What an amazing spectacle of young and engaged faith we are living tonight! Tonight Loreto has become, thanks to you, the spiritual capital of the youth – the center of convergence for the multitudes of young people who inhabit the five continents.At this moment, we feel surrounded by the expectations and hopes of millions of young people of the whole world. Right now, some are staying up, some are sleeping, some are studying or working. Some are hopeful and others are desperate; some believe, and others cannot get themselves to believe; some love life while others are wasting it. I would like my words to reach everyone: the Pope is close to you, he shares your joys and your pains; above all, I share your most intimate hopes; and for each of you, I ask the Lord the gift of a full and happy life, a life that is rich in sense, a true life.
Unfortunately today, not unusually, a full and happy existence is seen by many young people as a difficult dream, and sometimes almost unrealizable. So many of your contemporaries look at the future with apprehension and ask themselves many questions.
They are concerned about how to fit themselves into a society marked by numerous and grave injustices and sufferings. How to react to the selfishness and violence which often seem to predominate. How to give a sense of fullness to life.
With love and conviction, I repeat to you, who are present here, and through you, to your contemporaries around the world: Do not be afraid! Christ can fulfill the most intimate aspirations of your heart. Are there are unreliable dreams when it is the Spirit of God who inspires and cultivates them in the heart? Is there anything that could dampen our enthusiasm if we are united with Christ? Nothing and no one, the Apostle Paul would say, can ever separate us from the love of God, in Jesus Christ, our Lord (cf Rom 8,35-39).
Allow me to repeat this to you tonight: if yo0u stay one with Christ, each of you can do great things. That is why, dear friends, you should not be afraid to dream with open eyes about great plans for good, and you should not allow yourselves to be discouraged by difficulties.
Christ has confidence in you and he wants you to realize each of your noble dreams for authentic happiness. Nothing is impossible for whoever trusts in God and entrusts himself to him.
Look at the young Mary! The Angel proposed to her something truly inconceivable: to participate in the most intimate way possible in God�s greatest plan, the salvation of humanity. Before such a proposal, Mary was troubled, aware of the smallness of her being compared to God�s omnipotence, and so she asked: How is it possible, why me? But she was willing to fulfill the divine will, and readily gave her Yes, which changed her life and the story of all mankind. Thanks to that Yes, we are here together tonight.
I ask myself and you: Can the requests that God makes of us – no matter how demanding they may seem to be – ever equal that which God asked of the young Mary? Dear boys and girls, let us learn from Mary to say Yes, because she knows what it means to answer generously to the requests of the Lord.
Dear young people, Mary knows your most noble and deepest aspirations. Above all, she knows your great desire for love, your need to love and be loved. Looking at her, following her obediently, you will discover the beauty of love – not a throwaway love, fleeting and deceptive, imprisoned in a selfish and materialistic mentality – but true and profound love.
|Amy Welborn and Papa Ratzinger Forum|