Dear Men of The Class of 2017:
Somehow it’s already June, so most of you have been through commencement by this point. Your high school classes, teachers, and friends are already a distant memory. You’re likely enjoying the long summer days doing anything but school work. Many of you are now looking ahead to college, or perhaps a job. You probably feel a sense of freedom: from the rules and restrictions of your school, from the responsibility of classes, and likely from your parents. This is a time of enormous change; in many respects, a new life awaits you.
Don’t let the news headlines get you down – you have much to be optimistic about for the future. The world needs your enthusiasm, your creativity, your vitality, your zest for life. It especially needs your Faith and your Witness. These are the attributes the world needs. Are you ready and willing to boldly be the man you are called to be? Will you be the face of Christ in an unbelieving world?
You and your classmates are some of the last people to be born in the 20th century – a century full of wars, killing, oppression, and vice, but also a century replete with examples of courage, honor, virtue, and freedom. The 20th century saw rapid and dramatic change in all facets of life, including in the Church. Don’t be hindered by the baggage of past generations. If you have the eyes to see, you will be able to see the world with a fresh perspective. Uninfluenced by the world’s duplicity and complicity with evil, you could be the catalyst for dramatic change.
Yes, evil exists in the world: don’t contribute to it. Whether you are heading off to college, starting a job, or pursuing something else in your life, be a man of forthrightness, honor, and virtue. Resist the social pressures to party with your so-called “friends” in ways unbecoming of real men. Though you will face them constantly, never entertain temptations against chastity. Stand up for real justice, especially for the unborn, the defenseless, and the marginalized; don’t feign outrage over politically convenient “justice” which is popular in lecture halls and on college quads. Be humble enough to serve others and be proud enough to share the love of Christ with them.
The surest way to be the man you need to be in today’s world is through self-mastery. One of the best ways to achieve that is through Exodus 90. One of the best times to start Exodus 90 is right now, during the summer months, before you begin one of the most memorable (and most dangerous) times in your life. The freedom you feel right now on the cusp of a new phase of life is but a shadow of the authentic freedom you can experience after Exodus. The world’s freedom and pleasures are fleeting and shallow. The world tells you freedom requires nothing. God’s freedom is complete and lasting, but it’s difficult.
The world needs men who are truly free. Will you be one?