March 16, 2010 // Uncategorized

Pope urges young people to follow their dreams, grow in love, faith

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI 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.

The Vatican and most dioceses around the world will mark World Youth Day on Palm Sunday, March 28.

In his message, released in Italian and French by the Vatican March 15, the pope asked young people to build a more just and fair world.

Changing the world for the better does not have to mean “performing heroic or extraordinary acts, but 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, which he called “a prophetic initiative that has brought abundant fruits.”

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?

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,” he said.

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