We hear so much about how teenagers are only interested in video games, dating, sex, and what grade they got on Friday's math test. But in my experience, many of our young people are passionate about the world in which they live and about issues that have real implications for our lives together. They do have something important to say, but they also know that most of the adult world simply doesn't want to listen.
The Church as a whole could take a lesson from all this. We so often relegate teenagers to the periphery of religious life, as if they are Christians-in-training. The truth is that they are moral beings just like the rest of us, trying to make sense of the challenges of the world while journeying on the road of faith where answers often do not come easily. Even when their values and beliefs don't match up with our own, we should support our youth who are willing to say, "Here I stand."