Archbishop Calinic of Suceava and Radauti sent a message to students at the beginning of the academic year 2020/2021.
The message is structured in 10 points. One of the most profound exhortations was, “Convert your inner Saul into Paul, for it is to the point of disgrace to seem righteous without being one, and preach Christ and the values of His Gospel to the Gentiles.”
“Make your life a doxology brought to God! Rise your mind and heart, and pour out your soul before God in prayer and thanksgiving!”
Archbishop Calinic of Suceava’s message to students: full text
Dear young people,
1. Go together with the Most Merciful God and His Saints, because only through such communion will you be able to gain the joy of self-confidence and you will be capable to ennoble the days of your life.
2. Do not covet the pods of alienation from God (Luke 15: 13, 16), but, on the contrary, increase your love for Him, for your parents, for your fellows, and especially for those who are in trouble, suffering and need, according to the words of the Holy Apostle Paul: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15), helping them to be free from all that saddens their lives.
3. Submit in your integrity – body and soul – to an asceticism according to God’s measure and will, so that God may remember you, as He remembered Israel (Ezekiel 16:60); that God may remember His covenant made with you through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, from the days of your infancy. At the same time, ask Him to heal your mental and physical infirmities, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16).
4. Do not build your future on swampy lands, lest your edifice falls when the world is dearer to you. Do not ask, being young as the prodigal son, the portion of goods that fall to you (Luke 15:12), lest by spending it you would grieve your parents and teachers who watch over your future, and be ashamed that you have borne the “disgrace of your youth” (Jeremiah 31:19).
5. Build up your youth in the image and likeness of God; wrap your life in the pure linen garment of goodness, just like the young man in the Gospel of Mark, who “was following Jesus” (Mark 14:51), but also the other apostles and disciples, martyrs, confessors and venerable fathers who left everything (Matthew 19:27-29), in one form or another, and followed Christ.
6. Increase your youth by the holy work of the Church, and do not waste your wealth, being enchanted by the mirage of virtual worlds, as once the sons of Israel and Judah, who did only evil before God in their youth and angered God with the deeds of their hands (Jeremiah 32:30). Set an example for your fellows in speech – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4: 6; Matthew 5:13) – in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity, so that no one may look down on you because you are young (1 Timothy 4:12).
7. In a society of low morals, it is your duty to choose friends of character and seriousness, gentle and noble, godly and wise, according to the proverb: “Tell me who your company is, and I will tell you who you are.” Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). And Solomon draws attention to the unlikely friendships that sometimes drag you down, not up: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20).
8. Multiply your talents entrusted to you by God with a sense of responsibility and character, honesty and devotion; sow convincing beliefs around you and always show seriousness, perseverance and, above all, a high level of commitment in everything you are allowed to do.
9. Convert your inner Saul into Paul, for it is on the verge of disgrace to seem righteous without being one, and preach Christ and the values of His gospel to the Gentiles. Make your life a doxology brought to God! Rise your mind and heart, and pour out your soul before God in prayer and thanksgiving!
10. Be steadfast in keeping your promises; put on the mantle of perfect living in Christ and His Church, to make a world according to the measure and will of the Most Merciful God!
So help you God!
Archbishop of Suceava and Radauti
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene / Files
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