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At times, it can be difficult to speak with teens about the bigger questions in life. We know instinctively that, despite how they can be characterised by the media, young people are deep thinkers and natural doers, and we want to be able to encourage them in pursuit of highest ideals.
They have serious questions that need serious answers.
“What is my life for? What are my passions, hopes and ideals? Where do I belong and get my identity and meaning? Where, ultimately, will I find that ‘infinite joy’ for which I was made and my heart craves?”
Speaking directly to the deepest desires of young students to do more and be more, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP identifies these questions and others as being those which occupy the hearts and minds of young people in the introduction to his new book, My Dear Young Friend.
In 40 short letters, Archbishop Fisher seeks to respond to some of the questions so important to young people today.
With letters on topics such as truth, vulnerability, friendship, leadership, the problem of suffering, fear, vocation, mercy and new beginnings, the Archbishop provides short but nourishing answers to the big questions of life.
The book was written in response to questions that young people have raised with Archbishop Fisher over the years, throughout his pastoral ministry.
Some of the questions, he realises, won’t be relevant to everyone, so he encourages them to read and re-read the ones that most capture their attention, and to “give the ones that bore you a miss”.
“Ponder, puzzle, wrestle with them,” he invites the young reader. “These are matters worth struggling with, laughing and crying over.”
In the book, Archbishop Fisher does not just respond to questions, but also challenges young people to reject complacency and instead to strive for greatness.
“What next moves would make the most of me? In other words: what movie am I making with my choices and what is becoming of the main character?”
Addressing young people at the book launch recently, Archbishop Fisher encouraged those present to aim high: “Not only should you think deep, you should also think big. Think in terms of your country, your Church, the whole natural world and the whole social world.”
The book is an invaluable resource for teens, who will read in it questions they have asked themselves many times, and be affirmed that they are not the only ones who are pondering the big ideals.