YOUTH DIVEFor Catholic YouthsLOVE AND EXPERIENCE GOD 🙂
Hi. My name is Andrew. Before I started this community, I noticed that most youth groups basically had only two instructions for everyone teenager or young adult willing to live a holy life:
- Don’t have sex.
- Stay in school.
These are wonderful pieces of advice. However, I couldn’t help but wonder if a Catholic youth’s life circles around sex and school.
When we are little children, we’re taught to obey everything our elders tell us. When we are teens, we’re taught to be in school and not to have sex. So, from birth to adolescence, we’ve learnt three important things about life: obedience, love for knowledge, and chastity. True, these are valuable lessons.
However, I noticed that 90% of the time, these instructions just come as a list of dos and don'ts. Very few of the instructors care to break it down to the practical level. Catholicism becomes largely theorized as an “ideal state that we should all struggle in futility to attain.” I had a lot of questions, especially concerning chastity and holiness. In our day today, there's an increase in sexual sins, pornography, vulgar music, homosexuality, satanism, and all what not, and all the biggest strategy we are to implement is, “Stay away from sin”? That's not a strategy. Where are the steps? How does one find God?
That's not all. When we become adults, we’re expected to know how to have godly relationships, start businesses, create things, work effectively in jobs, be good leaders, know how to invest properly, evangelize, help the poor and homeless, build and care for families, and so many more things. About 85% of what is expected of adults is never taught to them as youngsters. Most of them end up making bad decisions in life, or disregarding Catholicism entirely in order to be “realistic in the real world” and make something of themselves. And many who claim to be Catholics live lives that sharply contrast the lives of the saints.
As a result, we have an increase in “do you”, “self-love”, and “I am the creator of my own destiny” trends. Sexual sins are called “love” and atheism is called “freedom and knowledge.” Without proper guidance, most children grow up to believe they are the ones to create themselves and build themselves into whatever they want to be. There’s less trust and dependence on God, and more dependence on the self.
The turning point
After a little more research, I realized that I definitely drew a hasty conclusion. Everything we need to have good, sound, and healthy lives is taught by the Catholic Church in step-by-step format. The problem is that, because so many people have fallen for the self-love-do-you propaganda, it is easier to find topics on those things than to find what the Catholic Church teaches. And even when you do find those topics, they never seem to be in the same place. You can have a material that talks about the Catholic view point on marriage, for instance, but never mentions anything about politics, business, music, or relationships; topics that growing Catholics need.
Youth DIVE community was formed to teach you that is within your capabilities to live out every aspect of your life through the lens of Catholicism. Catholicism, therefore, is not just to be a religion that is turned on during certain situations, but is meant to be a culture to be lived out in all works of life.
As a community, we grow by asking questions and teaching each other using the Bible and the teachings of the Catholic Church, so that each Diver is a stronger Catholic in Youth DIVE than they were before they came. The dos and don'ts we're used to hearing make a lot more sense now, and are easier to live by. Each Diver learns that it isn't that God just wants to punish us with so many responsibilities, but that through the church, he wishes to save mankind.
The ultimate aim
Our purpose is that every Diver is motivated to grow spiritually. Through this increase in their spirituality, their family members, friends, and neighbours are also motivated to grow in relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Ultimately, the Youth DIVE community is called to respond to the mission given to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ:
“You are to minister to the poor, the poorest of the poor, and the dying on the streets.”