June 1992, Syndesmos, the World Orthodox Youth Organization, established the day of February 2 as the World Day of Orthodox Youth.