BEING REAL SERIES:
Teens and Relationships;
Teens and Spirituality;
Teen Life and Christ
by Jerry Shepherd
(Little Hills Press, 2001, 72pp, $9.95 each. Available from AD Books)
The expression "teenager" can readily prompt negative reactions among some people. However, understanding is needed of the pressures under which young people live in today's society - one which judges people on the clothes worn, or whether they are "cool" and conform with current musical fads.
Relationships are a basic part of people's well-being - especially with peers and family. These, ideally, should be sources of joy, support and growth.
A new series of books, titled Being Real, covers a range of topics of significance for teenagers: their relationships amongst each other, with Christ and their spirituality. These books are concise and easy to comprehend, drawing the reader into the everyday reality of teenage life. It is easy enough to overlook what it is like to be a teenager, which can involve alienation due to cultural differences or stressful pressures from the peer group.
When it comes to the Church, young people may tend to base their spirituality on the latest trend, or go to Church for largely social reasons. But as Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"; he seeks and invites everyone to come and to know Him better.
We can easily forget that Jesus as a youth lived in a family home, worked alongside his father, a carpenter, helped His mother around the house, and even went missing. It does not matter what we have done in the past, Our Lord is always there waiting for us, calling on us to be saints. And the lives of many of the saints make us realise that their spiritual journeys were not always smooth sailing.
We all need to be "real" - as this little series suggests - not only with others and with Christ, but especially with ourselves. The above three titles provide helpful ideas for achieving these sometimes elusive goals and are recommended reading for both parents and their teenage children.