Their challenge to themselves, in competing and living in contact with water, Pope Francis noted, can also be a contribution to a different culture of water.
“Water is life, without water life does not exist.”
“Talking about life means talking about God, origin and wellspring of life,” he said, underscoring, “our Christian life begins with the sign of water, with Baptism.”
The water in which they swim, dive, play, and compete, the Pope noted, requires several forms of attention: “the value of the body, which must be cared for and not idolized; the need for interiority and the search for meaning in what you do; the strength and courage to resist fatigue; the clear vision of which port to look for in life and how to reach it; and the value of authenticity, which means transparency, clarity, inner cleanliness.”
In contact with water, he observed, swimmers learn to be repelled by anything that is “polluting,” in sport and in life.
Pope Francis concluded, thanking the managers and athletes for their visit, wishing them the best, and imparting upon them his blessing.
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