Ignore Google, Seek God First For Guidance

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Everyone needs help to mature and grow as a person of faith, Pope Francis told young people in Bahrain, so reach out to someone a little older and wiser and don’t forget not to pray.

November 18, 2022

Pope Francis met with more than 1,000 young people at Sacred Heart School in Awli, Bahrain, on Nov. 5, 2022. (Alexey Gotovsky/EWTN)

By Carol Glatz
Everyone needs help to mature and grow as a person of faith, Pope Francis told young people in Bahrain, so reach out to someone a little older and wiser and don’t forget not to pray.

“Before going to the Internet for advice, always look for good counselors in life, wise and reliable people who can guide and help you”, such as parents, grandparents, teachers, the elderly and a good spiritual guide, the pope told students at Sacred Heart School in Awali Nov. 5.

“Each of us needs to be accompanied on the path of life! he told them.

And turn to God, who is always there, waiting “for you to ask him to give you a hand,” the Pope said.

The director of Sacred Heart School told Pope Francis that the school’s 1,215 students from 29 different nationalities, cultures, languages ​​and religious backgrounds were a “miniature symbol” of peaceful coexistence and the culture of care he requested.

“Your presence here with us will surely raise awareness of our cultural diversity and shared beliefs, as well as our commitment to establishing a vibrant and respectful society for present and future generations,” Sr. Roselyn Thomas, member of the Sisters of Apostolic Carmel, said the pope.

Students filled the gymnasium and areas outside the school; some wore clothing traditional to their culture or religion. When the pope entered, a choir sang: “All are welcome in this place”.

In the 74 years since the sisters founded the school in Bahrain, “you have been its most treasured and revered guest,” Sr. Thomas told her.

Another guest of honor was an alumnus of the school, Lt. Abdulla Attiya. A member of Bahrain’s Royal Guards, he broke a world record last December by running a marathon in full military gear in three hours, 40 minutes and seven seconds, which also earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. world.

“I can be a champion on the pitch, but what really matters is becoming a champion off the pitch,” he told Pope. Despite all the hard work, sacrifices, successes and medals, he said, he realized that “the trophies will eventually rust. It is friendship and brotherhood that will last forever.

As a Muslim at school, he said he had “opportunity to celebrate Christmas, Deepavali and many other heart-warming holidays…without discrimination if one shared in the happiness of the other”.

Speaking on behalf of all young people in Bahrain, Nevin Varghese Fernandez told the Pope that growing up as a Catholic in Bahrain “was risk-free and safe, because we are blessed to live in a country that promotes and supports various religions. “.

“Living as a Catholic in a predominantly Muslim country is very joyful because we are surrounded by people of faith who share the same values, and the church has given us a good foundation,” he said.

Young Catholics, he said, are grateful for church support and “heroic examples of people risking their lives for the faith.”

He told the Pope that his visit “gives us strength and encourages us in our Catholic identity.”

Merina Joseph Motha also spoke to the Pope about the strength her Catholic faith and her community have given her.

“Believe in God and believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place,” she said.

However, she asked for the Pope’s advice “to help us deal with social issues such as anxiety, stress, bullying and peer pressure”.

The pope replied, “My advice is to go forward without fear, but never go it alone!”

God “wants to help you distinguish what is essential from what is superfluous, what is good from what is harmful for you and for others, what is right from what leads to injustice and disorder”, he said.

Cultivate a life of prayer, he said, and trust that the Lord “constantly watches over us and protects us.”

The Pope told the young people that the Church and the world “need your creativity, your dreams and your courage, your charm and your smiles, your contagious joy and that touch of madness that you can bring in every situation”.

The gathering included youth prayers with six students reading appeals in their native language. They prayed that world leaders would be moved “so that love and peace may once again prevail in all countries”; that educators help young people to “bring light where there is darkness, love where there is hatred” and work diligently for truth and justice; that those who are online and use social networks are protected “from all the dangers that threaten the world today”; and that those who face addiction or exploitation can find their way to a better life. –CNS

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