SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE "EUROMOOT" PARTICIPANTS
OF THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF GUIDES AND SCOUTS OF EUROPE (UISGE)
Paul VI Hall
Saturday, 3 August 2019
Dear friends, good morning and welcome!
I thank Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco for his words and I also thank all of you for being here, and because you have come a long way to get there! You have come a long way. You are a little tired, certainly. Of one thing I am sure: that inside you feel freer than before. I'm sure about this. And what does this tell us? That freedom is conquered on the way, not bought at the supermarket. You conquer on the way. Freedom does not come from being closed in a room with a mobile phone or even getting high to escape from reality. No, freedom comes on the way, step by step, together with others, never alone.
On your journey you have had five stages, five meetings with great saints who have traveled throughout Europe in different eras: Paul of Tarsus, Benedict of Norcia, Cyril and Methodius, Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena. These people, these saints, what did they have in common? They did not wait for something from life or from others, but they trusted God and risked it, they put themselves into play, on their way to realize dreams so great that after centuries they have done good for us too, for you, for everyone. They gave their lives, they didn't keep it for themselves. Then, after these five meetings, I would like to leave you five words. You have had five meetings, I would like to leave you five words. Not mine, but of the Gospel that accompanied you on the journey and that I invite you to always keep with you, as your navigator - the Gospel is the true navigator for the road of life - and to open it every day, because the Gospel is the map of life. Here are the five words of Jesus, they are five words, easy to remember: "Give and it will be given to you" (Lc 6,38). Five words, but a whole message, a life program. Simple words that set a clear course. Give and it will be given to you.
First of all dates. Today we immediately think of having. Many live with the sole purpose of possessing what they like. But they are never satisfied, because when you have one thing you want another and then another one and so on, without end. There is no satiety of having. Having more causes more hunger, more desire to have, without finding one that is good for the heart. The heart trains not with having, but with the gift. Having the heart bigger, it does it heavy, it makes it worldly. The gift makes it light. It's an everyday workout. This is why Jesus sets the starting point not to have it, but to give: give, that is, start to put life into play! To give means to get up from the armchair, from the comforts that make you fall back on yourself, and start walking. Giving means to stop being subjected to life and take the field to give the world a little good. Please do not leave life on the bedside table, do not settle for watching it on television, do not believe it will be the next app to download to make you happy. "The most beautiful dreams are won with hope, patience and commitment, renouncing haste" (Esort. Ap. Postsin. Christus vivit, 142). God accompanies you on this journey and encourages you to give your best. There is also another thing in the desire to have: alienation. You lose your originality and you will become a photocopy. But God created each original, with the proper name. We do not make our originality - as that 16-year-old Carlo Acutis said - a photocopy. How many young people today, it is sad, they are a photocopy, they have lost their originality and they copy the identity of any other originality. You say: "All right, I give the best of me, but around there is so much indifference, so many think only of themselves. Is it not that I do the figure of the naive and lose myself and with giving I become a naive which everyone will laugh at? " I would like to tell you: trust Jesus. Trust Jesus. After saying dates, he adds: and it will be given to you. God is Father and will give you more than you imagine. God does not leave empty-handed. When it seems to take something away from you, it is only to make room and give you more and better, to make you progress on the path. It frees you from the false promises of consumption to make you free inside. Jesus makes you happy inside, not outside. Jesus does not make you the make-up, no: reality makes you inside, makes you beautiful from within, makes you beautiful from within! Not from outside. It gives you what no thing can give you; because the last smartphone, the fastest car or the fashionable dress, besides never being enough, will never give you the joy of feeling loved and also the joy of loving. This is the true joy: to feel yourself loved and to love.
So the first thing, to give. It is the secret of life. Do you know why? Because life is a special reality: "I want to possess life, possess my life. What should I do? ”Life is possessed only by giving it, giving it. So you will own your life! But you can say: "Even if I do my best, reality will not change for the better". It's not true. Do you know why? Because you are unique. Because nobody in the world can give the world what you are called to give. The same thing someone said to Mother Teresa of Calcutta: "But she is a nun, she does these things with the poor, with the dying ... She does many beautiful things ... But what does this do in a world so pagan, so atheist, so wicked, with so many wars? ". And she said: "One more drop in the sea. If I don't give it, nobody will give it. " No one can give what I, the only one, can give. No one in the world can give what you are called to give you! Each of you is unique and - please never forget it - is precious in the eyes of God. You are precious to the Church, you are precious to me. I would like to tell each of you: for me you are precious. You are precious to God. It would be nice to say from the heart every time you are together, to everyone, from the heart: "You are precious, you are precious ...". This is the gift. Even with regard to others the invitation of Jesus dates and will be given to you. I like to think of what in Scout parlance you call Departure, that is when you choose to make service your lifestyle. Open up to others, live to do good to others, live - to use your words - the scout brotherhood: if you live like this, it will be given to you. Yes, because if you build bridges to others you will see others walk those bridges towards you. When, on the other hand, you are alone in the air, losing yourself in your fantasies, you live in soap bubbles. But a life that wanders in the air evaporates instead of moving forward. Look at your hands, made to build, to serve, to give and to give to others and tell yourself: "I care, the other concerns me".
Dates and will be given to you also applies to creation. If we continue to exploit it, it will give us a terrible lesson. We are already seeing it. If we take care of it, we will have a home tomorrow. On your journey you have immersed yourself in nature. Beautiful! Have you noticed that creation has no borders? Creation has no borders: it belongs to everyone and to everyone. Plants, woods, animals grow without borders, without customs. Creation is an open book that gives us a precious teaching: we are in the world to meet others, to create communion, because we are all connected. Creation is made to connect us with God and between us, it is the social of God. But if we start from preconceptions about others, from predetermined ideas, we will always see limits and barriers. If instead we begin to meet the other, with his story, with his reality, we will discover a brother with whom to inhabit the common house, to inhabit the creation that has no borders.
Dear friends, you have walked this far following the motto Parate viam Domini. I encourage you to prepare the way of the Lord wherever you are. The way of the Lord is easy to recognize: it is the one that as a sense of walking has the gift, which makes the world go on; not possession, which brings back. Don't forget: possession is like this. Giving is like this. Possession makes you go back. Giving keeps you going. By choosing the way of the gift, you become an active citizen, as your founder Baden Powell said. It is so important today: the Lord seeks not only good people - not only this - but the Lord is looking for people who do good! Also the love for Europe, which unites you, requires not only attentive observers, but active builders: builders of reconciled and integrated societies, which give life to a renewed Europe; not protector of spaces, but generating meetings. Europe needs to meet. You, rovers and carvers from all over Europe have this historic task. With your journey and your dreams you are already forging the European spirit. The badge of all scouts is a lily. It is the symbol that indicates the north on compasses and ancient nautical charts. Remember that scouting wants to form men and women who open roads to the High and keep the right course, that of good. Do not forget: give, always like this, forward; not with the desire to possess that always brings back. "Give and it will be given to you". It will be the gift to fill your desire. I wish you, dear sculptors and rovers of Europe, to be open-roads on the way of the gift, open-road on this path of giving, of giving. Give and it will be given to you. I thank you, I ask you to pray for me and I wish you a good way!
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va and Image Share
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va and Image Share