MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS:
Pope John Paul II Speaks to Teens on Life, Love, and Courage
edited by John Vitek
(St Mary's Press, 2001, 126pp, $16.95. Available from AD Books)
Dilecti Amici (Dear Friends) is the title of Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter issued on the occasion of the International Youth Year in 1985. Since then, he has written a succession of messages to young people to coincide with each World Youth Day, up to and including the year 2001. Quotes from these, as well as from other messages and addresses directed to young people, are included in My Dear Young Friends. His words make inspiring and challenging reading - and not just for young people.
It is obvious the Holy Father has a particular concern for the youth of today's world and an appreciation of their potential to achieve good. He writes: "Draw close to Christ, so that you may participate, with the whole community of believers, in the great task of transforming the world according to God's design, of creating a world where the love of God directs all things!".
My Dear Young Friends is structured conveniently around 52 weekly reflections, each consisting of a quote from John Paul II, followed by "Think About That", "Take Action" and "Say a Prayer" segments.
At a time when chaos seems to surround us, the Holy Father's words are a source of hope, truth and reassurance. Today's Catholics - young and not-so-young - are fortunate to have such a leader, one who has lived his life for God and suffered in so many ways, yet can bring the essentials of Faith clearly into focus.
As Scripture says: "We are ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20). The present book offers a host of ideas on how we can make this a reality in our lives.