During his encounter with 3,000 young people participating in the UNIV International Congress 2004, Pope John Paul called on students to use a language capable of transmitting values.
UNIV, a initiative sponsored by Opus Dei members, is meeting in Rome on the theme “Protecting Culture: The Language of Advertising.”
Referring to this year’s World Youth Day theme, “We want to see Jesus,” the Pope urged those present “not to stifle this desire in the depths of your heart. Know how to overcome every superficial emotion, while resisting the seductions of pleasure and the ambitions of selfishness and comfort.”
While commenting on the theme of UNIV’s annual congress, John Paul II said that “it is necessary to know how to use language that is capable of transmitting positive messages and of promoting ideals and noble initiatives in an attractive way. It is also necessary to know how to discern what are the limits and the snares of the languages that the media propose to us. Sometimes, advertisements offer a superficial and inadequate vision of life, the person, family and of morality.”
“In order to carry out this difficult mission, it is necessary to follow Jesus closely in prayer and in contemplation. In addition, being His friends in today’s world means going against the current.”
“I invite you in a special way to spread the Christian vision of the virtue of purity, knowing how to show your peers that ‘purity comes from love and the strength and gaiety of youth are no obstacle for noble love’,” the Pontiff added.
The Pope asked the young people of UNIV to be “the leaven of hope in this world that looks for Jesus sometimes without even knowing it,” and he repeated what he said in a similar gathering twenty years ago: “If man walks with God, he is capable of changing the world.’”
“In order to make this world better, make an effort to change yourselves through the sacrament of reconciliation and through intimate identification with Christ in the Eucharist,” he concluded.