Carlo Acutis, an Italian teenager who used his computer programming skills to spread devotion to the Eucharist. CNS photo/courtesy Sainthood Cause of Carlo Acutis

Speaking Out: We are not alone in sacred mission

By  Mary French, Youth Speak News
  • September 8, 2021

One Sunday last month, I stood in my home church in Barrie, Ont., that was overflowing with visitors. It was truly a great sight to see and reminded me of pre-COVID days when churches were often full like this.

However, after Communion, people began to trickle out. I was one of only five people who saw Mass through to its completion, and I was overcome by an incredible sense of loneliness.

Keeping the faith is hard. Everyone faces doubt, confusion, maybe even frustration regarding their faith. As a young person, it’s even harder when your deep sense of community is missing.

I used to argue with God about why, if He wants people to believe in Him, He doesn’t just make it easier for us. Why can’t He create some miracle, speak to us, something! But over the years I realized that God does speak to us: He is present in the people of faith around us who witness God to others through their lives.

As young people, we are called to bring Christ into our generation and our daily lives. This mission is sacred, very important and, yet incredibly challenging. But we are not alone!

Take the story of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis (1991-2006), for example, who is now on the path to sainthood. Born in London, England, and raised in Italy, Acutis was a typical youth: he enjoyed gaming with friends, watching Pokémon, playing sports and taking care of his family dogs. From a very young age, he was also enamoured by his Catholic faith.

Deemed “patron saint of the Internet,” Acutis dedicated the last years of his young life, before he would ultimately die from leukemia, to composing a database of all the eucharistic miracles from around the world. He created a website with which to share these incredible true stories with the world (miracolieucaristici.org/en/Liste/list.html). 

Acutis has already received the title “Blessed.” His body to this day remains incorrupt, as though he were merely sleeping. Several miracles have already been attributed to him. One of them was in 2019, when the Vatican’s Medical Council of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints credited intercession to Acutis for healing a teenager named Mattheus’ pancreatic defect. What a great witness to young people today!

Acutis gave us something that can be hard to find: hope. Hope that there are other youth who share our faith and seek refuge in the continued real presence of God in the world today. We are not alone.

The Eucharist is the food of our soul. It prompts us to go out and be the presence of Christ in the world, in the ordinary. Our faith poses the radical notion: that we are each called to impact the world in our own unique way, and that we are incredibly important. It’s easy to forget how great a love and responsibility we hold.

God’s love calls us to communion not only with Him, but with the people of the world. 

(French, 22, has a Bachelor’s of Catholic Studies from Seat of Wisdom College and lives in Barrie, Ont.)

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