Benedict XVI to young people: “Let nothing and no one take away your peace; do not be ashamed of the Lord.”

When Benedict XVI arrived in Madrid, Spain for World Youth Day, he made a speech at the airport.  Here is the salient part of his address:


Why has this multitude of young people come to Madrid? While they themselves should give the reply, it may be supposed that they wish to hear the word of God, as the motto for this World Youth Day proposed to them, in such a way that, rooted and built upon Christ, they may manifest the strength of their faith.

Many of them have heard the voice of God, perhaps only as a little whisper, which has led them to search for him more diligently and to share with others the experience of the force which he has in their lives. The discovery of the living God inspires young people and opens their eyes to the challenges of the world in which they live, with its possibilities and limitations. They see the prevailing superficiality, consumerism and hedonism, the widespread banalization of sexuality, the lack of solidarity, the corruption. They know that, without God, it would be hard to confront these challenges and to be truly happy, and thus pouring out their enthusiasm in the attainment of an authentic life. But, with God beside them, they will possess light to walk by and reasons to hope, unrestrained before their highest ideals, which will motivate their generous commitment to build a society where human dignity and true brotherhood are respected. Here on this Day, they have a special opportunity to gather together their aspirations, to share the richness of their cultures and experiences, motivate each other along a journey of faith and life, in which some think they are alone or ignored in their daily existence. But they are not alone. Many people of the same age have the same aspirations and, entrusting themselves completely to Christ, know that they really have a future before them and are not afraid of the decisive commitments which fulfill their entire lives. That is why it gives me great joy to listen to them, pray with them and celebrate the Eucharist with them. World Youth Day brings us a message of hope like a pure and youthful breeze, with rejuvenating scents which fill us with confidence before the future of the Church and the world.

Of course, there is no lack of difficulties. There are tensions and ongoing conflicts all over the world, even to the shedding of blood. Justice and the unique value of the human person are easily surrendered to selfish, material and ideological interests. Nature and the environment, created by God with so much love, are not respected. Moreover, many young people look worriedly to the future, as they search for work, or because they have lost their job or because the one they have is precarious or uncertain. There are others who need help either to avoid drugs or to recover from their use. There are even some who, because of their faith in Christ, suffer discrimination which leads to contempt and persecution, open or hidden, which they endure in various regions and countries. They are harassed to give him up, depriving them of the signs of his presence in public life, not allowing even the mention of his holy name.

But, with all my heart, I say again to you young people: let nothing and no one take away your peace; do not be ashamed of the Lord. He did not spare himself in becoming one like us and in experiencing our anguish so as to lift it up to God, and in this way he saved us.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. danphunter1 says:

    We have a great Pope!

  2. benedetta says:


  3. Charivari Rob says:

    There are some beautiful things happening there.

    One of the early reports I heard was about one Madrid neighborhood where there are several of the hotels where groups of pilgrims are staying. The people of the parish in the neighborhood organized themselves for a week-plus schedule of perpetual Adoration, so that the church could be kept open 24-7 for any pilgrims who might want to take time with the Lord.

  4. Maltese says:

    The percentage of self-described Catholics attending mass on any given Sunday are thus:

    France: 3.5%
    Spain: 8%

    Yet, there are those still describing Vatican II as a “new springtime” for the Church!

    I have spent time in Spain, and I think the Pope is wise to concentrate on it, in light of its current Socialist regime (which, I am sure, will fail with the next election). I loved especially the Alahambra, which, of all people, Washington Irving wrote a two volume tome on (I have an early edition in my library, which shows you what a nerd I am!) While there, I stayed in a hostel which overlooked it, and was unwittingly drawn into a group of people who also convinced me to travel across the straight of Gibraltar to Morocco. The train broke-down in Asilah, but we finally made it to Marrakesh.

    What does this have to do with Spain, you may ask? Well, everything! Spain is a great Catholic country, but she is returning everything she regained through socialist regimes! France is too!

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    The Holy Father is spot on, my sister and my mother do not know Jesus except as a curse and it can be very hard living under the same roof as them. I know that that God is real and that Jesus is the Risen Lord but it can be very hard to keep the faith living in a society such as the UK where scientific natrulism rules and toleration is extended to any faith bar the TRUE Faith. I really hope that I have a vocation to the Religious life, not just becasue it is the most perfect state and that it is a life solely dedicated to God but because I really want to live amongst people who want to live completely for Jesus without the distractions of the world.

    Could I ask my fellow WDTPRS’s to pray for me during this difficult time ?

    In Dommino

  6. guans says:

    I looked up salient= notably significant.
    SALIENT indeed!

  7. God bless our Holy Father!

  8. chloesmom says:

    Once again, BXVI hits it out of the park. Bravo, Your Holiness!

