Dear young people, the happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face: It is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. Only he gives the fullness of life to humanity! Be completely convinced of this: Christ takes from you nothing that is beautiful and great, but brings everything to perfection for the glory of God, the happiness of men and women, and the salvation of the world. — POPE BENEDICT XVI

Benedict's Words to Youth

Edward Pentin, who writes for the Register from Rome, said that World Youth Day 2005 will be remembered for the astonishing directness and clarity of Pope Benedict XVI's addresses that sought to reach out to the faithful and beyond. He selected these highlights of Benedict's remarks:

It is only when a young man has had a personal experience of Christ that he can truly understand the Lord's will and consequently his own vocation.

— Meeting with seminarians, Aug. 19

With the help that comes from on high, we will also find practical solutions to the different questions that remain open, and in the end our desire for unity will come to fulfillment, whenever and however the Lord wills. I invite all of you to join me in following this path.

— Ecumenical meeting, Aug. 19

Only from the saints, only from God does true revolution come, the definitive way to change the world. …True revolution consists in simply turning to God who is the measure of what is right and who at the same time is everlasting love. And what could ever save us apart from love?

Making absolute what is not absolute but relative is called totalitarianism. It does not liberate man, but takes away his dignity and enslaves him.

It is not ideologies that save the world, but only a return to the living God.

It is actually consoling to realize that there is darnel in the Church. In this way, despite all our defects, we can still hope to be counted among the disciples of Jesus, who came to call sinners.

The Church is like a human family, but at the same time it is also the great family of God, through which he establishes an overarching communion and unity that embraces every continent, culture and nation.

— Vigil Mass, Marienfeld, Aug. 20

To use an image well known to us today, [the Eucharist] is like inducing nuclear fission in the very heart of being — the victory of love over hatred, the victory of love over death.

Freedom is not simply about enjoying life in total autonomy, but rather about living by the measure of truth and goodness, so that we ourselves can become true and good.

The Eucharist releases the joy that we need so much, and we must learn to grasp it ever more deeply, we must learn to love it.

Religion constructed on a “do-it-yourself” basis cannot ultimately help us. It may be comfortable, but at times of crisis we are left to ourselves.

Let us discover the intimate riches of the Church's liturgy and its true greatness: It is not we who are celebrating for ourselves, but it is the living God himself who is preparing a banquet for us.

— Open Air Mass, Marienfeld, Aug. 21

Young people, in fact, are not looking for a Church that panders to youth but one which is truly young in spirit; a Church completely open to Christ, the new Man.

— Farewell address, Cologne airport, Aug. 21