VATICAN CITY (EWTN NEWS)— Young people should not be afraid to ask the big questions in life, such as “Who are we? Where do we come from? For whom do we live?” Pope Benedict told the youth of the Diocese of San Marino-Motefeltro on June 19.
“Man cannot live without this search for the truth about himself; truth that spurs us towards new horizons and to go beyond what is merely material, not to escape from reality, but to live a more authentic life, richer in meaning and hope,” he said.
The Sunday address was the conclusion of the Pope’s one-day visit to the diocese, part of which contains the small independent state of San Marino. The gathering was in the Italian half of the diocese in the town of Pennabilli. On a sun-kissed evening in the small cathedral square, the Pope drew a parallel with one particular story from the life of Jesus.
“A young man ran up and knelt down and asked him this question: ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’”
The Pope suggested to the 4,000 young people present that these are exactly the sort of big questions that they should be asking. What’s more, they shouldn’t settle
for “partial answers,” but only those that bring the “true joy of living,” as they are “built not on sand but on solid rock.”
Christ, said Pope Benedict, gave just such an answer to the young man in the Gospel story: “Come! Follow me!” This, suggested the Pope, was the same answer he gives to young people today.
“The encounter with Christ does not resolve in adhering to a doctrine or a philosophy, but to what he offers: a share in his own life.”
“The word of Christ shows that your life finds meaning in the mystery that God is love! What would your life be without love?” he asked.
“Do not be afraid to face difficult situations, moments of crisis, the trials of life, because the Lord is with you!”
The Pope then gave four pieces of practical advice, which, he said, would help young people to “grow in friendship” with Christ: Read sacred Scripture regularly, receive holy Communion often, be faithful to the Church and seek spiritual direction.
He concluded by urging them not to “succumb to an individualistic and selfish logic,” but to look to the example of young people who’ve sought and achieved holiness over the centuries: “St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, St. Dominic Savio, St. Maria Goretti, Blessed Pier Giorgio, Blessed Alberto Marvelli,” the latter being a 20th-century layman who hailed from the local area.
To the sound of cheers and traditional music, Pope Benedict then imparted his apostolic blessing before beginning his journey by car then helicopter back to the Vatican.