28-November-2005 -- Vatican Information Service |

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VATICAN CITY, NOV 28, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Holy Father to the young Dutch participants in the first National Day of Catholic Youth, celebrated in Nieuwegein, Netherlands, on November 27.

After pointing out that many of the young people present at this event also participated in World Youth Day, held in August in Cologne, Germany, Benedict XVI writes: "Dear friends, Jesus is your true friend and Lord, enter into a relationship of true friendship with Him. He awaits you, and only in Him will you find happiness. How easy it is to content oneself with superficial pleasures, ... to live only for oneself in the apparent enjoyment of life. But sooner or later one becomes aware that this is not true happiness, because true happiness is much deeper and is only to be found in Jesus."

"For this reason, I invite you to seek the Lord every day, He wants nothing other than your true happiness." On this subject, the Pope invites young people to dedicate moments of the day "to being exclusively in the company of the Lord. ... Recitation of the Rosary may help you to learn the art of praying with the simplicity and depth of Mary. It is important that participation in the Eucharist should be the center of your life. ... Adore God in church and remain kneeling before the tabernacle."

In his Message to the young people the Holy Father writes that it is in the Sacrament of Penance that Jesus "awaits you to forgive your sins and reconcile yourselves with His love. ... What a great opportunity the Lord has given us with this Sacrament for interior renewal and for progress in our Christian lives. I recommend that you make good and constant use of it."

"If you follow Jesus, you never feel alone because you are part of the Church, which is a great family in which you can grow in true friendship with so many brothers and sisters in the faith, scattered in every corner of the world. Jesus needs you to 'renew' modern society. Concern yourselves with increasing your knowledge of the faith, so as to be authentic witnesses thereof. Dedicate yourselves to an ever better understanding of Catholic doctrine," in which "the satisfying response to your deepest questions" is to be found.

The Pope concludes his Message with assurances of his prayers for the young people meeting in Nieuwegein, in the hope that they "generously welcome the call of the Lord. ... Only by responding positively to His call, however demanding it may seem, is it possible to find happiness and peace of heart."

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