Do social media and TV show us the world as it really is? Not according to Pope Francis
Young people must not allow themselves to be led astray by a 'false image' of reality presented on social media and TV, the Pope has said.
Pope Francis asks how young people should 'save' in their memory the events and experiences of their life.
'Our memories should not remain crammed together, as in the memory of a hard drive. Nor can we archive everything in some sort of virtual "cloud".
'We need to learn how to make past events a dynamic reality on which to reflect and to draw lessons and meaning for the present and the future. This is no easy task, but one necessary for discovering the thread of God's love running through the whole of our life.'
Many people say that the young are distracted and superficial.
'They are wrong,' says the Pope. 'In the social media, we see faces of young people appearing in any number of pictures recounting more or less real events, but we don't know how much of all this is really "history", an experience that can be communicated and endowed with purpose and meaning. Television is full of "reality shows" which are not real stories, but only moments passed before a television camera by characters living from day to day, without a greater plan.
'Don't let yourselves be led astray by this false image of reality. Be the protagonists of your history; decide your own future.'
The Pople also said that the modern age does not need young people who are 'couch-potatoes'. Youngsters should motivate themselves to get up, get out and lend a hand
In his message to young people to mark the Catholic Church's annual World Youth Day, the Pope uses the example of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The Bible reports that early in her pregnancy, Mary needed to see her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist.
Mary did not shut herself up at home or let herself be paralysed by fear or pride.
Pope Francis says: 'Mary is not the type that, to be comfortable, needs a good sofa where she can feel safe and sound. She is no couch potato!'
When God touches the heart of a young man or woman, they become capable of doing tremendous things, the Pope says.
'Being young does not mean being disconnected from the past. Our personal history is part of a long trail, a communal journey that has preceded us over,' he says.
'Our personal history is part of a long trail, a communal journey that has preceded us over the ages. Like Mary, we belong to a people. History teaches us that, even when the Church has to sail on stormy seas, the hand of God guides her and helps her to overcome moments of difficulty. The genuine experience of the Church is not like a flash mob, where people agree to meet, do their thing and then go their separate ways.'
This year's World Youth Day, which is being celebrated at diocesan level on Palm Sunday, is spiritual preparation for the international celebration of World Youth Day in Panama on January 22-27, 2019, Vatican Radio reports. The last international world youth day was in Krakow, Poland.