Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
The true fruits of the Youth Jubilee can never be calculated by statistics, but only in works of love and justice, and in everyday faithfulness, so invaluable, yet so often unseen. I have entrusted to you, dear young people, ... the task of offering the world this consistent evangelical witness.
I invite you to reflect on the conditions that Jesus asked of those who wanted to be His disciples: "If anyone wishes to come after Me," He said, "he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Lk 9:23).
Jesus ... carried out His mission of salvation for all those who believe in Him and love Him, not in word, but in deed. Love is the condition for following Him, but it is sacrifice that is the proof of that love...
Jesus does not ask us to give up living, but to accept a newness and fullness of life that only He can give... Life in its fullness is only lived in self-giving, and that is the fruit of the grace of Christ: an existence that is free and in communion with God and neighbor...
If to live as a follower of the Lord becomes the highest value, then all other values are given their rightful rank and importance. Whoever depends solely on worldly goods will end up by losing, even though there might seem to be an appearance of success... The choice is between being and having, between a full life and an empty existence, between truth and falsehood.
It is not suffering for its own sake that a Christian seeks, but love. When the cross is embraced it becomes a sign of love and of total self-giving. To carry it behind Christ means to be united with Him in offering the greatest proof of love.
The human being has a deep-rooted tendency to "think only of self", to regard one's own person as the center of interest and to see oneself as the standard against which to gauge everything. One who chooses to follow Christ ... avoids being wrapped up in himself and does not evaluate things according to self interest.
The "way of life" ... is constantly being threatened by the "way of death." Sin is this way that separates a person from God and neighbor and brings about division and undermines society from within.
The "way of life" is the way that does not fear failure, difficulties, isolation, loneliness, because it fills our hearts with the presence of Jesus.
Do not be afraid to walk the way first trodden by the Lord. With your youthfulness, put your mark of hope and enthusiasm, ... on the third millennium that is just beginning.
(Source: Message for World Youth Day, issued February 14, 2001)
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