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Cardinal Parolin Encourages Taize Youth to Embrace Culture of Encounter

‘Use your talents, your energy, and your strengths to improve the world.’

Embrace a “culture of encounter…use your talents, your energy, and your strengths to improve the world.” That was at the core of the message that Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent to young people participating in the gathering organized by the Taize Community in Madrid, from December 28, 2018 – January 1, 2019.

The Cardinal reminded the young people “not to forget hospitality.” And he assured them of the closeness of Pope Francis.

“With a heart full of hope, the Holy Father encourages you, with the grace of God, to receive and support your older brothers and sisters in the faith, to use your talents, your energy  and your strengths to improve the world, in such a way that each person can find his/her place in the heart of the great human family,” Cardinal Parolin said. “He counts on you and on your enthusiasm to rise to the challenge of hospitality, notably in making yourselves close to this wounded humanity and to those that are kept apart, rejected or excluded, to little ones and to the poor!”

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Message of the Secretary of State

 Dear Young People,

Numerous of you having come from the whole of Europe and also from other Continents, to live in Madrid the 41st Meeting organized and animated by the Taize Community, you are invited not to forget hospitality. It’s the theme that will guide your reflections, enlighten your prayer and which you will be led to take up again during the international meetings at Taize, or also at Beyrouth and at Cap. In this perspective, Pope Francis wishes to assure you of his great spiritual closeness. And, following the recent assembly of the Synod of Bishops at Rome on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” he wishes to repeat to you with the whole Church that he has confidence in you. The Holy Father also thanks you for choosing to take part in this gathering, to open the door of your heart to the Lord and to His Word, in order to make visible and to have a culture of encounter grow, by welcoming one another in respect of your differences.

The Pope encourages you to “[. . . ] never lose the taste to relish encounter, friendship, the taste to dream together, to walk with others. [Because] genuine Christians are not afraid to open themselves to others, to share their vital areas, transforming them into areas of fraternity” (Message for the 33rd World Youth Day, March 25, 2018). So he invites you to make room for the Lord in your life and to discover that, thanks to friendship with Jesus, it’s possible to live a generous hospitality, to learn to enrich oneself from others’ differences and to make your own talents fructify, to become bridge builders between Churches, religions, and peoples.

The Pope also prays to the Holy Spirit to help you, young Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox, to grow in your trust in God, who receives and loves you as you are, and who calls you to welcome difference as a path of communion.

May Mary’s example, whose love is full of daring and altogether oriented to the gift of self, stimulate you to live concretely “this charity that drives us to love God beyond all and ourselves, to love persons with whom we share daily life” (Ibid.).

On entrusting you to the Lord, so that you can offer hospitality, following the Virgin Mary’s example, and enable Him to fill you with His joy, the Holy Father gives his heartfelt Blessing to you, young participants in this meeting, to the Brothers of Taize, as well as to all persons that, in Madrid, open their doors to you and welcome you.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin

Secretary of State of His Holiness

[Original text: French]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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