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Taking up what Dragan and Marija said: “Our communion gives us the strength to face the changes of contemporary society”. Here is a splendid secret that shows us how to dream and to turn our life into a wonderful adventure. No one can face life in isolation; no one can live the life of faith or realize his or her dreams alone, without leaving home, without being part of a community, alone at heart or at home, enclosed and isolated behind four walls. We need a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead.

PopeBulgariaA few minutes ago we saw two children playing here. They wanted to play, to play together. They didn’t go to play on their computers, they wanted to play for real! We observed them: they were happy, content. Because they dreamed of playing together, with one another. Did you see this?

Yet, at a certain point, one of them realized that the other was stronger, and instead of dreaming with the other, began to dream against the other, and tried to overcome the other. And that joy changed as we saw the weaker one in tears, on the floor. You saw how we can pass from dreaming with others to dreaming against others. Never dominate others! Build up community with others: this is the joy of moving ahead.

And now, let me tell you something I feel very strongly about: give yourselves a chance to share and enjoy a good “face-to-face” with everyone, but especially with your grandparents, with the elderly of your community. Perhaps some of you have heard me say this, but for me that is an antidote to those who would lock you up in the present, overwhelming you with pressures and demands, all in the name of an alleged happiness, as if the world is about to end and you have to experience everything right away. In the long run, this creates anxiety, dissatisfaction and a sense of hopelessness. For a heart tempted by hopelessness, there is no better remedy than listening to the experiences of older people.

Don’t forget the old saying that a little person can see further by standing on the shoulders of a giant. In this way, you will gain a new and broader vision. Enter into the wisdom of your people, your community, enter without shame or hesitations,PopeRomania1 and you will discover an unexpected source of creativity which will prove most fulfilling. It will let you perceive paths where others see barriers, possibilities where others see threats, resurrection where so many proclaim only death.

For this reason, dear young people, I tell you to speak with your grandparents and with your elders. They are your roots, the roots of your history, the roots of your people, the roots of your families.

You, young people, please be on your guard, because today also there are those who want to conquer, those who want to colonize, offering you coloured glass: this is ideological colonization. They will come to you and say: “No, you must be a more modern people, more advanced, take these things and take a new path, forget older things: progress ahead!” And what should you do? Discern. What this person is bringing to me, is it a good thing, something in harmony with the history of my people? Or is it “coloured glass”? In order for you not to be tricked, it’s important to speak to the elderly, speak to those who will pass onto you the history of your people, the roots of your people. Speak to the elderly, in order to grow. Speak to our history in order to make it develop. Speak to our roots in order to produce flowers and fruits.

And let us conclude together applauding all the young people, all the courageous women who bring forth history. And thankyou to the interpreter who is been really good!

 World Youth Day 2023

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