Climbing to the Heights…

“Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart,
Who has not sworn to deceive his neighbor…”
-PS 24-

Invitation to teens and young adults

The spirit of this youth ministry, that may include from a simple ½ day at the local climbing gym (if bad weather) to a few days of tramping or mountaineering, is well encapsulated by Saint John Paul II when he said:

“Mountains are an invitation to ascension not only physically, but spiritually toward a reality that never ends. Here, truly contemplating creation or rather penetrating the wondrous order of the entire universe, one makes a prayer of adoration and of trusting abandonment: Lord, I believe in You, I adore You, I love You, and I hope in You”.Saint John Paul II

This is an invitation to discover the mysterious and hidden presence of our Creator and Father through a physical and spiritual ascent in the silence of high mountains, away from the business and the noise of our modern daily life.

  • This is an invitation to young people to contemplate natural beauties, rather than playing with “virtual realities”. Mountaineering helps healing our modern disease of super-efficiency and clearing the imagination and the memory of polluted images, harmful for the heart and mind of our youth.

    Saint John Paul II said: “The mountain is the most efficacious physician: it heals without having diploma”.

  • The contemplation of God’s creation and not man’s creation prompts to discover what “adoring God” means. Indeed, with the incredible and powerful technologies, modern tools men are building, are we not falling over and over again into the old Babel temptation the prophet Isaiah described:

    “Their Land also is full of idols: they have adored the work of their hands, which their own fingers have made.”(Is. 2, 8)

Is this not a modern idol that enslaves us and isolates us from one another under the pretext of being all interconnected even though we can use the computer for lots of good?

Saint John Paul II reminded young people so often that:

“Man is called to transcend himself. He is called to the mountain not only in its physical, bodily dimension. He is called by God in Jesus Christ. This is the mystical mountain of all generations of human history (…) The alpine walkers, the climbers never walk alone. Especially if they have an ambitious and risky plan, they walk always in two, in three or in four…. So we see how the experience of Christians is similar, because in both there is a challenge. The need to transcend oneself, the need to respond to the one who has transcended us: Jesus Christ.” Saint John Paul II (Les Combes, 20th of July 1989)

  • This is an invitation to help young people finding responses to their numerous questions about true relationships, the sense of the human existence, true happiness, and life after death, etc…

  • During these ascents, we learn to be humble and to accept to let others lead us to the summit, not just the physical summit, but also the summit of prayer, daily Eucharist, fraternal charity, exercised through mutual services according to the last commandment by Jesus: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for another” (John 13, 35).