Loading
Pope calls Lebanese youth to 'revolution of love'
Pope Benedict (File Photo)
Pope Benedict (File Photo)
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Benedict XVI has challenged young Christians and Muslims in the Middle East to reject the path of violence and hate and instead unleash a “revolution of love.”

“It is vital that the Middle East in general, looking at you, should understand that Muslims and Christians, Islam and Christianity, can live side by side without hatred, with respect for the beliefs of each person, so as to build together a free and humane society,” the Pope told an open-air gathering of young people the in Bkerke, Lebanon Sept. 15.

Gathered in the square in front of the residence of the country’s Maronite Patriarchate, the tens of thousands of young people heard the Pope tell them that they were “the future of this fine country and of the Middle East in general.”

In recent years educated young people have been at the vanguard of anti-government protests across the Middle East, the so-called “Arab Spring.” Pope Benedict used his address to outline a different revolution: one begun by Jesus Christ.

“The universal brotherhood which he inaugurated on the cross lights up in a resplendent and challenging way the revolution of love. ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ This is the legacy of Jesus and the sign of the Christian,” the Pope said. “This is the true revolution of love!”

While youth is a “time when we aspire to great ideals,” Pope Benedict recognized that it can also be a time of great uncertainty. Such frustrations, however, should not lead young people to “take refuge in parallel worlds like those, for example, of the various narcotics or the bleak world of pornography.”

His comments also touched upon internet-based social networks, suggesting that while they were “interesting” they can also “quite easily lead to addiction and confusion between the real and the virtual.” Instead young people should “look for relationships of genuine, uplifting friendship.”

He urged the tens of thousands present to “find ways to give meaning and depth” to their lives and to flee from “superficiality and mindless consumption” including the love of money which can be a “tyrannical idol which blinds to the point of stifling the person at the heart.”

In an apparent reference to the world of celebrity culture, Pope Benedict suggested to young people that “the examples being held up all around you are not always the best.”

Instead he encouraged them to “seek beauty and strive for goodness.”

“Bear witness to the grandeur and the dignity of your body which ‘is for the Lord’,” he continued. “Be thoughtful, upright and pure of heart!”

In order to strive for these goals he recommended mediation upon Holy Scripture, reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church and, in particular, prayer.

“Pray! Prayer and the sacraments are the sure and effective means to be a Christian and to live rooted and built up in Christ, and established in the faith,” he said.

The Pope challenged Lebanese young people to be “heralds of the Gospel of life and life’s authentic values” and to “courageously resist everything opposed to life: abortion, violence, rejection of and contempt for others, injustice and war.”

The witness of youthful faith being lived with “courage and enthusiasm” would help young people’s peers understand God’s desire for “the happiness of all without distinction.”

Towards the end of his speech Pope Benedict gave special mention to the young people who had travelled from neighboring war-torn Syria to be at the Papal gathering in Bkerke.

“I want to say how much I admire your courage. Tell your families and friends back home that the Pope has not forgotten you. Tell those around you that the Pope is saddened by your sufferings and your griefs.”

“It is time for Muslims and Christians to come together so as to put an end to violence and war,” he said in conclusion. He commended the youthful gathering to the protection of Bl. Pope John Paul II and Mary, “the Mother of the Lord, Our Lady of Lebanon.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
Sep
23

Liturgical Calendar

September 23, 2014

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Gospel
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Prov 21: 1-6, 10-13
Gospel:: Lk 8: 19-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Homily
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14