Pontiff Tells Young Dutch How to Know Christ

Through Prayer, Eucharist and Sacrament of Reconciliation

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 28, 2005 (Zenit.org).- In a message for the first Youth Day held in the Netherlands, Benedict XVI explains to young people how they can come to know Christ.

«Jesus is your authentic friend and Lord,» the Pope said in the message, read in Dutch to the thousands of youths gathered Sunday in Nieuwegein.

«How easy it is to be content with the superficial pleasures that daily life offers us, how easy to live just for oneself, apparently enjoying life!» the Holy Father wrote. «However, sooner or later, we realize that it is not true happiness, as the latter is much more profound: We find it only in Jesus.»

To discover Jesus, Benedict XVI gave young people three personal pieces of advice.

Above all, he recommended prayer. «If you do not know how to pray, ask him [Jesus] to teach you and ask his heavenly Mother to pray with and for you,» the Pope said. «The prayer of the rosary can help you to learn the art of prayer with the simplicity and depth of Mary.»

«He knocks»

Second, the Bishop of Rome invited young people to discover Jesus in the Eucharist, the sacrament of his real presence, where «he knocks on the door of your heart to give you his grace.»

«Go out to meet him in the holy Eucharist, worship him in the churches and remain kneeling before the tabernacle,» the Holy Father exhorted. «Jesus will fill you with his love and will manifest the thoughts of his heart to you.»

Third, Benedict XVI mentioned the sacrament of reconciliation as the place where «Jesus waits for you to forgive your sins and reconcile you with his love through the priest’s ministry.»

«Never feel alone because you are part of the Church, which is a great family,» he added. He encouraged the young people of the Netherlands to go to Jesus who «needs you to renew present-day society.»

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