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Monday, December 22, 2008


VATICAN CITY, 20 DEC 2008 (VIS) - Today Benedict XVI received in the Vatican the children and young adult representatives of Italian Catholic Action (ACI) for the traditional exchange of Christmas good wishes.

"Many say that youth", the Pope stated, "are capricious, that they are never happy with anything, that they run through games one after the other without ever being satisfied. You instead say to Jesus: 'You are enough for me'!".

"You are enough for us", he continued, "above all when we pray that You always hear our prayers that we might make the world a more beautiful and better place for all. You are enough for us because You forgive us when we have done wrong; You are enough for us because if we become lost You look for us and take us in Your arms like You did with the lost sheep. You are enough for us because You have a beautiful Mother who, before You died on the cross, You asked to be also our Mother".

The Holy Father emphasized that the youngest members of ACI "have many teachers who help you to live together, to pray, and to grow in knowledge of the Gospel. The true goal of Catholic Action is to help you become holy: that is why it helps you to meet Jesus, to love His Church, and to take interest in the world's problems. Isn't it true that you are taking care of children who are less fortunate than yourselves? Isn't it true that, with your 'month of peace' you show, even many adults, how to appreciate peace because you know how to live in peace amongst yourselves?".

"Pray to the Lord", he finished, "that He change the hearts of those who make weapons, that He make terrorists come to their senses, that He convert the hearts of those who are always thinking of war, and that He help humanity build a better future for all the children of the world".

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