These phrases from the Holy Father's address to the young people in the piazza of London's Cathedral this morning made for a particularly memorable exclamation. After the Holy Mass at the Cathedral of the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in London, several thousand young people greeted the Pope outside the main doors of the church. As is the status quo for a gathering of young Catholics, the crowd was an enthusiastic one; not unlike those crowds characteristic to a World Youth day celebration.
The Pope was introduced the massive gathering of young Catholics by Paschal Uche, 21, a parish youth representative from Stratford, east London whose welcome unleashed unbounded energy and cheering from the crowd. The Pope repeatedly blessed and thanked him. Paschal later described it as "a brilliant experience."
At one point the crowd burst into an enormous cheer as the youth speaker, Paschal said: "Until now you have been a face on the television but today you stand before us, face to face."
In his address, the Holy Father continued on the theme of love:
We were made to receive love, and we have. Every day we should thank God for the love we have already known, for the love that has made us who we are, the love that has shown us what is truly important in life. We need to thank the Lord for the love we have received from our families, our friends, our teachers, and all those people in our lives who have helped us to realize how precious we are, in their eyes and in the eyes of God.
We were also made to give love, to make it the inspiration for all we do and the most enduring thing in our lives. At times this seems so natural, especially when we feel the exhilaration of love, when our hearts brim over with generosity, idealism, the desire to help others, to build a better world. But at other times we realize that it is difficult to love; our hearts can easily be hardened by selfishness, envy and pride. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the great Missionary of Charity, reminded us that giving love, pure and generous love, is the fruit of a daily decision. Every day we have to choose to love, and this requires help, the help that comes from Christ, from prayer and from the wisdom found in his word, and from the grace which he bestows on us in the sacraments of his Church.
Pope Benedict also encouraged the young people to engage in contemplative prayer and that in silence they will encounter both God and their true selves.
This is the message I want to share with you today. I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love. Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with him and to hear his voice. Deep within your heart, he is calling you to spend time with him in prayer. But this kind of prayer, real prayer, requires discipline; it requires making time for moments of silence every day. Often it means waiting for the Lord to speak. Even amid the “busy-ness” and the stress of our daily lives, we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self. And in discovering our true self, we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of his Church and the redemption of our world.
For the complete text of the Holy Father's address to the youth of England visit here
Photo: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters