May 10: Benedict XVI asked young Brazilians to be apostles of “a lost youth”

Source: FSSPX News

In the evening of May 10, the pope presided over a meeting with some tens of thousands of young people gathered at the “Pacaembu” Stadium of Sao Paulo, during which personal testimonies alternated with songs and biblical readings. He was seated on a podium, in the center of the second greatest stadium of the city, under an immense stylized dove. At the end of the prayer vigil, Benedict XVI gave a long discourse which was greatly applauded.

“The Christian life you lead is undoubtedly pleasing to the Lord,” Benedict XVI told the youth before inviting them “to go even further” without “ever saying “enough.” “These years of your life are the years which will prepare you for your future. Your ‘tomorrow’ depends much on how you are living the ‘today’ of your youth,” declared the pope. And he asked the young generations not to “squander” their life, but invited them to “live it with enthusiasm and with joy, but most of all, with a sense of responsibility.”

Confronted by “the fears of today’s youth”, and to “an enormous lack of hope”, Benedict XVI sent the youth out “on the great mission of evangelizing young men and women who have gone astray in this world like sheep without a shepherd.” “Be apostles of youth,” the pope called out to the crowd. He then explained that many young people had “a fear of death, at the very moment when life is blossoming”, that they experienced the “fear of failure, through not having discovered the meaning of life,” or else had “the fear of remaining detached in the face of a disconcerting acceleration of events and communications.” “We see the high death rate among young people, the threat of violence, and the deplorable proliferation of drugs which strike at the deepest roots of youth today. For these reasons, we hear talk of a “lost youth”.

For Benedict XVI, men and women who are ill-prepared to meet the real challenges presented by a correct interpretation of the Christian life in their own surroundings will be easy preys to the assaults of materialism and secularism, increasingly active at all levels.

“Above all, hold a great respect for the institution of the sacrament of matrimony,” said the pope to the youth who particularly applauded him at this point. For, “there cannot be true domestic happiness unless, at the same time, there is fidelity between spouses.” He also beseeched them to “resist forcefully the snares of evil that are found in many contexts, driving you towards a dissolute and paradoxically empty life, causing you to lose the precious gift of your freedom and your true happiness.”

He wished them to be builders of “a more just and fraternal society, fulfilling their duties towards the State: respecting its laws; not allowing themselves to be swept along by hatred and violence; seeking to be an example of Christian conduct in their professional and social milieu, distinguishing themselves by the integrity of their social and professional relationships.” “Excessive ambition for wealth and power,” the pope warned them, “leads to corruption of oneself and others. There are no valid motives that would justify attempting to impose one’s own worldly aspirations – economic or political – through fraud and deceit.”

Benedict XVI also explained that God “demands” that men take care of their neighbors’ problems and also of “the effective preservation and protection of the natural environment. For the Pope, the devastation of the environment in the Amazon Basin and the threats against the human dignity of peoples living within that region call for greater commitment in the various areas of activity. During the meeting, before the pope’s address, songs and testimonies had insistently referred to the Amazon Basin.

The meeting of the pope with the youth began at 6:00 pm and lasted over two and a half hours. Before the pope’s arrival, the crowd gathered inside the stadium had chanted “Yes to life. No to abortion,” and also: “Brazil, a Catholic country”, at a time when there are rumors of a referendum in view of decriminalizing abortion in the country.