(Photo: Beatification Mass of Mother Teresa, Vatican)Many young people today lack hope. They are perplexed by the questions that present themselves ever more urgently in a confusing world, and they are often uncertain which way to turn for answers. They see poverty and injustice and they long to find solutions. They are challenged by the arguments of those who deny the existence of God and they wonder how to respond. They see great damage done to the natural environment through human greed and they struggle to find ways to live in greater harmony with nature and with one another. Where can we look for answers? The Spirit points us toward the way that leads to life, to love, and to truth. The Spirit points us toward Jesus Christ. There is a saying attributed to St. Augustine: “If you wish to remain young, seek Christ.” In him we find the answers that we are seeking, we find the goals that are truly worth living for, we find the strength to pursue the path that will bring about a better world. Our hearts find no rest until they rest in the Lord, as St. Augustine says at the beginning of the Confessions, the famous account of his own youth. My prayer is that the hearts of the young people who gather in Sydney for the celebration of World Youth Day will truly find rest in the Lord, and that they will be filled with joy fervor for spreading the Good News among their friends, their families, and all whom they meet.
(MESSAGE TO THE YOUNG PILGRIMS TAKING PART IN WORLD YOUTH DAY 2008, Pope Benedict XVI)