.- Meeting with youth after lunch on Sunday in Turin, the Holy Father offered some thoughts he hoped would aid young people in their spiritual growth and their mission within the Church and the world. He put particular emphasis on the need for youth to be decisive in making "irrevocable" choices and outlined specific ways for them to live a more fruitful faith.
Thousands of young people gathered Turin's St. Charles Square, the site of Mass earlier Sunday morning, to hear the Holy Father speak.
In his address, he noted that the current mentality makes it difficult to speak about eternal life and "everlasting things" because it tells us that nothing is definite, that everything changes and does so quickly.
As such, he pointed out, "young people are also led to think that it is impossible to make definitive choices that commit you for life."
However, Pope Benedict said, "each of us was created to make, not provisional and reversible choices, but definitive and irrevocable choices which give full meaning to existence.
"God created us with a view to the 'forever' and in each of our hearts He placed the seed for a life that creates something great and beautiful."
The Holy Father spoke about the words of Jesus to the young rich man that love is "life's greatest wealth," and "that nothing is greater than participating in God's life of love."
Today's culture often leads us to individualism rather than "profound and disinterested human relationships, but the hearts of the young are by nature sensitive to true love,” the Pope noted.
"Thus, with great trust, I address myself to each of you and say: it is not easy to make something great and beautiful of your lives ... but with Christ everything is possible."
The Pope called on the youth to build a relationship of love with God through the Church and Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Confession. He also exhorted them to become familiar with the Word of God and to find his love in the charity of the Church.
"Christ's love for the young man of the Gospel is the same as that (which) He has for each of you. It is not a love confined to the past, it is not an illusion, it is not reserved for the few," he said.
Pope Benedict invited youth to see themselves as "a 'living part' of the Church, unafraid, involved in the work of evangelization," together with the Church community and pastors, while "avoiding individualist tendencies even in the life of faith, in order deeply to absorb the beauty of being part of the great mosaic that is the Church of Christ."
"Have the courage to choose that which is essential in life!" he exclaimed.
Pope Benedict XVI closed by sharing with the young people his prayer that the Holy Shroud will serve as an invitation "to inscribe the face of God's love into your hearts, in order to become, in your own lives and among your peers, a credible expression of the face of Christ."