In today’s world, more and more alien notions penetrate our spiritual values. In society, the denial of the concept of sin as evil and spiritually destructing and the deviation from the Christian rules and traditions of the Church has become the norm of life. Godless values are being forcibly imposed in the minds and souls of people. Today, mass culture, or rather anti-culture, is permeated with selfish motives, calls to live for oneself and taking everything from life.
These principles of the sinful way of life is far from Christian morality. Magic, occultism, freedom of sexual promiscuity, cruelty, selfishness, aggression, triumph of passions – all this is infinitely far from the spiritual values preached in Orthodoxy. Today, almost nothing is said about teaching the importance of chastity, respect for elders, the veneration of historical traditions and the formation of a strong family.
I would like to appeal to our priests. The future of our Church depends on youth, thus, it is necessary to establish an approach and manner for talking with young people and creating an atmosphere of trust and Christian love. It is necessary to be receptive and supportive of their good initiatives and not to restrain their abilities and talents.
There are many young people who put effort into our Church. People with strong wills who have made their choice, having left the world of their peers, complete sin and vices. Old Believer youth are special people who deserve careful, attentive attitude on the part of elders. In the community, it is necessary to create opportunities for the discovery and development of their spiritual talents and abilities. When communicating with young people, avoid using authoritarian pressure, dictating and scrupulous teaching. We must learn to speak in an understandable and accessible language, while avoiding over-familiarity, inappropriate relations and switching to youth jargon.
Young people are drawn to interacting with their peers, therefore, we need to help organise youth interest associations within communities, involve them in parish life and organise joint vacations and pilgrim excursions. Participation in cross processions with pastors and elder parishioners also greatly unites and spiritually enriches the youth. Bringing youth together and supporting harmonious, spiritual and physical development can also be possible through sport.
When counselling youth on life problems, it is important to find that approach to young souls that will not push them away with harsh pressure or that does not demand for absolute obedience, but to try to help with kind advice, based on love for one’s neighbour, without infringing the God-given freedom of choice between good and evil.
Of course, our youth are all different and youth should not be idealized or judged superficially and one-sidedly. However, I would like to note that youth has the ability to search for a spiritual ideal, without cynical calculation. This is evident from the bright faces
of many young people. They are acutely aware of all insincerity and falsehood. They have optimism and the desire to change the world for the better – and this is heartening.
I would like to conclude by wishing our youth spiritual salvation, to preserve cleanliness and openness, to live a happy Orthodox life, to learn to recognize and fight against sin and vices, to know and maintain a firm faith and to have Christian love to the end of their lives.