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Header - 5 pieces of advice for graduates by John Horvat II

 

As graduation time comes, many graduates will be making major decisions about their future. They must decide how to pursue their careers with the diplomas they have. They must transition from the more carefree student life to that of one in the workforce. Finally, paraphrasing Shakespeare, they must decide whether to adult or not to adult. That is a fundamental question.

“To adult” is a new verb that is circulating these days. It sounds strange because “adult” is a noun, not a verb. Moreover, “adult” usually defines a state of being not one of becoming. But in today’s fluid postmodern world, there is no noun that cannot be verbed. No one should be surprised if one can now “adult.”

Thus, “to adult” means to do something grown-up or hold responsibilities common to those of elders. A young man “adults” well when he appears on time for work or is well groomed. The word does not necessarily mean that he has abandoned his childish ways, but only that he did something adult-like at one point in time.

For this reason, so many young people adult today. They do not grow up, but rather live in a state of eternal adolescence. Adulting facilitates this world by allowing these young people to act like adolescents most of the time while pretending to be adults part of the time.

And so to answer the question of “to adult or not to adult,” here are five pieces of advice for graduates that may prove helpful.

  • Don’t adult. If you understand the term to mean simply doing adult things without abandoning childish things, then it is better not to adult. The temptation of adopting a murky middle ground between adolescence and adulthood merely prolongs the first and ruins the second.

  • Don’t adult. Leave your childhood behind. Be only an adult. Put away the things of a child or teenager. Understand that milestones like graduations, whether high school or college, are rites of passage from which there is no return. There are certain things that adults do not do. They do not play child (or video) games. They do not treat life as a big party. They should not spend countless hours on social media. They should get rid of their toys.

  • Don’t adult. Assume the great responsibilities of your adult life. Understand that the decisions of where you live, what you eat and how your family survives now belong entirely to you, and to no one else. You have only to gain by accepting your duties. Being childish about your obligations will lead to a miserable life of resentment, entitlement and blaming others.

  • Don’t adult. Ponder in your mind what it means to be an adult. Know what you want to be. Spend some time plotting out your future. Take some time out now to ponder alone and in silence those essential life questions about your purpose in life. Pray and listen to the voice of God who calls everyone to know, love and serve Him. Being an adult means establishing a relationship with God to aid you in the challenges of the path that you need to choose now.

  • Don’t adult. Prepare yourself for the misfortunes and sufferings that are part of being an adult. When you were a child, you were shielded from many of these misfortunes. That shield is no longer there, and you deceive yourself if you think the contrary. Everyone must face tragedy and suffering. Now the time has come for you to embrace your crosses along the road of life. When faced with Christian resignation, these hardships even become a source of satisfaction and accomplishment.

These are five counsels for this year’s graduates that reflect the common sense of living in the real world.

Five pieces of advice for graduates imageHowever, today’s postmodern world has a contrary set of counsels. People are told instead to avoid definition and embrace contradiction. One should not develop a stable character but rather self-identify to whatever fantasy one happens to create. Life is all about freedom to do whatever one wants even when this “freedom” often has consequences that enslave (as in the case of substance abuse).

The tragic result of this worldview is an immense throng of young people who cannot find their way as adults. They live at home and depend on parents for housing, living expenses or spending money. In fact, adults between 18 to 34 are now slightly more likely to be living with parents than a spouse (or other) in their own household. Nearly sixty percent of parents provide some financial support to their adult children.

That is why many such children prefer to adult. That is, to make forays into the adult world without living in it. They prefer to live a life oriented toward fun and infantile pleasure and detached from meaning and purpose.

The best time to prevent these adulting forays is well before graduation. Parents need to understand that childhood is a preparation for adulthood, not a permanent state. Being an adult is the final goal of development not a mere option among many. Parents must instill in their children a strong sense of purpose in life—and a great concern for their eternal destiny in the afterlife. Only then will they be able to develop good habits and strong character to confront the difficulties of later life. In this way the transition to adulthood is not abrupt but seamless. One adapts. One matures. One does not adult.

Until saner times prevail, however, many will condemn themselves to adult in a world that is ever more childish.

 


As seen on CNSNews

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for December 9, 2019

Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained b...

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December 9

 

Happiness is secured through virtue;
it is a good attained by man’s own will.

St. Thomas Aquinas


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

Inspired by a sermon on the virtue of chastity, they mutuall...

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St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

Juan Diego was born in Cuautlitlán – today part of Mexico City – in the year 1474 and given the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" or "Eagle that speaks". He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced indigenous groups living in the Anáhuac Valley.

