2013-10-04 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) At the conclusion of his one day visit to Assisi on Friday, Pope Francis met with over 20.000 enthusiastic young people gathered in front of the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, answering four questions about faith, family, vocations and their fears for the future.
Responding to the first question from a young couple with their new baby, the Pope said it takes courage to form a family, to build solid and lasting relationships in our ephemeral and superficial environment. But the Holy Spirit, he said, has inspired many new initiatives within the Church for young people, for couples in crisis, or for parents and children in difficult situations.
Marriage and the family, the Pope stressed, is a real vocation, but there are also others who are called to the vocation of celibacy and commitment to the Kingdom of God. How can we recognise this calling, a young man and woman had asked him? By listening to the voice of God, he replied, in silence, in prayer, in the Sacraments. Having a living relationship with Our Lord, he said, is like keeping an open window so that we can hear God calling us and telling us what he wants us to do. Every calling is different, he went on, but each one begins with an encounter with God that touches our hearts and involves every part of our being.
Responding to the other two questions about loss of hope in the future and how to participate in this Year of Faith, Pope Francis urged the young people to listen to the voice of St Francis calling them to be servants of the Gospel of Christ. This message of salvation, he said, must not be mere empty words ,but must help us to transform the world through the witness of our life and faith.
Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report: