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Pope Francis: letter to young people, “a better world can be built also as a result of your efforts”. “Make your voice heard” like in Krakow

“My dear young people, I am pleased to announce that in October 2018 a Synod of Bishops will take place to treat the topic: ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’”. This is the beginning of Pope Francis’ letter to young people on the day in which the Preparatory Document is presented at the Holy See Press Office. “I wanted you to be the centre of attention, because you are in my heart”, the Pope explained, entrusting the document also “to you as your ‘compass’ on this synodal journey”. “I am reminded – Pope Francis continued – of the words which God spoke to Abraham: ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you’”. “These words – Pope Francis said, commenting on the passage from the Book of Genesis – are now also addressed to you. They are words of a Father who invites you to ‘go’, to set out towards a future which is unknown but one which will surely lead to fulfilment, a future towards which He Himself accompanies you. I invite you to hear God’s voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit”. “When God said to Abram, ‘Go!’, what did he want to say?”, Pope Francis asked. “He certainly did not say to distance himself from his family or withdraw from the world. Abram received a compelling invitation, a challenge, to leave everything and go to a new land. What is this new land for us today, if not a more just and friendly society which you, young people, deeply desire and wish to build to the very ends of the earth?”. “But unfortunately, today, ‘Go!’ also has a different meaning”, the Pope remarked, “namely, that of abuse of power, injustice and war. Many among you are subjected to the real threat of violence and forced to flee their native land. Their cry goes up to God, like that of Israel, when the people were enslaved and oppressed by Pharaoh”. Then the Pope went on to remind young people of “the words that Jesus once said to the disciples who asked him: ‘Teacher, where are you staying?’ He replied, ‘Come and see’. Jesus looks at you and invites you to go with him”. “Dear young people – the Pope asked his addressees -, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? Have you felt this urge to undertake this journey? I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that, even with professional guides, you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God’s plan in your life”. “Even when the journey is uncertain and you fall, God, rich in mercy, will extend his hand to pick you up”, Pope Francis assured, continuing the dialogue he started with young people during WYD in Krakow: “I asked you several times: ‘Can we change things?’ And you shouted: ‘yes!’. That shout came from your young and youthful hearts, which do not tolerate injustice and cannot bow to a ‘throw-away culture’ nor give in to the globalization of indifference. Listen to the cry arising from your inner selves! Even when you feel, like the prophet Jeremiah, the inexperience of youth, God encourages you to go where He sends you: ‘Do not be afraid, because I am with you to deliver you’”. “A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity”, the Pope pointed out. “Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master. The Church also wishes to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith; even your doubts and your criticism. Make your voice heard, let it resonate in communities and let it be heard by your shepherds of souls”. Finally, he quoted St. Benedict who “urged the abbots to consult, even the young, before any important decision, because the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best”.



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