For a Grandson on His Seventeeth Birthday
Today, you are 17,
On the threshold of manhood,
But manhood not yet.
So, be patient.
For this is God-given time
To enjoy your youth
And grow in His grace.
And to discover
What it really takes to be a man,
A man in the eyes of Christ,
The perfect man,
Fully human.

So what do we wish for you?
We ask God to bless you and to keep you.
To let His face always shine upon you.
And to enfold you in His loving care,
And keep you free from sin and harm,
And make you a channel of His peace.

May God grant you the gift of wisdom.
And may you welcome and cherish that gift,
And live by it.
May you always choose wisely,
Between the goodness that God offers you
And all that masquerades as good,
And urges you to yield
To what is wrong and sinful,
And then laughs in your face
When you have compromised
Your conscience and your love of God.

May you decide wisely,
As to which paths you should walk.
May the beacons God gives you
Through his Church and Commandments
Be your guide through life,
Lighting up your way,
And dispelling fear and darkness.

May you be filled
With the spirit of prayer.
And be assured
Of God’s abiding presence in your life
In good times,
And when the going gets tough.
And amid the clamour and confusion
That plagues a world
That turns its back on God
And insists on going its own way,

May your spirit exult in the Lord your God.
May you discover
And always say “Yes!” to His will for you
And may you know that not you,
But God, is your strength,
Your rock, your fortress.

May you say a resounding “No!”
To temptation, be it of mind or body.
And while you rejoice
In the beauty and the wonder of creation
In whatever form,
May you turn your mind away
From all that would sully it.
May you decide most firmly
To turn walk away from all occasions of sin,
Whatever this may seem to cost.

May you never exploit
The weaknesses in others,
Especially those of the opposite sex,
Or pretend that you cannot help doing so.
May all you meet
Be better for such meeting.

May you always turn your eyes upon Jesus
Who loves you; who died for you; Your only Saviour.
May you welcome the graces
God bestows upon you through the Catholic Church,
Given and guaranteed by Christ Jesus
And may you never make the mistake of walking away from it.
It is Christ’s gift. .
The font of truth, wisdom and holiness and true guide,
Recognise the weaknesses in many of its members,
Remembering that the Church is for both sinner and saint.

May Our Lady be a mother to you.
May you turn to her as Mother,
Certain that she loves you as her son,
And will guide you and present you to Jesus.
May she be the model of womanhood
You see and wish for all the girls you meet.
And may Jesus, brave, and yet so humble,
Be your Lord, Redeemer and trusted friend.

So, may this day be for you a special one,
The beginning of a new chapter
In a life that grows in vigour and in happiness,
And blossoms for the Lord.
May you become the light,
The love and the smile of God,
For those around you,
For your parents, family and friends.
And for the world beyond.

In so striving,
May peace that the world and sin can never give,
Be yours.
This then is our wish and prayer for you,
Today, tomorrow and through the years to come.
It comes with our love.