Pope Francis Suggests the Rosary "Learn from the Virgin Mary to keep and meditate in your heart the life of Jesus, the mysteries of Jesus" to Youth of Catholic Action

Paul VI Hall
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Dear young people of Catholic Action, good morning and welcome! ... At least you know how to make noise, that's already one thing, go ahead!
I thank the National President for his words.
I tell you right away that I really appreciate the fact that the parish is dear to you. It's important to me too! The parish. There are movements, there are things that rotate… The parish: the root is in the parish. But I'm from another generation. I was born and raised in a different social and ecclesial context, when the parish - with its parish priest - was a central point of reference for the life of the people: Sunday Mass, catechesis, the sacraments ... The socio-cultural reality in which you live has changed a lot, we know it; and for some time - first in other countries, then also in Italy - the mission of the Church has been rethought, in particular the parish. But, in all this, one thing remains essential: for us, for me and for you, for our journey of faith and growth, the parish experience has been and is important, irreplaceable. It is the "normal" environment where we learned to listen to the Gospel, to know the Lord Jesus, to offer a free service, to pray in community, to share projects and initiatives, to feel part of the holy people of God ...
You have also lived all this through Catholic Action, that is, an associative experience that is, so to speak, "intertwined" with that of the parish community. Some of you imagine that you have been part of an ACR group, the Children's Catholic Action; and there you already learn a lot about what it means to be part of a Christian community: to participate, share, collaborate and pray together ...
This is very important: to learn through experience that in the Church we are all brothers by Baptism; that we are all protagonists and responsible; that we have different gifts and all for the good of the community; that life is a vocation, to follow Jesus; that faith is a gift to be given, a gift to be witnessed.

And then, again: that the Christian is interested in social reality and gives his own contribution; that our motto is not “I don't care”, but “I care!”. Be careful, be careful you, that the disease of indifference in young people is more dangerous than cancer. Please be careful! We have learned that human misery is not a fate that touches some unfortunate, but almost always the fruit of injustices to be eradicated. And so on, we have learned all these things. These realities of life are often learned in the parish and in Catholic Action. How many young people have been trained in this school! How many have given their witness both in the Church and in society, in the various vocations and above all as lay faithful, who have carried on as adults and elderly the lifestyle matured as young people, in the parish.
So, dear young people, we are of different generations, but we have in common the love for the Church and the passion for the parish, which is the Church in the midst of the houses, in the midst of the people. And on the basis of this passion I would like to share some points with you, trying to be in tune with your journey and your commitment.
First of all, you want to contribute to making the Church grow in fraternity. Thank you! We are perfectly tuned to this. Yes, but how to do it? First of all, do not be frightened if - as you have noticed - in the communities you see that the community dimension is a bit weak. It is a very important thing, but do not be frightened, because it is a social fact, which has worsened with the pandemic. Today, especially young people, they are extremely different compared to 50 years ago: there is no longer the desire to hold meetings, debates, assemblies ... On the one hand, it is a good thing, even for you: Catholic Action should not be a Catholic “Session” !, and the Church doesn't go on with meetings! But, on the other hand, individualism, closure in private or in small groups, the tendency to relate "at a distance" also infect Christian communities. If we verify ourselves, we are all somewhat influenced by this selfish culture. So you have to react, and you too can do it by starting with a work on yourself.
And I say a "job" because it is a demanding journey and requires constancy. Fraternity is not improvised and is not built only with emotions, slogans, events ... No, fraternity is a work that each one does on himself together with the Lord, with the Holy Spirit, who creates harmony between diversity. I recommend that you re-read that part of the Exhortation Christus vivit entitled "Paths of fraternity". These are few numbers: from 163 to 167. Christus vivit, Paths of fraternity. Please, read it. The starting point is to go out of oneself to open up to others and go out to meet them (cf. no. 163). The Spirit of the Risen Jesus does this: it makes us come out of ourselves, opens us to encounter. Attention! It is not alienation, no, it is a relationship, in which we recognize ourselves and grow together. The fundamental reality for us is that in the Church we live this movement in Christ, through the Eucharist: he comes out of himself and comes into us because we go out of ourselves and unite with him, and in him we find ourselves in a new communion. , free, free, voluntary. Fraternity in the Church is founded in Christ, in his presence in us and among us. Thanks to him we welcome ourselves, we endure each other - Christian love is built on enduring ourselves - and we forgive ourselves. I stop here. You understand me well, they are realities that you live, they are yours, our joy!
