Pope to young people: Be restless, take risks

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Stay restless, take risks, and never lose your sense of wonder.

That was Pope Francis’ advice to participants in a meeting organised by the Toniolo Young Professional Association on Friday morning.

Members of the Italian organisation – who the Pope thanked for their “service and commitment” – have been assisting the Holy See’s work with the United Nations.

‘Short thought’

Pope Francis began his address by warning against “what some call ‘short thought’ (pensiero breve)”.

‘Short thought’, he said, is “made up of a few characters, and burns quickly; a thought that does not look upwards and ahead, but at the here and now … a thought that does not look back at history.”

“Faced with the complexity of life and the world,” the Pope stressed, “this short thought leads to generalisation and criticism, to simplification and the distortion of reality, in the pursuit of one’s own immediate interests instead of the good of others and the future of all.”

Risks, restlessness, wonder

How can ‘short thought’ be resisted? Pope Francis suggested three strategies: restlessness, risk, and amazement.

“Do you dream?,” Pope Francis asked the young people. “Do you have restlessness in your thoughts, in your hearts? Are you restless or are you ‘retired’ young people already? Do not forget: restless dreaming.”

He also encouraged them to “not be afraid to risk”.

“Please risk, risk” the Pope urged. “If you do not risk, who will?”

Finally, he also recommend “astonishment” as an antitode to ‘short thought’.

“Think about it,” he suggested: “Have I lost the capacity to be amazed?”

“When a young person loses the capacity to be amazed, loses astonishment, they are already retired.”

Life is made to be given away

The Pope also stressed that “Life ought to be given away, not managed.”

“A quest that fascinates you, a prayer from the heart, an enquiry that shakes you, a page that you give to others, a dream to be realised, a gesture of love for those who cannot reciprocate… This is style with which God made the world, the style of gratuitousness, which gets you out of the logic of ‘I do in order to have’ and ‘I work to earn’.”

Source: Vaticannews.va