Pope Benedict
XVI responded to a cross section of Italian Catholic Action, on Saturday,
October 31. Reportedly, there were 50,000 children, 30,000 youth and 10,000
educators of Catholic Action, who were in Rome meeting under the theme: “There
Is More. We Become Great Together.” WOW!!!! The Pope really takes humanity seriously; he really understands me and my desires and my limitations. One of the Q&A that I liked is the

Your Holiness, our teachers in Catholic Action tell us that to grow
up it is necessary to learn to love, but often we fail and we suffer in our
relationships, in our friendships, in our first loves. But what does it mean to
love totally? How can we learn to love truly?

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Benedict XVI: A great question.
It is very important, I would say fundamental, to learn to love, truly to love,
to learn the art of real love!
In adolescence we stop before the mirror and we
notice that we are changing. But if you continue to look at yourself, you will
never grow up! You grow up when you do no longer let the mirror be the only
truth about you but when you let your friends tell you. You will grow up if you
are able to make your life a gift to others, not to seek yourselves, but to
give yourselves to others: this is the school of love. This love, however, must
bring you into that “more” that today shout to everyone. “There
is more!” As I have already said, I too, in my youth wanted something more
than what the society and the mentality of the time presented to me. I wanted
to breathe pure air, above all I desired a beautiful and good world, like our
God, the Father of Jesus, wanted for everyone. And I understood more and more
that the world becomes beautiful and good if one knows this will of God and if
the world corresponds to this will of God, which is the true light, beauty,
love that gives the world meaning.

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It is quite true: You cannot and must not
adapt yourselves to a love reduced to a commodity to be consumed without
respect for oneself or for others, incapable of chastity and purity
. This is
not freedom
. Much of the “love” that is proposed by the media, on the
internet, is not love but egoism, closure, it gives you the illusion of a
moment, but it does not make you happy, it does not make you grow up, it binds
you like a chain that suffocates more beautiful thoughts and sentiments, the
true desires of the heart, that irrepressible power that is love and that has
its maximum expression in Jesus and strength and fire in the Holy Spirit, who
enflames your lives, your thoughts, your affections. Of course it demands
sacrifice to live love in the true wa
y — without renunciation one does not
find this road
— but I am certain that you are not afraid of the toil of a
challenging and authentic love. It is the only kind that, in the final
analysis, gives true joy! There is a test that tells you whether your love is
growing in a healthy way: If you do not exclude others from your life, above
all your friends who are suffering and alone, people in difficulty, and if you
open your heart to the great friend Jesus

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Catholic Action also teaches you the
roads to take to learn authentic love: participation in the life of the Church,
of your Christian community, loving your friends in the Children’s Catholic
Action group, in Catholic Action, availability to those of your age at school,
in the parish or in other environments, the company of the Mother of Jesus,
Mary, who knows how to guide your heart and lead you along the way of good.
Moreover, in Catholic Action, you have many examples of genuine, beautiful,
true love
: Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed Alberto Marvelli; love that
also leads to the sacrifice of one’s life, like with Blessed Pierina Morosini
and Blessed Antonia Mesina.

Young people of Catholic Action, aspire to big
, because God gives you the strength. “More” is being young
people and children who decide to love like Jesus does, to be the protagonists
of our own lives, protagonists in the Church, witnesses of the faith to those
who are your age. 
“More” is the 

Bl Antonia Mesina.jpghuman and Christian formation that
you experience in Catholic Action, which unites spiritual life, fraternity,
public witness to the faith, ecclesial communion, love for the Church,
collaboration with the bishops and priests, spiritual friendship
. “Growing
up together” speaks of the importance of being part of a group and a
community that helps you to grow, to discover your vocation and to learn true love.
Thank you.