Man made for love, Pope teaches at lively youth gathering

Pope Benedict XVI meeting with youth representatives after Mass at Westminster Cathedral
Pope Benedict XVI meeting with youth representatives after Mass at Westminster Cathedral


The Holy Father explained the meaning of mankind being created for love to a throng of young people on Saturday morning. To love, he said, is a decision made each day and at the source of it one can find his “true self” and vocation.

After Mass in the Westminster Cathedral, Benedict XVI stepped out the front door to greet the youth who were so vocal in greeting him upon his arrival. The crowd was equally enthusiastic to see him a second time, welcoming him with raucous applause and chants of "Benedetto" which brought a smile to his face.

British, Scottish, Welsh and Vatican flags flew over their hands and among the signs held up in support of the Pope, one read "We love our German Shepherd."

One of the string of youth representatives from U.K. dioceses accompanying him at the top of the cathedral steps along with the concelebrating cardinals and bishops addressed the Holy Father in greeting before he turned to the crowd with his own words.

Making reference to Cardinal Newman's motto of "Heart speaks unto Heart," Pope Benedict said that he wished to speak to them from his own heart and asked them to open theirs to his message.

He asked them to peer into their hearts and reflect on how much they have loved, observing, "(a)fter all, we were meant to love.

"This is what the Bible means when it says that we are made in the image and likeness of God: we were made to know the God of love, the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to find our supreme fulfilment in that divine love that knows no beginning or end."

Noting man's vocation to "receive" love, said the Pope, "(e)very day we should thank God for the love we have already known, for the love that has made us who we are, the love that has shown us what is truly important in life."

Turning to man's disposition to "give" love, he explained that "we were made to (do so), to make it the inspiration for all we do and the most enduring thing in our lives. Sometimes this is easier than others, he conceded, but, as Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, giving this love results from a daily decision.

"Every day we have to choose to love, and this requires help, the help that comes from Christ, from prayer and from the wisdom found in his word, an from the grace which he bestows on us in the sacraments of his Church."

Highlighting his message, he said, "I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love." There, he added, Jesus is waiting to lead them to the discovery of their "true self" through silent prayer.

"(I)n discovering our true self," he concluded, "we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of his Church and the redemption of our world."

Returning back into the cathedral to more applause, the Holy Father blessed a mosaic brought by a representation of Welsh Catholics. He told them he was glad to meet them, despite "sadly" not being able to do so on their own soil.

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