Happiness Is Much Deeper: We Find It Only in Jesus"
VATICAN CITY, DEC. 24, 2005 (Zenit.org).-
Here is a recently released translation of the message Benedict XVI sent for the
first National Day of Young Catholics of the Netherlands. The message was read
to the thousands of youths gathered
Nov. 27 in Nieuwegein.
The document was dated Nov. 21.
* * *
Dear young Friends,
I would like to send my cordial greetings to you all, gathered in Nieuwegein for
the First National Day of Young Catholics of the Netherlands. I greet Cardinal
Adrianus Simonis, archbishop of Utrecht and president of the Bishops'
Conference, and all the Dutch bishops, expressing deep appreciation for the
organization of this propitious initiative. I would then like to thank the
Werkgroep Katholieke Jongeren for its work in these years and the priests and
lay people involved in the pastoral care of youth, who are following you in your
With this message, dear young people, I wish to make myself spiritually present
among you and to assure you that I accompany you in prayer. I know that a great
many of you took part in the world meeting at Cologne and it therefore gives me
great joy that you now want to continue the experience that began with World
Youth Day, involving others of your age who did not have the grace to take part
in it. Holding today's meeting at the invitation of your bishops is a very
beautiful sign for Dutch society: It means that you are not afraid to say that
you are Christians and want to witness to it openly.
In fact, the deepest reason for your gathering together is to encounter the Lord
Jesus Christ. This is how it was for those who took part in the recent World
Youth Day, whose theme was: "We have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2). In the
footsteps of the Magi, impelled by the yearning to seek the truth, young people
from every corner of the earth met in Cologne to seek and worship God made Man,
and then, transformed by their encounter with him and illumined by his presence,
they returned to their country, like the Magi, "by another route" (Matthew
2:12). So it was that you returned to Holland, eager to communicate to one and
all your rich experience, and today you want to share it with your peers.
Dear friends, Jesus is your true friend and Lord; enter into a relationship of
true friendship with him! He is expecting you and in him alone will you find
How easy it is to be content with the superficial pleasures that daily life
offers us; how easy it is to live only for oneself, apparently enjoying life!
But sooner or later we realize that this is not true happiness, because true
happiness is much deeper: We find it only in Jesus.
As I said in Cologne, "The happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a
right to enjoy, has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth" (Address at the
Poller Rheinwiesen Wharf, Aug. 18, 2005; L'Osservatore Romano English edition,
Aug. 24, p. 4).
I therefore invite you every day to seek the Lord, who wants nothing more than
for you to be truly happy. Foster an intense and constant relationship with him
in prayer and, when possible, find suitable moments in your day to be alone in
his company. If you do not know how to pray, ask him to teach you, and ask your
heavenly Mother to pray with you and for you.
The recitation of the rosary can help you learn the art of prayer with Mary's
simplicity and depth. It is important that you make participation in the
Eucharist, in which Jesus gives himself for us, the heart of your life. He who
died for the sins of all desires to enter into communion with each one of you
and is knocking at the doors of your hearts to give you his grace.
Go to the encounter with him in the Blessed Eucharist, go to adore him in the
churches, kneeling before the tabernacle: Jesus will fill you with his love and
will reveal to you the thoughts of his Heart. If you listen to him, you will
feel ever more deeply the joy of belonging to his Mystical Body, the Church,
which is the family of his disciples held close by the bond of unity and love.
You will also learn, as the Apostle Paul says, to let yourselves be reconciled
with God (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20). Especially in the sacrament of
reconciliation, Jesus waits for you to forgive you your sins and reconcile you
with his love through the ministry of the priest. By confessing your sins humbly
and truthfully, you will receive the pardon of God himself through the words of
What a great opportunity the Lord has given us with this sacrament to renew
ourselves from within and to progress in our Christian life! I recommend that
you make good use of it all the time!
Dear friends, as I said to you above, if you follow Jesus, you will never feel
lonely because you are part of the Church, which is a great family in which you
can grow in true friendship with so many brothers and sisters in the faith
scattered in every part of the world. Jesus needs you to "renew" contemporary
Take care to grow in the knowledge of the faith in order to be its authentic
witnesses. Dedicate yourselves to understanding Catholic doctrine ever better:
Even if at times in looking at it with the eyes of the world it may seem a
difficult message to accept, in it is the answer that satisfies your basic
Trust your pastors and guides, bishops and priests; become actively involved in
the parishes, movements, associations and ecclesial communities to experience
together the joy of being followers of Christ, who proclaims and gives truth and
love. And truly impelled by his truth and love, you will be able, together with
other young people who are seeking the true meaning of life, to build a better
future for all.
Dear friends, I am close to you with my prayers. May you generously accept the
call of the Lord, who holds up to you great ideals that can make your lives
beautiful and full of joy. You can be certain of it: Only by responding
positively to his appeal, however demanding it may seem to you, is it possible
to find happiness and peace of heart.
May the Virgin Mary accompany you on this journey of Christian commitment, and
may she help you in all your good resolutions.
With these sentiments, I cordially impart a special apostolic blessing to all of
you who are gathered in Nieuwegein, as well as to those who accompany you with
love and wisdom on your path of human and spiritual growth.