but their families and friends and anyone in alignment of life with Christ. Pope Francis the community praying for and connected warns that we cannot truly know the with the stateside and international pilgrims). “person’s situation” before God from Furthermore, the leader is not accompanying “without.”18 This means that a compassionate pilgrims by him or herself. Jesus Christ, fellow listener can challenge another person to pilgrims, the pope, and others encountered greater spiritual growth. Pope Francis says along the way are also accompanying them. that the “The Gospel tells us to correct others Added to this, the leader is one who is also on and to help them grow on the basis of a the journey with others in the group and recognition of the objective evil of their witnesses a relationship with God. Leaders actions (cf. Mt 18:15), but without making themselves are pilgrims. judgments about their responsibility and culpability (cf. Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37).”19 As Pope Francis said, “Although it sounds obvious, spiritual accompaniment must lead The leader can keep this very careful balance others ever closer to God, in whom we attain through personal recognition of one’s own true freedom.”16 Pope Francis in his apostolic sinfulness and need for growth in life in exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, teaches that Christ. Everyone is in need of the mercy and good spiritual accompaniment includes what love of God; a profound awareness of this might be called growth-inducing acceptance fact should be an important and meaningful and evangelizing service.17 experience during a pilgrimage. Acceptance and Challenge All who experience the stateside World None of us is completely or fully-grown in Youth Days will come with their own our relationship with Jesus Christ and our struggles, sinfulness, and personal frustrations. neighbor. We are all in need of on-going Sometimes it is openly shared, and sometimes growth, but often we need others we trust to not. Good leaders recognize this and can show us some of the things we need to work accompany these young people through on. The pilgrim leader can offer acceptance of their presence, invitation, and encouragement another person, but in a way that challenges that can lead pilgrims to a greater alignment that person to a deeper relationship and with the Gospel. 16 17 Evangelii Gaudium, 170. Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 171-173. 18 19 19 Evangelii Gaudium, 172. Ibid.