http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aoOAXqX6tA

 A large part of the work of any apostle is helping others to make good decisions. Sometimes we fall into the trap of believing that if we can give the youth all the right answers, they won’t have trouble making good decisions. But in today’s world, the availability of so many choices and possibilities, especially through systems such as the internet, render this goal illusory.

We must learn to train and teach in the school of freedom. Freedom is a gift of God and something that needs to be developed and formed. Attempts to inhibit it or to simply close off certain doors, have a brief duration and do little in the end to help.

For this, we need to remind the youth that their lives are filled with and constructed upon the decisions they make. The core of their decisions are based on a single fundamental one: the decision to follow Christ. In so far as we encourage and cultivate this decision, the rest will follow.

Sometimes we can get distracted in trying to protect or provide answers for all the difficulties that they will face. This may be helpful to an extent, but it can’t prevent us from transmitting what is most essential: the decision for Christ. The Christian life is indeed a “no” to sin; however, it is above all a “yes” to Christ, to true happiness, and to authentic fulfillment.

As an extra, I would suggest reading this article about prudence:

Prudence, the “mother” of all of the virtues, is the virtue by which a person recognizes his moral duty and the good means to accomplish it. Actually, prudence is part of the definition of goodness. A person can be prudent and good only simultaneously. No other virtue can contradict what is prudent. Therefore, what is prudent is substantially what is good, and prudence is the measure of justice, temperance and fortitude.

A prudent person looks at the concrete reality of a situation with a clear, honest objectivity; references and applies the moral truths (e.g the Ten Commandments or the teachings of the Church); makes a moral judgment; and then commands an action. Moreover, prudence also seeks to accomplish the action in a good way — doing what is good in a good way.

Clearly, prudence is essential for the formation and operation of one’s conscience. To be a prudent person, one must know God’s truth, just as to have a good conscience, one must know God’s truth. One cannot do what is good if one does not know the principles of truth and goodness.