10 Key Messages for Young People from Pope Francis

Pope Francis recently offered some excellent insight and advice at a mass for teens. Here are 10 of his key messages:

  1. Love, in other words, is the Christian’s identity card, the only valid “document” identifying us as Christians.  If this card expires and is not constantly renewed, we stop being witnesses of the Master.
  2. Before all else, love is beautiful, it is the path to happiness.  But it is not an easy path.  It is demanding and it requires effort.
  3. To love means to give, not only something material, but also something of one’s self: one’s own time, one’s friendship, one’s own abilities.
  4. At this point in life you feel also a great longing for freedom.  Many people will say to you that freedom means doing whatever you want.  But here you have to be able to say no.  Freedom is not the ability simply to do what I want.  This makes us self-centred and aloof, and it prevents us from being open and sincere friends.  Instead, freedom is the gift of being able to choose the good.  The free person is the one who chooses what is good, what is pleasing to God, even if it requires effort.
  5. Only by courageous and firm decisions do we realize our greatest dreams, the dreams which it is worth spending our entire lives to pursue.  Don’t be content with mediocrity, with “simply going with the flow”, with being comfortable and laid back.
  6. Don’t believe those who would distract you from the real treasure, which you are, by telling you that life is beautiful only if you have many possessions.
  7. Be skeptical about people who want to make you believe that you are only important if you act tough like the heroes in films or if you wear the latest fashions.
  8. Your happiness has no price.  It cannot be bought: it is not an app that you can download on your phones nor will the latest update bring you freedom and grandeur in love.
  9. Love is nurtured by trust, respect and forgiveness.  Love does not happen because we talk about it, but when we live it: it is not a sweet poem to study and memorize, but is a life choice to put into practice!
  10. Be like sporting champions, who attain high goals by quiet daily effort and practice.  Let your daily program be the works of mercy.  Enthusiastically practice them, so as to be champions in life!  In this way you will be recognized as disciples of Jesus.  And your joy will be complete.