Jimmy Mullaney Column


Faith can guide teens as they approach adulthood


There are many hills that young Catholics have to climb before reaching the point of understanding their faith. In fact, all Catholics, regardless of age, have room to grow in faith and room to deepen their relationship with God.
The challenges faced by teenagers. as they prepare to enter adulthood, are likely different than those obstacles typically faced by older adults or younger children. Some obstacles are larger than others and many of these involve peer pressure, as often seen in the introduction of teens to drugs, alcohol, violence, sex and other temptations brought on by popular culture. It is human nature to want to fit in, to be accepted, to do what is "cool." Such temptations can have a serious effect on a young mind, and falling to such temptations brings a risk that a teen's faith could be altered for a long period of time.
As I prepare to graduate from high school and enter my college years, I realize I am entering a window of my life that will challenge my faith in ways I probably can't yet imagine. It may be the time in my life when my faith is challenged more than any other time. Peer pressure will continue, but I expect it to intensify. As I become more independent and gradually move out from my parents' watch, I will be forced to make more decisions on my own. These decisions will have greater ramifications than the ones I made in high school.
However, I think I have the right prescription to fight off a case of society's temptations. The target of many of these temptations – my faith – is exactly what I will turn to so I can remain strong.
My faith will help guide me in making wise choices. My upbringing in the Church, strong family support and the gift of having been able to attend Catholic schools has taught me that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. I will challenge myself to overcome temptations and follow the Gospel of Jesus, knowing that what is popular in the secular world may not be "right" in the world I aspire to be part of.
I hope to use prayer to deepen my relationship with Jesus. In fact, He taught us the Lord's Prayer to use as a guideline for our own lives. When we pray the "Our Father," we profess an unconditional willingness to accept God's will, request his presence in the Eucharist – "our daily bread" – and we ask to be forgiven just as we are willing to forgive. If we live by faith, our Heavenly Father will "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
It is an outline for success, happiness and, ultimately, salvation.
And a great way to begin adulthood.



Jimmy Mullaney is a senior at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .

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