Damian Thompson moves on from his usual fussy controversial tone to write powerfully and movingly of Pope Benedict’s address to the youth and World Youth Day.
Here are some excerpts: Dear friends, life is not governed by chance; it is not random. Your very existence has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose (cf. Gen 1:28)! Life is not just a succession of events or experiences, helpful though many of them are. It is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this – in truth, in goodness, and in beauty – that we find happiness and joy. Do not be fooled by those who see you as just another consumer in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth.
Our world has grown weary of greed, exploitation and division, of the tedium of false idols and piecemeal responses, and the pain of false promises. Our hearts and minds are yearning for a vision of life where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. This is the work of the Holy Spirit! This is the hope held out by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Once again the Pope’s address is simple, down to earth, theologically profound, full of Scripture, full of the Holy Spirit, powerful and inspiring.
What struck me about the address (as with most of his words) is how little there is in any of it for our separated brethren to disagree with. The Pope speaks powerfully of the work of the Holy Spirit, the total gift of God’s grace, the need for healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.
He is a true world evangelist.
It makes you want to read the Pope’s whole speech here.