Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 18, 2002
Priest calls teens to love and pray
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Prayer, relationships and love are the key to holding up Christ in a virtual age, says Father Ron Nuzzi, a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio.
Speaking to 600 junior and high school students, the priest encouraged his audience to pray often, pay attention to family and friends, and work for justice.
"Relationships, the love we share with family and friends, the people who are closest to us, are the best examples and the primary source of access we have to the love of God," he said.
"There is nothing that tells us more clearly how much God loves us than the love of family and friends."
Nuzzi, an educator, author and lecturer, was one of several speakers who addressed youth at the 2002 Catholic Conference.
"When you find yourself in the midst of an identity crisis and wondering who you are and where you want to go, look at your friends and your family," he said.
"You are who your friends are; you are whatever your family is and it is in those relationships that we find the key to reality and I think the key for our relationship with God."
Nuzzi also urged his audience to be people of justice. "Did you know that one in 10 lines in the Gospel are about the poor; that one in six lines in the Gospel of Luke is about the poor? Wouldn't it be great if one-tenth of everything we did was a ministry of justice; that one in six of everything we said was meant as help for the poor?
"There is much justice that needs to be done in the world. I hope that you understand that even while we are in the midst of a war on terror, when political leaders say you are either for us or against us or that there is an axis of evil in the world, they are using political language, not Gospel language."
The priest spoke about a popular poster going up in many Catholic high schools around the United States in the last few months. It looks like a very homey, down to earth, peaceful photograph of young people selling bake goods at a bake sale. The caption reads: "It will be a good day when schools have all the money they need to educate our children and the air force has to hold bake sales to buy bombs."
"When we are in contact with the needs of those less fortunate than us, when we are open to the demands for justice, when we do justice in our own lives, we give witness to Christ," Nuzzi said.