Rather, the name which should be given to the response to war is “fraternity,” “brotherhood,” “communion,” and “family.”
“We celebrate the fact that coming from different cultures, we have come together to pray,” he said. “Let our best word, our best argument, be our unity in prayer.”
“Let us also place before the Lord your own “battles”, the interior struggles that each of your carries in his or her heart.”
At this point, the Pope invited everyone to join hands for a moment of silent prayer, which he said afterwords reminded him of the scene of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.
“Picturing them can help us come to appreciate all that God dreams of accomplishing in our lives, in us and with us,” he said.
On that day, the disciples huddled behind locked doors, paralyzed by the fear of persecution, the Pope recounted.
“Then, in that situation, something spectacular, something grandiose, occurred,” he said. “The Holy Spirit and tongues as of fire came to rest upon each of them, propelling them towards an undreamt-of adventure.”
Like the disciples, the young people who gave their testimonies know “the fear and anguish born of knowing that leaving home might mean never again seeing their loved ones, the fear of not feeling appreciated or loved, the fear of having no choices.”
“Thinking that in this world, in our cities and our communities, there is no longer any room to grow, to dream, to create, to gaze at new horizons – in a word to live – is one of the worst things that can happen to us in life,” he said.
“When we are paralyzed, we miss the magic of encountering others, making friends, sharing dreams, walking at the side of others.”
Pope Francis warned against a more dangerous kind of paralysis, which he described as “sofa-happiness” – in other words, the paralysis of confusing happiness with the sense of comfort, freeing us up to escape into the world of videogames and the computer, all the while keeping us at home with the illusion of safety.
“That is probably the most harmful and insidious form of paralysis, since little by little, without even realizing it, we start to nod off, to grow drowsy and dull while others – perhaps more alert than we are, but not necessarily better – decide our future for us,” he said.
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“For many people, that is more convenient than having young people who are alert and searching, trying to respond to God’s dream and to all the restlessness present in the human heart.”
The Pope challenged young people not to “vegetate” in a comfortable life, but reminded them of their call “to leave a mark.”
“But when we opt for ease and convenience, for confusing happiness with consumption, then we end up paying a high price indeed: we lose our freedom,” he said.
“This is itself a great form of paralysis, whenever we start thinking that happiness is the same as comfort and convenience, that being happy means going through life asleep or on tranquillizers, that the only way to be happy is to live in a haze.”
In contrast to this life of “sofa-happy” paralysis, Pope Francis said, “Jesus is the Lord of risk, of the eternal 'more'.”
“Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths.”