Pope Francis Tells Students "Jesus Christ is the greatest educator in history: with the love of the Father and the action of the Holy Spirit....He knocks on the heart of each of us." FULL TEXT

Clementina room
Monday, September 12, 2022
Dear friends, good morning and welcome!
I thank the President for his kind words. You are part of the largest student association in Switzerland, which brings together people from different generations - this is very positive, the encounter and dialogue between generations - and also with different study paths. This is also important: you are not a corporation, what unites you is the fact that you are or have been students.
Therefore I would like first of all, together with you, to thank God for this opportunity that he has given you. This is not something to be taken for granted! We know that in the world there are many people who do not have access to education; and others - especially women - who have to limit themselves only to lower levels or to certain types of studies; and still others who are obliged to receive forced education. Therefore, we thank God for having been able to study and for having been able to do it freely.
Therefore I would like to make you a proposal: that your Association can take charge of some concrete situation to favor the realization of the right to study. Perhaps this is a goal that is already part of your activities. If so, I congratulate you and encourage you to pursue it with renewed commitment.
Dear friends, this year you are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the canonization of St. Nicholas of Flüe, the patron saint of Switzerland and also of your Association. And this circumstance prompted you to come on pilgrimage to Rome. I like to note that there is a beautiful analogy between being a student and being a pilgrim. Studying is a journey. And your association reminds us that students, in a broad sense, are students for life. A specific study, of course, can and must have specific, well-defined times and objects, in order not to become eternal students who never leave university. But study as a human attitude can always be cultivated. Indeed, the more noble and pleasant it is, the more it is free, gratuitous, not subject to utility purposes. In this sense, being a student means wanting to learn, to know, not to consider yourself already arrived. Be on the way. Having the spirit of the disciple, always, at any age.
This makes me think of a beautiful consideration by Romano Guardini, who says: "We must always presuppose one thing: the mystery of birth ... All that is defined as education means only to serve, to help, to liberate, remaining within this mystery. ". To educate is to accompany a man, a woman in his "birth" as a person, in his "coming into the world", in his "coming to light". Jesus Christ is the greatest educator in history: with the love of the Father and the action of the Holy Spirit he makes us be born "from above", as he said to Nicodemus (cf. Jn 3: 3). He brings the new man out of the old man's shell. He frees us from the slavery of the ego and opens us to the fullness of life in communion with God, with others, with creatures, and even with ourselves. Because - as Augustine shows us well in his Confessions - we are not at peace with ourselves until we surrender to the love of God in Christ Jesus. This love that persecutes us, which is always disturbing and peaceful at the same time.
And here, dear friends, I cannot help but ask you a question: you who are students, and you are, let's put it this way, by statute, are you also "students" of the Word of God? Do you dedicate some of your time to reading the Bible, the Gospels? If, as I said, you are people on a journey, in search, do you also feel you are seekers of God? You take that for granted ... Do you feel like disciples of Jesus, eager to listen to him, to ask him questions, to meditate on his words and on his actions? ...
This, it seems to me, means to be pilgrims: not to be content with "getting by", but wanting to live. And Jesus is the One whom the Father sent to give us life "in abundance" (Jn 10:10). He alone can give birth to eternal life, because he has "the words of eternal life" (Jn 6:68). He knows us better than ourselves, because he is closer to us than ourselves (cf. Augustine, Conf. 3, 6, 11). Think of Jesus, read the Gospels, so that Jesus can enter your memory as a reference and into your hearts, because He knocks on the heart of each of us.
Thank you for coming and I wish you all the best for your association. St. Nicholas of Flüe intercede so that you may always be passionate seekers of the true, the good and the beautiful. I cordially bless you and your families. And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you.
Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot