Lines taken from JPII address prepared for youth rally held in Superdome, Sept 12, 1987
Dear Young People of New Orleans,
Dear Young People of America,
I know that you are very much conscious of having a special mission in the world, of being partners in the mission of the Church.
I know that in fulfilling your mission you are willing to give, you are willing to share, you are willing to serve.
Yes, dear young people, I too want to speak about your mission, the reason for your life on earth, the truth of your lives.
You young people are proud to live in a free country and you should be grateful to God for your freedom…only Jesus Christ can make you fully free through his truth. Dear young people the whole message of Jesus in the Gospels and through his Church helps you to discover who you really are, to discover all the dimensions of your lives.
Each of us is an individual…he has a plan for us…God became man to explain it to us.
…but we are also apart of a community…as persons we have responsibilities and that these are part of our freedom…man is defined by this (GeS,55)…to understand ourselves as persons responsible to others, is a great insight – an insight that is necessary for fulfilling our mission properly.
There is no room for selfishness (he says 2xs)…It destroys the meaning of life; it destroys the meaning of love; it reduces the human person.
Being open to others…we are actually talking about the whole world…you young people much change society by your lives…partners with Christ.
In order to accomplish great works…you yourselves must actually be living in accord with your own identity – according to God’s plan for your lives…living the Beatitudes…you are liable to be accused of being naïve. But the message of Jesus is clear: purity means true love, and it is the total opposite of selfishness and escape.
What is in accord with the truth of Jesus is fulfillment, joy and peace, even if it means effort and discipline. What is not in accord…disorder, sin, unhappiness, frustration.
The supreme theft in your life would be if they [sinful ways, actions] succeeded in robbing you of hope. They will try, but they will not succeed if you hold fast to Jesus and his truth.
The truth of Jesus is capable of reinforcing all your energies. It will unify your lives and consolidate your sense of mission.
These are the responses to the culture of death. The Church possesses light – the truth of Jesus Christ!
Prayer…communion with God…deeply personal between ourselves and God.
In prayer we express our feelings, our thoughts, our sentiments. Only God loves us perfectly, with an everlasting love. In prayer we open our hearts and our minds to this love of God. And it is prayer that makes us one with the Lord. Through prayer we come to share more deeply in God’s life and his love.
Jesus’ habit of prayer.
If you really wish to follow Christ, if you want your love for him to grow and last, then you must be faithful to prayer. It is the key to the vitality of your life in Christ. Without prayer, your faith and love will die. If you are constant in daily prayer and in the Sunday celebration of the Mass, your love for Jesus will increase. And your heart will know deep joy and peace, such as the world could never give.
But many young people tell me they do not know how to pray…how did Jesus himself pray?
Prayer is marked by the spirit of joy and praise…the Eucharist remains for all ages the perfect means of offering to the Father glory and thanksgiving and praise.
Yet there are also times of suffering…
Most important thing is not to stop praying, not to give up the effort
For true success of our lives consists in knowing and doing the will of Jesus (Mary to Jesus: do what ever he tells you). Realize when you pray it is not just asking God for something or seeking special help. But also prayer should be characterized by thanking and praise, by adoration and attentive listening, by asking God’s pardon and forgiveness. If you follow Jesus’ advice, and pray to God constantly, then you will learn to pray well. God himself will teach you.
Prayer can truly change your life. For it turns your attention away from yourself and directs your mind and your heart toward the Lord. If we keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, then our hearts are filled with hope, our minds are washed in the light of truth, and we come to know the fullness of the Gospel with all its promise and life.
Prayer also helps us to be open to the Spirit, the Spirit of truth and of love…It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength to resist evil and do good, to do our part in building up the kingdom of God.
Dear young people: my message is not new. I have given it before and, with God’s grace, I will give it again. And so, as long as the memory of this visit lasts, may it be recorded that I, John Paul II, came to America to call you to Christ, to invite you to pray!
"Joy Battista" stands for the Joy of John the Baptist at the presence of Christ.
"And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy." Luke 1:43-44
This blog is dedicated to all who seek the Joy of Christ's presence in their own lives.
This blog is also dedicated to the unborn, for John the Baptist was an unborn when he leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus who was also unborn at the time.