Pope's Address to Children of Italian Catholic Action

«Never give up, because what Jesus has thought for your path is all to be built together»

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Here is a translation of Pope Francis’ address this morning to a delegation of children of Italian Catholic Action (I.C.A.):

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Dear children of I.C.A.,

Welcome! I am happy to meet with you. It is a meeting to exchange good wishes for Christmas. I thank you for the good wishes you addressed to me on behalf of the whole of Italian Catholic Action, represented here by leaders who have accompanied you. However, they have remained silent and have let you speak. This is very good, congratulations! I return your good wishes from my heart, and to all your dear ones and to the entire association.

I have heard that this year you are working on the theme that has as its slogan ”All to Be Discovered.” It is a good endeavor, which requires the courage and effort of research, to then enjoy it when you discover the plan that Jesus has for each one of you. Taking a cue from this slogan, especially from the word “all,” I would like to give you some suggestions to walk well in Catholic Action, in your family and in the community.

1. Never give up, because what Jesus has thought for your path is all to be built together: together with your parents, brothers, friends, companions of school, of catechism, of oratory and of I.C.A.

2. Take an interest in the needs of the poorest, of those who suffer most and those who are most alone, because one who has chosen to love Jesus cannot but love his neighbor. And thus your path in I.C.A. will become all love. I was very pleased with that water bomb. It’s lovely; it’s a good project.

3. Love the Church, love the priests, put yourselves in the service of the community — because the Church is not only the priests, the bishops … but the whole community – put yourselves at the service of the community. Give time, energies, personal qualities and capacities to your parishes, and thus you will witness that each one’s richness is a gift of God, all to be shared. That “all” is important! All to be discovered, all to be shared, all to be built together, all love …

4. Be apostles of peace and serenity, beginning with your families; remind your parents, brothers, contemporaries that it is good to love one another, and that misunderstandings can be surmounted because, being united to Jesus, all is possible. This is important: all is possible. However, this word is not a new invention: this word was said by Jesus when he came down from the mountain of the Transfiguration. To that father who requested the healing of his son, what did Jesus say? “All is possible to those who have faith.” With faith in Jesus all can be done, all is possible.

5. To talk with Jesus. Prayer: to talk with Jesus, the greatest friend who never abandons; entrust to Him your joys and displeasures. Run to Him every time you make a mistake and do something bad, in the certainty that He forgives you. And talk to all of Jesus, of His love, of His mercy, of His tenderness, because friendship with Jesus, who gave His life for us, is an event to be told to all.  All these “all” are important.

What do you say? Do you want to try to put into practice this proposal with “all”? I think you already live similar things. Now, with the grace of His birth, Jesus wishes to help you to  make a more determined, more convinced, more joyful step to become His disciples. A little word is enough: “Here I am.” We are taught it by our Mother, Our Lady, who answered the Lord’s call this way: “Here I am.” Together we can ask for it with a Hail Mary. […]

And remember well: all to be discovered, all to build together, all love, all to share, all is possible, and the faith is an event to be told to all.

Thank you for your visit. Remember to pray for me, please, remember this.

Now I bless you from my heart.

May God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
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