Do not be afraid to desire of a full, happy, successful life, Pope says to Youth in Krakow

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On Saturday afternoon, Pope Benedict presided over a celebration with young people in Krakow’s Blonie Park - the site of many of John Paul II's celebrations in Krakow.

the Pope delivered an address to the 1,000,000 strong crowd that had gathered in the park to hear him.

"Do not be afraid of this desire!, the pope declared to the youth gathered.

"Do not run away from this desire! Do not be discouraged at the sight of crumbling houses, frustrated desires and faded longings. God the Creator, who inspires in young hearts an immense yearning for happiness, will not abandon you in the difficult construction of the house called life."

"Jesus encourages us to build on the rock. In fact, it is only in this way that the house will not crumble. But what does it mean to build a house on the rock? Building on the rock means, first of all, to build on Christ and with Christ." It means "to build on a foundation that is called 'crucified love'."

Christ, Benedict XVI added, "knowing us better than we know ourselves, says to us: 'You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you'." Building on the rock "means to build with Someone Who is always faithful, even when we are lacking in faith, because He cannot deny Himself; ... with Someone Who constantly looks down on the wounded heart of man and says: 'I do not condemn you, go and do not sin again.' Do not be afraid to lean on Christ! Long for Christ, as the foundation of your life!"

To build on the rock, the Pope went on, also means "building on Someone Who was rejected," and he recalled St. Peter's description of Jesus "as a 'living stone rejected by men.' The undeniable fact of the election of Jesus by God does not conceal the mystery of evil, whereby man is able to reject Him Who has loved to the very end. This rejection of Jesus extends throughout human history, even to our own time

Yet to build on the rock, the Holy Father highlighted, also means "being aware that there will be misfortunes. Do not be surprised therefore by misfortunes."

"The last word is a hopeful one," Pope Benedict concluded. "The fear of failure can at times frustrate even the most beautiful dreams. ... It can convince one that the yearning for such a house is only a childish aspiration and not a plan for life. ... You are all witnesses to hope, to that hope which is not afraid to build the house of one's own life because it is certain that it can count on the foundation that will never crumble: Jesus Christ our Lord."

Having completed his address, the Pope gave the young people the "Flame of Mercy," as a symbol of their mission to carry the light of faith throughout the world, and blessed the first stone of the John Paul II Center.

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