TRUE REVOLUTION COMES
FROM GOD AND THE SAINTS, POPE TELLS 700,000 YOUTH
Cologne, Aug. 20, 2005 (CNA)
- Enthusiasm swept through the crowd as Pope Benedict
XVI arrived in Marienfeld Saturday evening for the World
Youth Day vigil.
The young people cheered
and waved as Pope Benedict was driven through the
2,700-hectare field to the stage, called the Altar’s
Hill, from which the Pope led the evening prayers and
delivered his address. The hill was lit up with 7,000
candles that had been placed into the earth.
At the beginning of the
vigil, the young people cheered again when the Pope
blessed a large church bell in memory of John Paul II.
It was rung as the choir sang Laudate Omnes Gentes. WYD
organizers said the bell would be placed in a Cologne
Calling the pilgrims
“dear young friends”, Pope Benedict told the 700,000
young people that definitive change and revolution in
the world only comes from God and the saints.
“In the last century we
experienced revolutions with a common program –
expecting nothing more from God, they assumed total
responsibility for the cause of the world in order to
change it,” he said. “True revolution consists in simply
turning to God who is the measure of what is right and
who at the same time is everlasting love.”
“[The saints] show us the
way to attain happiness, they show us how to be truly
human. Through all the ups and downs of history, they
were the true reformers who constantly rescued it from
plunging into the valley of darkness; it was they who
constantly shed upon it the light that was needed to
make sense – even in the midst of suffering,” he said.
He urged the young people
to contemplate the saints from whom “we learn what it
means ‘to adore’ and what it means to live according to
the measure of the child of Bethlehem, by the measure of
Jesus Christ and of God himself.”
He called on the young
people to learn to adore Christ, just as the saints and
the three Magi who preceded them.
“The new King, to whom
[the three Magi] now paid homage, was quite unlike what
they were expecting,” he said. “In this way they had to
learn that God is not as we usually imagine him to be.
This was where their inner journey began.”
The Magi had to change
their ideas about power, God and man, and ultimately,
they had to change themselves and learn to be giving of
themselves in order to serve Him, the Pope said.
The Pope also made
reference to wars and violence, fuelled by ideas that
such violence is the will of God. “There are many who
speak of God; some even preach hatred and perpetrate
violence in God’s name,” he said. “So it is important to
discover the true face of God.
“This means that we are
not constructing a private God, a private Jesus, but
that we believe and worship the Jesus who is manifested
to us by the Sacred Scriptures and who reveals himself
to be alive in the great procession of the faithful
called the Church, always alongside us and always before
us,” he proclaimed.
“There is much that could
be criticized in the Church,” the Pope admitted.
However, he said, it is “consoling to realize that there
is darnel in the Church.
”In this way, despite all
our defects, we can still hope to be counted among the
disciples of Jesus, who came to call sinners,” he said.
“The Church is like a human family, but at the same time
it is also the great family of God, through which he
establishes an overarching communion and unity that
embraces every continent, culture and nation.”