Many young adults and teenagers are looking for meaning in their lives. Blessed Are the Bored in Spirit: A Young Catholic’s Search for Meaning by Mark Hart (St. Anthony Messenger Press — Servant Books, 2006) could be of help to them. The author is a young adult himself who has experienced some of those questioning moments in life. Hart is the vice president of LIFE TEEN International, a Catholic youth ministry organization and he gives conferences, retreats and missions for teens and adults around the world.
Hart discusses various topics that are important to teens and young adults, including church attendance, sexuality, a relationship with God, alcohol and drugs, body image, self esteem, morality, and other related subjects. He approaches these issues in a down-to-earth way. This book is geared for Catholic young people, but others can benefit from this book too. Hart quotes from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other documents, but he also uses examples from his own life experience to show young people how they can live a good Christian life. It is not an easy life, but it can lead to holiness.
The title Blessed are the Bored in Spirit: A Young Catholic’s Search for Meaning is appropriate since some teens and young adults are bored with their lives especially their religious or spiritual lives. They are bored with religious worship like the Mass and do not really want to have anything to do with “so-called” organized religion. Many are looking for excitement or something lively; just look at what the young people have done at the World Youth Days under Pope John Paul II and also now under Pope Benedict XVI. They want a real and living faith. This book does encourage this, but Hart shows the young that sometimes they need to enliven the situation they are in to improve things for themselves. They might benefit from learning more about Scripture, the Mass, the other Sacraments, and what Christianity is all about. It is not just going to church for one hour a week and enduring some “boring” liturgy. Hart’s book is an encouragement to live the Christian life to the fullest.
Hart is also the author of Ask the Bible Geek: Answers to Questions from Catholic Teens (2003). Blessed are the Bored in Spirit: A Young Catholic’s Search for Meaning is recommended to all young people and to their parents, family, friends, and teachers.
Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., writes from St. Gregory's University, Shawnee, Oklahoma.