LORETO, Italy, SEPT. 2, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI told young people not to be afraid to dream, since the Spirit of God is the one who places great aspirations in their hearts.
This is the message the Pope left Saturday evening to the half-million young people gathered in Loreto. The encounter was part of the Italian bishops’ pastoral program to focus on youth ministry.
The Holy Father continued the message today at Mass, saying: “Unfortunately, today it is not unusual that many young people see a full and happy life as a difficult dream, and sometimes almost as an impossibility.
“Many people of your age look to the future with anxiety and pose many questions.”
The Pontiff said they ask themselves, “‘How do we be a part of a society marked by many and grave injustices and sufferings? How do we react to egoism and to the violence that at times seems to dominate? How do we give full meaning to life?’
“Do not be afraid, Christ can fulfill the deepest aspirations of your heart! Could there be unrealizable dreams when it is the Spirit of God who awakens and cultivates them in the heart?”
Benedict XVI said: “Allow me to repeat this to you tonight: Each one of you, if you remain united with Christ, can accomplish great things.
“This is why, dear friends, you must not be afraid to dream — with open eyes — of great projects of good, and you must not let yourselves be discouraged by difficulties.”
During the meeting, some young people gave testimonies and engaged the Holy Father in dialogue, posing questions to which the Pope responded.
After the Saturday prayer vigil, the Pontiff went into the shrine of Loreto for a moment of private prayer in the Holy House. According to tradition, it is Mary’s house from Nazareth that was carried stone by stone to Italy.
Later, the night was illuminated by fireworks that concluded a day marked by the vigil with the Pope and music performed by Italian artists.