POPE John Paul II, in a message for World Youth Day in Toronto next year, urged young Catholics to steep themselves in Church tradition while experiencing the joy of living the Christian faith.
He asked youths to “steer clear of the mediocrity and conformism so widespread in society” by attaching themselves firmly to Christ.
He plans to join hundreds of thousands of young people in Toronto next July 18-28 for the international youth celebration.
“In this secularised age, when many of our contemporaries think and act as if God did not exist or are attracted to irrational forms of religion, it is you, dear young people, who must show that faith is a personal decision which involves your whole life,” Pope John Paul said.
In his message, released at the Vatican on July 31, he invited young Catholics to “come and make the great avenues of Toronto resound with the joyful tidings that Christ loves every person”.
“In the heart of a multicultural and multifaith city, we shall speak of Christ as the one saviour and proclaim the universal salvation of which the Church is the sacrament,” he said.
The gathering’s theme will be Christ’s words in the Gospel of Matthew: “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world”.
The 81 year-old pontiff asked young Christians to guard against being influenced by “those who are disillusioned with life and who have grown deaf to the deepest and most authentic desires of their heart’.
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