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Youthfulness found in Christ, says Pope
Speaking to young people in Piazza Matteotti, Savona, Italy, on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI told the crowd that friendship with Jesus ensures true youth.
The Pope invited youth to "Always be young." He said that youthfulness is not about age - but more about attitude; being "good and generous". Jesus is "genuine goodness" so following him is the way to youthfulness.
The Pope recognised that this is an age of anxiety for young people. He said, "The youth have the whole future ahead of him. Everything is the future - time of hope. And the future is full of promises. To be honest, we have to say that for many the future is also unclear. ‘Will I find a job? Will I find a house? Will I find love? What will be my real future?' And before these threats the future may also appear as a great void. So many want to stop the time for fear of a future in a vacuum. They want now to consume all the beauty of life - and so the oil lamp is consumed when life would begin. It is important to choose the real promises, which open to the future - even with disclaimers. He who chooses God still has in old age a future without end and without threats."
The Pope said that it is not enough to remain at a distance from Jesus. "You must follow him closely, not from afar. We must meet him in prayer, sacramental life, in the Gospel …in the great communion of the Church, in the encounter with the poor."
"Only then, knowing Jesus personally can communicate our friendship to others. We can overcome indifference. Because even when it appears sometimes that we are invincible and indifferent, and it seems that there is no need for God, in reality everybody knows that something is missing in their lives. And only having discovered Jesus do we come to understand: ‘this is what I was expecting.’ And the more we become friends of Jesus, the more we can open our hearts also to others, because they too become really young."