Pope John Paul II Speaks to Youth

Week Fifty

...vanity of vanities! (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

"Dear young people, you are under threat from the bad use of advertising techniques, which plays upon the natural tendency to avoid effort and promises the immediate satisfaction of every desire, while consumerism that goes with it suggests that (you) should seek self-fulfillment especially in the enjoyment of material goods." --Pope John Paul II, Dilecti Amici

Think About That

The advertisements you see every day are very powerful. They are very convincing and will pull with great strength to get you to believe that material things will make you happy. But you can have all the money in the world and still be lonely, sad, and empty inside. The message that a product can make you happy by solving all your problems is a lie.

Take Action

Contact a nursing or retirement home in your community and ask if you can come and visit some of the residents. Take a friend with you and go visit at least two people in the nursing home. Talk to them about their lives and ask them from their perspective what really matters in life.

Say A Prayer

God, help me to know that all the advertisements I see every day are trying to attract me to something that really won't bring me happiness. Help me focus my attention on those things that really matter in life.

Did You Know?

The Pope's first pastoral visit outside of Italy was to Santo Domingo, Mexico, and the Bahamas in January 1979.

Taken from...
My Dear Young Friends: Pope John Paul II Speaks to Youth on Life, Love, and Courage
Copyright © 2002 -- Reprinted with permission of the editor, John M. Vitek.

My Dear Young Friends, a collection of fifty-two weekly reflections on living in the Spirit, invites young people to read and act on Pope John Paul II's inspiring addresses to young people gathered at annual World Youth Day celebrations. Please visit www.smp.org for more information from the publisher, Saint Mary's Press.

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