In 1524, at fifty years of age, Juan Diego was baptized with his wife Maria Lucia by one of the first Franciscan missionaries to arrive in Mexico, Fray Pedro de Gante. His religious fervor, his simple artlessness, and his respectful but gracious demeanor are among his defining characteristics. It is said that after their baptism, he and his wife, inspired by a sermon on the virtue of chastity, mutually decided to embrace this evangelical counsel by living celibately afterwards. After the 1529 death of his wife, Juan Diego moved to be near his aged uncle Juan Bernardino in Tolpetlac. Thereafter, the pious widower was in the habit of walking to the Franciscan mission at Tlatelolco for religious instruction and to perform his religious duties. His frequent journeys took him close by the hill at Tepeyac.

At daybreak on Saturday, December 9, 1531, Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass as usual, when he suddenly heard the exquisite sound of many birds singing. The beautiful melody came from higher up the hill, and thinking himself transported to heaven, his whole being attracted by the sound, he let it draw him up the Tepeyac. When the birdsongs suddenly ceased, he heard his name called in his native Náhuatl language and he beheld a beautiful young maiden. She called him to come closer and Juan Diego, “filled with admiration for the way her perfect grandeur exceeded all imagination,” prostrated himself in her presence. With unutterable sweetness, she revealed her identity to him “… the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth.” She asked him to go to the bishop in Mexico City, Don Fray Juan de Zumárraga, and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out abundant graces upon those who invoked her.

After some difficulty in gaining admission to the bishop, the humble messenger recounted the marvels he had witnessed and delivered the lady’s message. However, the prelate’s response was discouraging and Juan Diego left downcast and disappointed.

The Queen of Heaven was waiting for him at the top of Tepeyac on his return that evening, and casting himself down he told her of his heart’s sorrow at meeting with incredulity on the part of the bishop and adds: “I beg you, my Lady, Queen, my little girl, to have one of the nobles who are held in esteem, one who is known, respected, honored, [have him] carry, take your dear breath, your dear word, so that he will be believed. Because I am really [just] a man from the country, I am a [porter’s] rope … a man of no importance: I myself need to be led, carried on someone’s back. That place you are sending me to is a place where I’m not used to going or spending any time in, my little Virgin, my Youngest Daughter, my Lady, Little girl.”

With great gentleness, she tells him that he is the one that must carry out this commission. And Juan Diego promises that he will return to the bishop the following day with her request.

Despite the obstacles posed by the bishop’s attendants, Juan Diego was again admitted into his presence. Don Juan de Zumárraga questioned the Indian kneeling before him thoroughly but remained unmoved by the man’s account. Not on his word alone would he believe, he told him, a sign must be given to prove that the apparition was indeed from heaven.

Undaunted by the prelate’s request, he returns to Tepeyac to convey it to Our Lady, who asks him to return in the morning that she might give it to him. During the night, however, Juan Diego’s sick uncle worsens and it is clear that he is dying. Shortly after midnight, his nephew sets off for Tlatilolco to summon one of the priests that he might confess and prepare for death.

Not wanting to meet the beautiful Lady, who would surely want to send him to the bishop with the “proof” he had requested, he hurried along, set on his task. But the Queen of Heaven came down to meet him and gently chiding him she asked, “What is happening, youngest and dearest of all my sons? Where are you going, where are you headed?” Humbling himself before her, he told her of his uncle’s grave illness and his need for a priest to assist him. She assured him that the illness was not grave and that he had nothing to fear on that account. Her solicitude filled him with joy and consolation: “Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you; do not let your uncle’s illness pressure you with grief, because he will not die of it now. You may be certain that he is already well…” And, as they later found out, his uncle became well at that very moment.

Full of confidence, Juan Diego begged her to send him immediately to the bishop with the sign she had promised. The Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find there. He obeyed, and although it was winter time and the frost at that time of year was very harsh, he found flowers of many kinds, in full bloom. Astonished, he cut and gathered the fragrant blossoms and took them to Our Lady who carefully arranged them in his mantle – the rough-woven “tilma” worn by his people – and told him to take them to the bishop as "proof". When he opened his tilma to show the bishop the profusion of blooms, the flowers fell to the ground, and there remained impressed upon his cloak an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.

With the Bishop's permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus. He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on May 6, 1990 by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Mexico City and canonized by him on July 31, 2002.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Allow me to live, work, suffer, be consumed and die for Thee...

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Prayer to the Immaculate Conception

Allow me to praise Thee, O most holy Virgin Mary, with my personal commitment and sacrifice.

Allow me to live, work, suffer, be consumed and die for Thee, just for Thee.

Allow me to bring the whole world to Thee.

Allow me to contribute to your ever-greater exaltation, to Thine greatest possible exaltation.

Allow me to give Thee such glory that no one else has ever given up to now.

Allow others to surpass me in zeal for Thine exaltation and me to surpass them, so that by means of such noble rivalry, your glory may increase ever more profoundly, ever more rapidly, ever more intensely as He Who has exalted Thee so indescribably, above all other beings Himself desires.   Amen

By Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe

 

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