And here I stop on a point that for me is like the most serious illness in a parish community: chatter. The chatter that is always made as a tool for climbing, promotion, self-promotion: dirtying the other so that I can go further. Please, chatter is not Christian, it is diabolical because it divides. Look out, you young people, please. Let's leave this for the spinsters… Never chat about another. And if you have one thing against the other, go and say it in the face; be a man, be a woman: in the face, always. Then sometimes you will receive a punch, but you told the truth, you said it to your face with fraternal charity. Please, hidden criticisms are the things of the devil. If you want to criticize, all together, criticize yourselves, but not outside, against you.
And with these things that I have said we understand in what sense Christians become "leaven" in society: if a Christian is in Christ, if he is a brother in the Lord, if he is animated by the Spirit, he can only be leaven where he lives: leaven of humanity, because Jesus Christ is the perfect Man and his Gospel is a humanizing force. I really like an expression that you use: "to be mixed in this world". It is the principle of incarnation, the way of Jesus: to bring new life from within, not from outside, no, from within. But on one condition, however, that would seem obvious but it is not: that the yeast is yeast, that the salt is salt, that the light is light. But if the yeast is another thing, it doesn't work; if salt is another thing, it doesn't work; if the light is dark, it doesn't work. Otherwise, if, being in the world, we become worldly, we lose the newness of Christ and have nothing more to say or to give. And here is your other expression that struck me: "to be young credible believers". This is what Jesus says when, on the one hand, he says: "You are the salt of the earth", and then immediately warns: be careful not to lose the flavor! (cf Mt 5:13). "This, as a boy, as a girl, was a good one, a good one, of Catholic Action, he went on, everywhere ... Now he is a lukewarm, a lukewarm, he is one who does not make himself felt, a spiritually boring and bored person, who does not he has the strength to carry the Gospel forward ”. Be careful: that the salt remains salt, that the yeast remains yeast, that the light remains light!
Young believers, responsible and credible: this is what I wish you. This could also become a formula, a "way of saying". But this is not the case, because these words are embodied in the saints, in the young saints! Mother Church offers us many, we think - limiting ourselves only to a few Italians - of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Rosa da Viterbo, Gabriele dell'Addolorata, Domenico Savio, Gemma Galgani, Maria Goretti, Pier Giorgio Frassati, Chiara Badano, Carlo Acutis. They teach us what it means to be leaven, to be in the world, not of the world. Pier Giorgio Frassati was an active and enthusiastic member of the Italian Catholic Action, in particular of the FUCI, and demonstrates how one can be credible responsible young believers, happy and smiling believers. Woe to the young people with the face of a wake: they have lost everything.
Dear friends, there would be many things we could share about life in the parish and witness in society. But we don't have the time - nor do we have the patience to keep talking! -. I would like to add just one suggestion, which also comes from the fact that October is the month of the Rosary: learn from the Virgin Mary to keep and meditate in your heart the life of Jesus, the mysteries of Jesus. painful, glorious of his life, and they will allow you to live the ordinary in an extraordinary way, that is, with the newness of the Spirit, with the newness of the Gospel.
Thank you for coming and thank you for your testimony! Go forward with joy and courage. I cordially bless you and all the young people of Catholic Action. Have a good journey in your parishes and knead like leaven in the world! And please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you!
Source Vatican.va with  Image Screenshot Vatican.va