Benedict XVI: Humanity Is Made to Love

Sends Message to International Youth Forum

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 24, 2010 ( The true vocation of each person is to love, and man will find fulfillment in life only in the measure that he learns to love, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this in a message sent to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to the participants in the 10th International Youth Forum being held in Rocca di Papa on the theme “Learn to Love.”
In the letter the Pope said the theme is one that is “central to the Christian faith and life,” and that the “starting point of any reflection on love is the mystery itself of God, given that the heart of Christian revelation is this: ‘Deus caritas est.”

“In his Passion, in his total self-giving, Christ has revealed to us the face of God that is Love,” he said. “Contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity makes us enter into this mystery of eternal Love, which is fundamental for us.

“By the very fact that God is love and man is in his image and likeness, we understand the profound identity of the person, his vocation to love.”

“Man is made to love; his life is fully realized only if he lives in love,” the Pontiff added.

Benedict XVI urged the youth participating in the forum “to search with all their heart to discover their vocation to love, as persons and as baptized.”

“This is the key to the whole of existence,” he explained. “Thus they will be able to invest all their energies in approaching the goal day after day, sustained by the Word of God and by the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist.”

Priesthood and marriage
The Holy Father noted that “the vocation to love” looks differently depending on one’s state in life.

With regard to priests, he recalled the words of the St. John Mary Vianney, known as the Curé d’Ars, who said that “the priesthood is love of the heart of Jesus.”

“In following Jesus, many priests have given their life, so that the faithful can live of the love of Christ,” the Pontiff reflected. “Called by God to give themselves entirely to him, with an integral heart, persons consecrated in celibacy are also a sign of the love of God for the world and of the vocation to love God above all.”
Benedict XVI urged the young people to also “discover the grandeur and beauty of marriage,” which he said “assumes an immense dignity” because it “reflects divine love in a completely special way.”

“In a cultural context in which many persons consider marriage as a temporal contract that can be broken, it is of vital importance to understand that true love is faithful, definitive gift of self,” he said. “Given that Christ consecrates the love of Christian spouses and commits himself to them, this fidelity not only is possible, but is the way to enter into an ever greater charity.

“Thus, in the daily life of the couple and of the family, spouses learn to love as Christ loves.”
The Pope will preside at a Mass on Palm Sunday to celebrate the 25th World Youth Day. The theme for the youth event will be: “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“To this question, posed by a rich young man, Jesus answers with a look of love and an invitation to total self-giving for love of God,” the Pope said. “May this meeting be able to contribute to the generous response of each delegate to the call and gifts of the Lord!"

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