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Thursday, December 18, 2014


Vatican City, 18 December 2014 (VIS) - “I have heard that this year you are working on a theme with the slogan 'Everything to Discover'. It's a beautiful journey, one which requires courage and the hard work of exploring to then rejoice when the plan that Jesus has for each of us is discovered.” This is what Pope Frances told the youth of Catholic Action Italy this morning when he met with them in the Vatican. Regarding their theme, especially the word “everything”, the Holy Father offered some advice for “walking well in Catholic Action, in your family, and in your communities”.

Never give up,” he said, “because what Jesus thought for your path is something to be built together: together with your parents, your brothers and sisters, and your friends from school, from catechism, from your parishes, and from Catholic Action. Concern yourselves with the needs of the poorest, those suffering the most, and those who are most lonely because whoever has chosen to love Jesus cannot not love their neighbor. Your journey in Catholic Action, therefore, will become total love.”

The Pope asked them not to forget the Church and her priests, and to put themselves at the service of their community, “because the Church is not just priests and bishops, but the entire community. So put yourselves at the service of the community. Give of your time, energy, personal qualities and skills in your parishes and thus bear witness that the wealth of each is a gift from God that should be fully shared.” He also encouraged them to be apostles of peace and serenity starting with their families. Remind your parents, siblings, and peers that it is beautiful to love one another and that misunderstandings can be overcome because, united to Jesus, everything is possible.” To that end, Pope Francis encouraged them to talk to Jesus in prayer. “He is your best friend who will never abandon you. Entrust your joys and sorrows to Him. Turn to Him any time you make a mistake or do something wrong. You can be sure that He will forgive you. And speak to all of Jesus, of his love, his mercy, his tenderness, because friendship with Jesus—who gave himself for us—is an event that must be told.”

Finally, he emphasized that “with the grace of his birth, Jesus wants to help us take a stronger, safer, and happier step toward being his disciples” and that it only takes a few words, which our Mother, the Virgin, teaches us; the words of her response to the Lord's call; “Here I am.”

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