POPE Francis has urged young people to live a chaste love, because true love respects the other and refuses to use him or her.
The youth of Turin welcomed Pope Francis on June 21 as he concluded day one of his two-day trip by speaking for about 30 minutes to the young people gathered in Plaza Vittorio.
Three of the young people were given the opportunity to ask the Pope a question.
What is the greatness of the love of Jesus and how can we experience his love, asked 19-year-old Chiara.
Sara, age 27, asked what can be done to avoid discouragement and keep on hoping?
And Luigi, a 26-year-old university student, asked for advice on friendship and Jesus’ “greater love” for others.
In answering the questions, Pope Francis said it made him sad to see “youth who ‘retire’ at age 20, who age early”.
The desire to love is what kept a young person young, he said. But love, he said, wasn’t what was seen in the soap operas.
“Love is more in actions than in words,” he said.
“Love is concrete.”
In this regard, he said how God began to speak of love when he chose the people with whom he made a covenant, when he committed himself to this people.
Secondly, love was in communication, he said.
“Love listens and responds. Love is made in dialogue, in communion. It is communicated. Love is neither deaf nor dumb. It communicates,” he said.
Love was not “a romantic sentiment of the moment”.
Pope Francis also spoke about chastity, admitting that it could be an “unpopular” word that young people did not like.
But love was chaste, he said.
Love was respectful of people and did not use people.
“And you, young people, in this hedonistic world, in this world where the only thing that gets attention is pleasure, having a good time, living the good life, I tell you, be chaste. Be chaste,” he said.
The youth responded to his exhortation with applause.
“All of us have gone through times in life when this virtue is difficult,” the Pope said.
“But it is the proof of a genuine love, a love that knows how to give life, that doesn’t seek the other for one’s own pleasure.”
A chaste love was one that saw the other’s life as something sacred, affirming that “I respect you and I don’t want to use you”, he said.
“Look at the love parents have, of so many mothers and fathers who arrive to work in the morning exhausted because they haven’t slept well from having cared for a sick child. This is love. And this is respect,” he said.
Love was service, and serving the others, he said.