.- The Popeâs speech to the thousands of youth gathered in Yonkers, NY today featured a call to the youth to strive for holiness by using the âfour essential aspectsâ of the faith: personal prayer and silence, liturgical prayer, active charity, and vocations.
âLet your imaginations soar freely along the limitless expanse of the horizons of Christian discipleship,â he said. âSometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth! Authentic Christian discipleship is marked by a sense of wonder. We stand before the God we know and love as a friend, the vastness of his creation, and the beauty of our Christian faith.â
The Pope listed what he called the âfour essential aspectsâ of the treasure of faith: personal prayer and silence, liturgical prayer, active charity, and vocations.
Pope Benedict urged youth to develop their personal relationship with God, a relationship expressed in prayer. âPray constantly,â the Pope said, quoting St. Paul. âAs the saints teach us so vividly,â he continued,â prayer becomes hope in action.â He also encouraged silent contemplation, saying, âHave we perhaps lost something of the art of listening? â¦donât be afraid of silence or stillness.â
He described the Churchâs liturgy as âa ministry of hope for humanityâ and âthe whole Church at prayer,â quoting a Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium which called the liturgy "the work of Christ the Priest and of His Body which is the Church."
This work, he said, refers to Christ's Passion, his Death and Resurrection, and his Ascension. âThis âwork of Jesusâ is the real content of the liturgy.â Jesus is at work whenever a Christian goes to Mass, goes to Confession, or celebrates any of the sacraments. âThrough the Holy Spirit, he draws you to himself, into his sacrificial love of the Father which becomes love for all.â
Faithful participation in the liturgy, the Pope said, is an âactive hope which helps to keep the world - saints and sinners alike - open to God; this is the truly human hope we offer everyone.â
Altogether, the Pope said to the audience, personal prayer, silent contemplation, participation in the liturgy âprepare you to serve others.â
In contemplating Jesus on the Cross, the Pope said, we see this love and service âin its most radical form.â
âLook about you with Christ's eyes, listen with his ears, feel and think with his heart and mind. Are you ready to give all as he did for truth and justice?â He said many of the sufferings to which saints have responded are present. âAnd new injustices have arisen,â he said, referencing the environment. âEven our common habitat, the earth itself, groans under the weight of consumerist greed and irresponsible exploitation.â