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A Letter to Young People from the President of Saint Mary’s Press

Dear young friends,

The recent, tragic events continue to leave us all shocked, confused, scared, and sorrowful. At this time, nothing is more important than to turn our hearts to Jesus. Perhaps, we can find comfort in the words of the Holy Father:

There, in the midst of humankind, is the dwelling of Christ, who asks you to dry every tear in his name, and to remind whoever feels lonely that no one whose hope is placed in him is ever alone.

Pray this week. In prayer we become one with Christ who is the source of light and truth. Pray in the quiet of your room. Pray when you gather with friends at school, at practice, or at work. Pray at the church before the Blessed Sacrament. Pray that by God's grace we can be bearers of Christian hope and love.

Turn to the Scriptures this week. Read the sacred Scriptures and listen with your heart to the words of everlasting light. I invite you to join me in reading and praying the words of Luke 6:27-31.

“But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Live the words of Jesus Christ! Let us not be taken in by the words of anger and revenge that are spoken these days out of deep fear and sadness. These feelings are very understandable. But anger and revenge are not the way of truth and life. Jesus reveals the way of truth and life. God reveals the path of everlasting light and calls upon us to be people of compassion, forgiveness, kindness, peace, and hope in the Lord.

Young friends, I do not pretend that the way of Jesus is an easy path, especially in the face of such horror and tragedy. All I know is this: to the depths of my soul, I trust that the way God, our Father, has revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ, is the way of truth and life. Let us all join in solidarity, with the lead of the Spirit, and commit ourselves to prayer, reading the Scriptures, and living the words of Christ Jesus!

Sincerely yours in the Lord,

John M. Vitek
Saint Mary's Press


Published September 11, 2001.