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July 23, 2019 — With the aim of helping us begin to appropriate the new Universal Apostolic Preferences, the following is the third part of our series Praying With the Preferences. These tools focus on the last two preferences: accompanying young people in the creation of a hope-filled future and collaborating in the protection of our common home.

It is worth noting that these tools are useful to help us achieve a free and open state of mind, as well as to develop a deep-felt knowledge of the preferences. While a priority signals that one option is more important than the others, the preferences are all equally important. The can be seen, for instance, as guidelines to orient our works and communities. As Fr. Gilles Mongeau, SJ reminds us, they are “four cries which we should always be more sensitive to.”

The first capsule invites us to journey with young people, who are the most at risk of living in poverty and who will experience the worst long-term consequences of environmental deterioration. However, they are also the ones who most clearly see the path to the future and who can help us understand today’s challenges. In this context, “to accompany young people demands of us authenticity of life, spiritual depth, and openness to sharing the life mission that gives meaning to who we are and what we do. Having these, we can learn, along with the young, to find God in all things, and through our ministries and apostolates, we can help them live this stage of their lives more profoundly.” The PDF is available here.

The second capsule allows us to evaluate the ways to begin this environmental conversion. “We resolve, considering who we are and the means that we have, to collaborate with others in the construction of alternative models of life that are based on respect for creation and on a sustainable development capable of producing goods that, when justly distributed, ensure a decent life for all human beings on our planet. The preservation over time of the conditions of life on our planet is a human responsibility of immense ethical and spiritual importance.” The PDF to the prayer tool is available here.

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