Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 29, 2010
Nurture great hopes, pope urges youth
In annual WYD message, Benedict recommends path of love, faith
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict urged young people to follow their dreams, dedicate their talents to the common good, and grow in love and faith.
The pope told the world's young Catholics to not let life's difficulties lead to discouragement.
"Instead nurture in your heart great hopes for fraternity, justice and peace. The future is in the hands of those who know how to seek and find strong convictions in life and hope," he said in his message for World Youth Day 2010.
Most dioceses mark World Youth Day on Palm Sunday, March 28.
In his message, the pope asked young people to build a more just world.
Changing the world means "allowing your talents and potential to bear fruit and committing yourself to constantly growing in faith and love," he said.
The theme the pope chose for the 2010 celebration was from Jesus' encounter with the rich young man in St. Mark's Gospel: "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Pope Benedict noted that 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of the institution of World Youth Day.
In his message he told young people to not be afraid of confronting difficult questions about life such as: What makes life a success, and what gives meaning to life?
LIFE AND HAPPINESS
Such questions need real answers that will fulfill "your authentic expectations for life and happiness," he said. The answers will come from listening to God, who has a loving plan for each and every person on earth, he added.
The sadness felt by the rich young man in the Gospel account when he left Jesus is the same sadness that "springs in the heart of everyone when he doesn't have the courage to follow Christ and carry out the right choice. But it is never too late to answer him," the pope said.
Jesus showed that the Ten Commandments are the essential guidelines for forming a conscience built on divine law, developing a sense of good and evil, and living a life of love, he said.
Following God's law goes against the modern mentality, which advocates a life completely free from limits, rules and objective norms and values so as to be able to follow one's own desires, he said.
Such a lifestyle doesn't bring true freedom, he said. Rather it turns people into slaves to their immediate desires and to idols such as power and money. "The commandments don't limit happiness, but rather show how to find it."
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