Don’t Diss Me ‘Cause I’m Young
Angela Santana, my Catholic new media sister, just wrote a great article titled "Don't Diss Me 'Cause I'm Young". In the article, she laments something both of us hear pretty often:
Now, nobody means to offend by that--and, meant as a great compliment, it doesn't offend us--but we find it interesting how little is expected of us by both the world and the Church.
Last year, while I was 24, I focused my reading and devotion on two young saints--St. Therese of Lisieux and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. Both heroes died prematurely at age 24, so I figured we would develop some special communion throughout the year.
I also hoped they could inspire me to greatness, for everything they accomplished they did before the age I am now. Which means I have no excuse not to be a saint. If they could do in 24 years, why not I?
When you look down through the centuries, you see plenty of other young examples. Mary mothered God when she was just a young girl.Perpetua, the early Church martyr, was slain by the sword at age 22. Joan of Arc was burned at 19, the gifted Dominic Savio died at 15, and Maria Goretti was barely a teen when she died heroically. All the holiness, compassion, maturity, wisdom, and virtue they developed was done while they were young.
Therefore, people shouldn't be shocked at our age. When they see a teenager or a young 20-something ablaze for Christ and his Church, they should instead compliment what should be the norm. I think we're too easily impressed today with zeal that past centuries would have expected as ordinary. But the saints--and Christ--introduce a much different scale.
I have so many dead heroes who, were they alive, would look at me now and wonder, "Why haven't you done more?" I think many of these heroes would not say "you're so young!", but would instead inquire:
What do you think?