  9. trespinos says:

    Doctor Pellucidus. We have a great, a uniquely great, teacher.

  10. Navarricano says:

    Pray very much for the young people gathered here in Madrid. They are a smiling, joyful lot and are giving wonderful witness to the vitality of the Faith in a country that very much needs it, but there a are very dark forces that have gathered in the capital too. On Wednesday evening there was a protest against the pope in the central Puerta del Sol plaza by various coalitions opposed to the Holy Father’s visit. All the usual suspects were there (collectives of gays and lesbians, pro-abortion organizations, angry feminists etc.) They shouted the most vile blasphemies and vulgar insults at the young pilgrims who were visiting the plaza. Most were completely confused as they don’t speak Spanish, but the ones who did were caught completely unprepared by the ferocity of the insults and threats and were terrified. Most of the kids and their escorts responded to the insults with shouts of “¡Viva el Papa!” and prayers, but things started escalating and there was some physical aggression on the part of the anti-papal protestors too. Some of the kids (and some poor religious sisters) had to flee into shops to escape the animals who were threatening and insulting them. The police finally had to move in and break up the demonstration, and there was a scuffle. Eight protesters were injured, as well as three police officers.

    The Socialist government permitted this march, knowing full well how it would most likely turn out. They are going through all the motions and the usual public courtesies for a visiting head of state, but they hate this event and they hate the Church.

    The fury of hell and the anti-Catholic hatred of the left is on full display here right now. The Holy Father is well-protected by the security forces of the country (though we should still pray for his safety) but these innocent kids are not. Most likely their sheer numbers will impede any serious problems, but acts of aggression against individual pilgrims are more than possible, so pray, pray, pray for their safety, please!

  11. Adeodataomnia says:

    Spain is my home away from home, and every time I go back there I feel acutely the dechristianization…however, there are smaller pockets of excellent Catholics in Spain and to me they are a tremendous inspiration.

    ¡Qué viva el Papa!

  12. Bryan Boyle says:

    All I can say is…man, I wish I had grown up with this example of leadership in the faith (Paul VI kid here….). Even more than Blessed JP-II, who, you have to admit, could be a little too deep sometimes, Benedict intuitively proclaims the joyous message that he instinctively feels in his heart. How can anyone (well, I guess, if you are under the society’s sway rather than Jesus’) fail to respond with generosity and understanding. I’ve noticed, and I guess more than one has commented, that people came from all over the world (and, I can attest to that, having been to many (5? 6? I forget) papal masses ) to see John Paul…but people travel to listen to Benedict. Both necessary..I have to admit, God does have a play…he raised up one from a foreign land to focus attention back where it belonged…and then sent another vineyard keeper to teach us…now that he had out attention.

  13. But, with all my heart, I say again to you young people: let nothing and no one take away your peace; do not be ashamed of the Lord. He did not spare himself in becoming one like us and in experiencing our anguish so as to lift it up to God, and in this way he saved us.

    Pope Benedict XVI is the rock!

  14. Brooklyn says:

    This was an absolutely beautiful message from our Holy Father, filled with deep spiritual wisdom and understanding, cutting right to the core of the world’s ills, as highlighted by Father Z –

    the prevailing superficiality, consumerism and hedonism, the widespread banalization of sexuality, the lack of solidarity, the corruption.

    But call me a cynic, which I suppose I am, but I remember being young once (oh, so long ago), and I know that the main reason most teenagers, at least, would go to a gathering like this is because it’s “cool”, there are lots of new people to meet, especially those of the opposite sex, and it’s a chance to get away from your parents. I have no doubt that there are a good number of young people there who are truly searching for the spiritual, but I tend to think they are in a distinct minority. The Holy Father’s comment,

    it may be supposed that they wish to hear the word of God

    tells me that he is not convinced that the motive of everyone there is for the right reason.

    I’m not sure it’s a good thing to cater to the young like this. That said, I think the address by the Holy Father was brilliant.

  15. irishgirl says:

    Bravo to our Papa Benedict! He hit another one out of the ballpark! Brilliant!
    And boo to the anti-papal demonstrators who terrorized some of the pilgrims! How dare they!
    The demonstrators have no joy or peace in their hearts, and they try to deny it to those who have it.
    Why is it that everything has to be seen as a ‘price tag’? (I’m talking about the uproar over ‘the cost’ of WYD)
    I never had the chance to go to a WYD when Blessed John Paul II was here-I was mostly working, and besides, I never did well in summer heat and large crowds.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    What a beautiful thought. What a wonderful Pope. And, here is a little touch of the vortex…perhaps you have all seen it. Take courage, all you young ones and not so …

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