Speaking to the thousands of young people who had gathered at the Sanctuary of Castelpetroso, Pope Francis warned against the “culture of the temporary” and the prevailing trends of contemporary society.
Such a culture, he said, does not lend itself to the formation of a stable life, one that is built on “the rock of love and responsibility” rather than on the “sand of emotion.” It lends itself to an individualism which calls everything into question, leading to a superficial attitude toward the assuming of responsibilities.
However, the human heart aspires to great things, important virtues, deep friendships, and relationships that
While the “culture of the temporary” increases our freedom, it deprives us of our destiny, the Pope said. He then challenged the young people to aspire to happiness, and the courage to go out of themselves toward a future together with Jesus.
Pope Francis said that Jesus invites us to follow him, “not to take advantage of us, not to make us slaves, but to make us free.”
The Holy Father went on to criticize the current unemployment situation faced by many young people. He said that we cannot resign ourselves to the loss of a generation of unemployed youth. We need to use our creativity, the Pope said, in order that the youth may experience “the joy of the dignity which comes from work.”
Recalling that the Sanctuary where the gathering was taking place was built on the site of a 1888 Marian apparition, Pope Francis concluded his address by invoking Mary’s intercession. He then offered his blessing to the young people in their “journey of courage, of hope, and of solidarity.”