According to Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO) Program Development Officer Mr. Niel John Capidos, Pope Francis’ Lenten message is essential as it ‘reaffirms the identity of the youth’ in the modern times,
“In this day and age when the youth are bombarded with a lot of distractions, a lot of deceptions, that we are nobody, that we are less than who we think we are Pope Francis goes counter culture to that by affirming that we have a wonderful capacity to enrich the life of the Church.
“All of us youth have this power to make great, significant changes and contributions to the world. That’s why we are the now, the youth are the now,” he said.
To reflect on Pope Francis’ Message in the season of Lent, a university-wide spiritual talk was held Wednesday afternoon in Our Lady of Assumption Chapel.
In his message, the Pope asked Catholics to walk in the path of renewal.
“The path to Easter, therefore, demands that we renew our faces and hearts as Christians through repentance, conversion and forgiveness so as to live fully the abundant grace of the paschal mystery,” the message said.
Capidos added that there is a great relation between identity and vocation.
“Our identity as God’s beloved, gifted, and empowered and being grounded on God makes us a person of others. It gives us the capacity to go beyond ourselves and to be of real service to those who are in need and even the capacity to care for our creation,” he said.
During the talk, Capidos performed three of his musical compositions titled ‘Prodigal Child’, ‘Road to Emmaus’, and ‘Come As You Are’, which he described as ‘existential songs but with religious tone’.
“I feel [these songs] would resonate with the journey of the young,” he shared.
Jim Ernsan Ferrare, a first year law student, said the talk was ‘enlightening’.
“It’s an invitation to us to recall what we had done in the past and reflect on our actions which prevent ourselves from continuing our connection or relationship with God,” he said.
Pope Francis ended his Lenten Message by urging Catholics ‘to ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion’.
“Let us leave behind our selfishness and self-absorption, and turn to Jesus’ Pasch. Let us stand beside our brothers and sisters in need, sharing our spiritual and material goods with them. In this way, by concretely welcoming Christ’s victory over sin and death into our lives, we will also radiate its transforming power to all of creation,” the message stated.