Pastoral Care is an essential aspect of youth ministry. How can we look after our young people and volunteers well, keeping them as well as ourselves safe? When can we break confidentiality? What is the limit to our capacity to pastorally care for someone?
Dear tender and loving God,
I pray that you give me the courage to love and care for those around me. Help us to know that You are our
steadfast companion in both our joyous and sad times. I pray that you send forth Your Holy Spirit in giving me words to say and wisdom to discern on the words and actions needed at any particular time. Lord, I entrust to you all those under my care, especially the young people into your faithful and capable hands. Amen.
In Psalm 23, we know that “God is our Divine Shepherd” and He cares for us. As our Divine Shepherd, He shows us the example to follow in caring for those around us.
Pastoral care can be understood as caring for a person in a holistic way, one which acknowledges the unique physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs of each individual. We, as part of the Church and following the example of Jesus Christ also have a role in this. In 2 Corinthians 1:4, Jesus Christ is the One “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
In Gaudium et Spes (1965), Pope Paul VI shares with us “that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.” (#24)
Therefore, unless we make a sincere gift of ourselves, we are unable to fully find God. It is our calling to make a gift of ourselves to care for and comfort the people of God. This is what makes us a true disciple of Christ.
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