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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 July 24, 2021

It is easy to infuse a most fervent devotion into others, ev...

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July 24

 

It is easy to infuse
a most fervent devotion into others, even in a short time;
but the great matter is
– to persevere.

St. Philip Neri


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Charbel Makhlouf

Multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was fi...

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St. Charbel Makhlouf

Youssef Antoun Makhlouf was born in the village of Bekka Kafra in Lebanon on May 8, 1828 and was one of five children born to Antoun Zarrour Makhlouf and Brigitta Chidiac. His father was a mule driver who died when Youssef was only three years old, leaving his widow to bring up their children alone.

Although Brigitta was left nearly destitute, she reserved a profoundly religious atmosphere in their home and instilled in her children a deep spirit of piety. Because of this fidelity, Youssef became unusually devoted and inclined to prayer and solitude at a very young age. He was greatly attracted to the life and spirituality of hermits; and as a young boy tending his family’s small flock, he would often go to a nearby grotto where he had erected a little shrine to the Holy Mother of God and would spend his whole day there in prayer.

When he was twenty-three years old, Youssef, feeling the call to the religious life, left his home and family to join the Lebanese Maronite Order at the Monastery of Our Lady in Marfouq. Here he began his formation as a monk before later being transferred to the Monastery of St. Maron near Beirut. There he received the religious habit of the Maronite monk and took the name Charbel. He made his final profession as a religious brother on November 1, 1853 – he was twenty-five years old.

Brother Charbel immediately began his studies for the priesthood under the instruction of Father Nimattullah Kassab, who was also later declared a saint by the Church. Charbel was ordained on July 23, 1859, following which he returned to the Monastery of St. Maron where he lived a life of great austerity. In 1875, he was granted permission by his superiors to live a solitary life in the Hermitage of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was under the jurisdiction of the monastery; and there he resided for the remaining twenty-three years of his life until his death on Christmas Eve, 1898.

St. Charbel is renowned for his many miracles both during his life and after his death. His most famous miracle – which was also his first – occurred when, multiple times, he successfully lit an oil lamp which was filled with water. He is also credited with many healing miracles.

After his death, he was interned at the Monastery of St. Maron, now a famous pilgrimage site. His tomb was often witnessed surrounded by a dazzling light, and to this day his remains are incorrupt and an unexplainable blood-like fluid flows from his body. He was canonized on December 9, 1977, by Pope Paul VI, who held him up as an example to help us understand “in a world, largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God.”

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protest...

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Walk to Conversion

In September, I brought the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to the home of Mr. John Black and his family in Kings City, California.  John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about thirteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California (though these are holy sites, they also serve as tourist attractions.)

“Who is this Junipero Serra anyways?”  he asked, as the tour guide shared the history of the mission. “Well,” the guide responded, “you are standing on his grave!”  Surprised, John looked down and read inscription on the stone. Sure enough, Blessed Father Junipero Serra was buried right there. “I became electrified,” John told me, “I had to learn more about this man and about the missions.”  The more he studied Blessed Serra, the founder of the first nine missions, the more impressed he became, and he decided to travel on-foot to all 21 missions. 

With the blessing of his wife, now left at home with their two infant sons, John left for his solo expedition, taking with him a single backpack, the bible and little money.  He told me that every mission he visited he felt the presence of someone receiving him, even if the mission was empty. He felt this ambiance in the missions so serene and uplifting, and began to realize it was the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament that made him feel so at home.

At one point, John collapsed from exhaustion near a mission run by Franciscans, who kindly hosted him for the night. Before he left the next day, one of the friars gave him a first-class relic of Blessed Serra. Since he was Protestant, John did not know what a relic was, but not wanting to appear rude, he accepted it. Not long after he left the Franciscans, John became lost in the wilderness in the middle of the night. Through his exhaustion and fear he heard a voice say, “Let’s help John.” He had the distinct feeling that Blessed Serra was guiding him, and gathered the strength and courage to continue. About six hours later, he stumbled upon the next mission. “It was kind of a miracle,” he said, “I was really lost!”

During his journey, John slowly came to a realization. “I know what you want from me, God,” he thought to himself one day, “you what me to became a Catholic. That is what this is all about!” However, he still had many questions about aspects of Catholicism that have been rejected by his Protestant faith – mainly about the Blessed Mother. Yet, from that point on he received answers to all of his questions, especially his reservations about devotion to Mary: he believed that it was once again Blessed Serra answering him.

With the help of Blessed Serra, one problem after another was resolved in the solitude of his travels. By the time John reached the final mission, he wholly decided to become a Catholic. “I realized that by having devotion to Mary, you love Our Lord even more,” he told me.

John returned home, filled with zeal and enthusiasm for his newfound faith. He shared his astonishing experiences with his wife, and she too converted. “I feel at home in the Catholic church,” John said, “and I have never loved Our Lord Jesus Christ more than I do now.”

by Joseph Ferrara

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John shared with me the story of his conversion from Protestantism: about fourteen years ago he was visiting one of the 21 Spanish missions in California 

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