50 questions
50 questions
Message to young people of France

 

The human being is a corporal being. (This very simple statement is pregnant with consequences.) However material it may be, the body is not an object (among other objects). It is in the first place someone, in the sense that it is a manifestation of the person, a way of being present to others (of communications, of:extremely varied expression ). The body is a word, a language. What a marvel what a risk at the same time ! (Young men and women.) have very great respect for your body and for the bodies of others! Let your body be in the service of your inner self ! Let your gestures, your looks, always be the reflection of your soul ! Worship of the body? No, never! contempt of the body? Again no! Control of the body? Yes ! Transfiguration of the body ! Even more! (...)

This mastery (of the body) is decisive for the integration of sexuality (in your lives as young people and adults). (...) The union of bodies has always been the most forceful language in which two beings can communicate with each other. That is why this language, which touches the sacred mystery of man and woman, demands that the gestures of love should never be performed without the conditions of a complete and definitive assumption of responsibility for the partner, and that the commitment should be undertaken publicly in marriage. (...)

You are also worth what your heart is worth. The whole history of mankind is the history of the need of loving and being loved. This end of century (-especially in regions of accelerated social change-) makes the development of healthy emotions more difficult. (...) It is important in this sphere, as in the preceding ones, to see things clearly, Whatever use humans make of it, the heart - the symbol of friendship and love - has its norms, its ethics. To make room for the heart in the harmonious construction of your personality has nothing to do with mawkishness (oversensitiveness /squeamishness) or even sÆntimentality.

The heart is the opening of the whole being to the existence of others, the capacity of divining them/figuring them out, of understanding them. (...) To love is, therefore, essentially to give oneself to others. Far from being an instinctive inclination, love is a conscious decision of the will to go towards others. To be able to love truly, it is necessary tu detach oneself from many things and above all from oneself, to give gratuitously, to love to the end. This dispossession of oneself - a long and demanding task - is exhausting and exalting. It is the source of balance. It is the secret of happiness.

Raise your eyes more often towards Jesus Christ! He is the Man who loved most, and most consciously, most, voluntarily and most gratuitously ! Contemplate the Man-God, the man with the pierced heart ! Do not be afraid! Jesus did not come to condemn love but to free love from its ambiguities and its counterfeits. (...) Let him be your salvation and your happiness. Let him seize your whole life in order that it may reach all its dimensions with him, that all your relationships, activities, feelings and thoughts may be integrated in him, (one could say 'Christified'). I hope than with Christ you will recognize God as the source and end of your existence. (...)

John Paul II
June 1. 1980



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