Catholic World News

Follow Jesus, not ‘sand of emotion,’ Pope tells youth

July 07, 2014

On the afternoon of his one-day apostolic journey to Molise, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter from Campobasso to Castelpetroso, a small town of 1,700, where he invited youth who had gathered at a Marian shrine to follow Jesus rather than heed the “culture of the temporary.”

“Contemporary society and its prevailing cultural models-- the ‘culture of the provisional’-- do not provide a climate conducive to the formation of stable life choices with solid bonds, built on the rock of love and responsibility rather than on the sand of emotion,” the Pope said. “The desire for individual autonomy is pushed to the point of always putting everything into question and breaking with relative ease important choices and lengthy reflections, life paths freely undertaken with commitment and dedication. This feeds superficiality in taking responsibility, because in the depths of the soul they risk being regarded as something from which we can still be free.”

“Faced with the pressure of events and fashions, we will not be able to find the right path, and even if we could find it, we would not have enough strength to persevere, to deal with the climbs and unforeseen obstacles,” he added. “And here comes the invitation of the Lord Jesus: ‘If you want ... follow me.’”

The Pope continued:

He invites us to accompany us on the journey. Only with Jesus, praying and following him will we find clarity of vision and the strength to carry on. He loves us, definitively, he has chosen us definitively, he has given himself to each of us definitively. He is our defender and brother and will be our only judge … He does not take away autonomy or freedom; on the contrary, he strengthens us in our fragility, allowing us to be truly free, free to do good, strong to continue doing so, able to forgive and to ask for forgiveness.

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