Youth Urged to Look For Source of Their Hope

Pontiff Sends Message to Ecumenical Taizé Meeting

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 19, 2008 ( In a message to the young people who will take part in the Taizé Community’s 31st European meeting, Benedict XVI says that such gatherings offer youth a time to ask a fundamental question.

The Pope affirmed this in a message sent in his name by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the Taizé encounter that will gather some 40,000 youth in Brussels from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1.

The Pontiff said the encounter offers the youth «an opportunity to ask yourselves this question: What is the source from which we draw life?»

«You are searching for the source of a hope for yourselves and for the world,» he explained, «by opening yourself to Christ through praying and listening to his Word, by sharing your aspirations with young people from throughout Europe and from other continents, by experiencing the Church as a place of communion and friendship for all.»

He continued: «The Pope feels close to you in your pilgrimage of trust on earth, launched years ago by dear Brother Roger. He is confident that you will discover how to communicate hope around you, by committing your lives in a world where there is too much poverty, injustice and conflict. God needs your faith, your creativity, your spirit of initiative.

«To respond to his call, he gives you the presence of his Spirit, who will renew your strength when you are tired or weary. Sustained by the Holy Spirit, do not be afraid to give an account of the hope that he places in you. Do not be afraid to let your hearts become larger.»

«In entrusting you to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of believers, His Holiness Benedict XVI grants an affectionate apostolic blessing, with all his heart, to you as well as to the brothers of Taizé, to all the people who have organized this pilgrimage, to the pastors and the faithful who are welcoming you, and to your families.»

The Taizé Community was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schutz. He was stabbed to death Aug. 16, 2005, by a mentally unbalanced woman during a prayer meeting.

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