POPE JOHN PAUL II: "DEAR
YOUNG FRIENDS, LOVE CHRIST AND LOVE THE CHURCH!"
Castelgandolfo, 18 (NE) "Dear young friends,
do not doubt about God’s love for you! He has a place in His heart
for you and a mission for you in the world," exclaimed Pope
John Paul II to the almost 400 young participants of the
International Forum, during the Mass that was celebrated Thursday
for them in the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo. The Forum had
taken place in Rome from August 12 to 15.
Also present at Mass were Cardinal James Francis
Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the
Secretary of the same Council, Bishop Stanislao Rylko.
During the Mass, the Holy Father urged those
present to understand their participation at the event as a blessing
and also as a responsibility which demands a response of conversion
that becomes concrete in the apostolic work. "The task is
enormous," stated the Pope, "but do not forget that, when
the Lord calls us, He gives us the necessary strength and grace to
answer the calling."
"Dear young friends," later exhorted the
Pope, "love Christ and love the Church! Love Christ as He loves
you. Love the Church as Christ loves her." Towards the end, he
emphatically reminded the young people that "authentic love
doesn’t put conditions, doesn’t make calculations, doesn’t
recriminate, it simply loves."