Heavenly Father, bless the youth of our world. Help us to encourage their dreams and nurture their minds. Help us also to teach them to follow in Your footsteps, putting You ahead of their needs and personal schedules. Amen.
Jesus, they stand at the crossroads, our youth. They no longer trustfully accept the values or directions of their seniors unless these have integrity enough to override worldly values.
Grant us grace to live and love in cheerful and sincere witness of Your gospel, striving for goodness, justice, and unselfish caring in the way that we deal with them. Thus, they may perceive the value and validity of Christian (Catholic) commitment. Let them recognise, however, that they can no more expect us to be perfect and faultless than we should expect perfection of them.
By not demanding more than they can reasonably offer, let them see that while none of us is perfect, each ought to try for one’s best according to nature and ability. Grant us wisdom and love to permit them their freedom to follow their own directions, which are as valid to them as ours are to ourselves.
Give us grace to understand and to forgive their mistakes, knowing that we ourselves frequently err. Grant them to discover You through our understanding and forgiveness, and lead them to find healing and growth in Scripture and in Your Sacraments. Let us witness to them, without trying to break them to our mature wisdom, lest we, by our inflexibility or judgement, cause anyone to lose himself/herself and You for a time or forever.
The pain in our hearts they may not understand until in their own young they confront these moments of anxiety, conflict and uncertainty.
Heal our hearts and minds with hope. Give us trust in Your hidden leading and protection of them, so that we respond to them gently, steadily, wisely, and with peace. Help us to preserve their balance and identity, to foster their reverence for and nurture of Your unique image within themselves and in others for the way that we love and respect them.
Grant Your light to illuminate their paths, so that they may see to clear away errors and barriers that dim the wonderful unique celebration of Your living image within them.
Dear Jesus, we confess our frailty, our sinfulness, our meagre witness, and appeal humbly to You. We cannot contend alone with such sensitive and crucial responsibility regarding our young ones, and our anxieties may sometimes threaten to swamp our faith or judgement. Please help us to be wise, trusting and mature.
Our failures and mistakes regarding them appear to remain as crosses in their lives and in our hearts. Please do not allow our sadness to become self-recrimination, nor impatience towards them. Let it simply be confident prayer that You will take them to your heart, and fill them with Your Spirit to heal them and lead them patiently into the way of Your living gospel. If this path is long and arduous, please grant us the powerful faith of a Monica.
Whatever paths they wander by, our children — through us, their elders put Your hand gently on their shoulders, steady and warm. Look into their eyes with deep caring and friendship. Let them see their preciousness, their rich possibilities, and their kinship in You.
Let them know that they can share their laughter as well as their sorrows. Eat bread with them, listen and respond. Teach by example that is cheerful, faithful, gentle, and strong. Walk with us beside them supportively without intrusion—letting go, as their need requires but always prayerfully near in the quiet presence of Your Spirit.
Thank You, dear Jesus who loves our young ones more than we fathom. You are our hope for them.