The Strength of Young Men
1 John 2:13
I write to you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I write to you, young men…

"The glory of young men is their strength." Every lad who is worth his salt desires the strength of fuller years, the sphere of influence, the consciousness of life, the power to protect the weak, to serve the greater, and to take his place in the front of the battle of life. Mothers lean on the arm of their firstborn with a half-concealed but conscious pride. Sisters admire and almost worship the bursting flower of their elder brother's strength.

1. This hope of the world must not be confounded with mere muscle. Strength without wisdom, skill, or self-repression, strength devoted to an unworthy or insufficient end, scarcely deserves its name.

2. Again, strength must not be confounded with the proverbial infallibility of youth.

3. Once more, strength is sometimes confounded with insensibility, which is due to imperfect appreciation of reality and a feeble imagination. Wherefore, laying aside all mere muscle, ludicrous self-consciousness, dulness of perception, uncharitable sense of superior wisdom, and the obstinacy of simulated virtue, let us clearly seize, if possible, and utilise that strength of the young which is their glory and the master power of the world.

(1) The strength which the world and the Church yearn for is the youthful (virtus) courage, which, when a great end or lofty ideal has dawned like awful sunrise on the soul, counts all things but loss in comparison of its triumph. The young braved the courtly prelates and crowned kings of the world, and through a life long martyrdom maintained the Word which had been flashed in blazing light upon his inmost conscience. The glory of young men is their strength to do battle for a cause larger than themselves, and dearer to themselves than life.

(2) Another noble feature of the young man's strength is in his power to endure hardness, from which often the older man shrinks baffled. The young man can afford to wait at his post of duty, like the sentinel who has the fate of an army in his hands, like the sea pilot in a storm, or the lighthouse man with the fleets of the channel at his mercy. He can endure as seeing Him who is invisible. The direction of physical force, of stored energy, by wisdom and skill is the wonder of the modern world; but the consecration of the young man's strength by the free reception and indwelling of the mind of Christ is the hope of the Catholic Church of the Living God.

(H. R. Reynolds, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

WEB: I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, little children, because you know the Father.

The Hopefulness of Youthful Strength
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