In a letter released yesterday ahead of the 38th diocesan World Youth Day on November 26, Pope Francis describes youth as a time of “hopes and dreams”, and asks how this optimism can be sustained in an increasingly crisis-ridden world. Source: Vatican News.
In the letter, titled “Rejoicing in Hope”, Pope Francis said that Christian hope is not “facile optimism” but rather certain knowledge of God’s presence among us, and proposes strategies for maintaining and sharing this positivity in dark times.
“Rejoice in Hope” is a quotation from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans.
Reflecting on the saint’s words, the Pope says that “youth is a time full of hopes and dreams, stirred by the many beautiful things that enrich our lives: the splendour of God’s creation, our relationships with friends and loved ones … and so many other things.”
However, he noted, the world is living in a period of crisis, of war, when “for many people, including the young, hope seems absent.” Many, he says, “feel as if they are in a dark prison, where the light of the sun cannot enter”.
In his letter, Pope Francis suggests two ways to maintain Christian hope in such difficult times.
The first of these, he says, is to recognise that hope is not “a product of our human efforts, plans or skills.” It is, rather, “born of an encounter with Christ. Christian joy comes from God himself, from our knowledge of his love for us.”
A second method for maintaining hope in the midst of suffering, he says, is to recognise that “we can also be part of God’s answer to the problem” by being “signs of His love, which gives rise to joy and hope even in situations that appear hopeless”.
Pope’s diocesan WYD Message: In dark times, hope (By Joseph Tulloch, Vatican News)