(FSML) “We got up from the comfortable sofa of our certainties, we put on a pair of boots and with the backpack loaded with dreams and questions, we set out on a thousand roads”.
So Elena greeted, on behalf of all her peers, Pope Francis, who arrived on the stage of the Circus Maximus after having crossed the tide of boys climbing in every corner of the great esplanade in the heart of Rome. The Pope came to listen to them and answer their questions and while the children are talking he takes notes.
Letizia and Lucamatteo, first of all, ask him for a word on the construction of their personal identity, their dreams and their fears.
Pope Francis says that the dreams of young people are important. “A young man who does not know how to dream – he says – is an anesthetized young man and will not be able to understand the power of life: dreams wake you up. They are your responsibility and your treasure; let them also be your future ”. The dreams of young people – continues Francis – frighten adults who have stopped dreaming and taking risks. “But you – he invites – don’t let your dreams be stolen! “Be pilgrims on the road of your dreams.”
Martina then speaks to the Pope about discernment and commitment to the world, also referring to the vocation to marriage.
“The choice – the Pope replies – is not a freedom without constraints, which always retains some way of escape”.
“The greatest enemy of love – he adds – is the double life”. And this, he continues, is also valid for marriage: man and woman together are the image and likeness of God. “Do not be afraid” – his invitation – to risk for true love, but not for “made up love from love “.
Lastly, Dario, a young nurse who deals with palliative care, takes the floor and speaks to the Pope about faith and the search for meaning, about the great questions and the responsibility of the Church in witnessing. “Not all whys have an answer,” admits Pope Francis. “We don’t know why children suffer; we will find a way only by looking at Christ and his Mother ”. In conclusion, the strongest words: the invitation to learn to listen to suffering and problems, to be silent, or “we will never be able to give a positive answer”. “Being a Christian is not a status”, he says. “The Church without witness is only smoke”.
After the prayer vigil, Pope Francis’ thanks to the young people and his last invitation: “Take a risk, go ahead. The Church needs your momentum, your intuitions and when you arrive where we have not yet reached, have the patience to wait for us. (…) Walking together makes us become the people of God. “
The appointment with the Pope is for Sunday morning in St. Peter’s Square. For the kids, an evening of celebration and music at the Circus Maximus and a white night of prayer, art and spirituality in the Roman churches.