The Deacon's Bench

The pope had some wise things to say to young people from Catholic Action during a question and answer session Saturday:

After a question from a young woman of Catholic Action, Benedict XVI responded, “It is very important, I would say fundamental, to learn to love, truly to love, to learn the art of real love!”

He continued: “In adolescence we stop before the mirror and we notice that we are changing. But if you continue to look at yourself, you will never grow up!

“You grow up when you do no longer let the mirror be the only truth about you but when you let your friends tell you.

“You will grow up if you are able to make your life a gift to others, not to seek yourselves, but to give yourselves to others: this is the school of love.”

The Pope added, “This love, however, must bring you into that ‘more’ that today shouts to everyone: ‘There is more!'”

He recalled, “I too, in my youth wanted something more than what the society and the mentality of the time presented to me.”

“I wanted to breathe pure air,” the Pontiff said. “Above all I desired a beautiful and good world, like our God, the Father of Jesus, wanted for everyone.”

“And I understood more and more that the world becomes beautiful and good if one knows this will of God and if the world corresponds to this will of God,” he added, “which is the true light, beauty, love that gives the world meaning.”

“You cannot and must not adapt yourselves to a love reduced to a commodity to be consumed without respect for oneself or for others, incapable of chastity and purity,” the Holy Father urged. “This is not freedom.”

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