Pope Francis said today that the greatest danger modern youth face is not the array of problems that surround them, but rather, the temptation to mediocrity – preferring to stay immobile rather than making a leap toward the next step.
Pointing to the Gospel reading from Mark in which a rich young man kneels in front of Jesus and asks how to obtain eternal life, the Pope said this question “is the challenge of every existence: the desire for a full, infinite life”.
Many young people today seek life, but end up destroying themselves by pursuing worldly desires, he said, noting that some people would say it is better “to turn this impulse off, the impulse to live, because it’s dangerous”.
However, “I would like to say, especially to young people: our worst enemy is not concrete problems, no matter how serious or dramatic: the greatest danger is a bad spirit of adaption, which is not meekness or humility, but mediocrity, timidity”, the Pontiff explained.
A young person who is mediocre has no future, Francis said in off-the-cuff remarks, explaining that “they don’t grow, they won’t be successful” because they are “afraid of everything”.
“We need to ask the heavenly Father for the youth of today to receive the gift of a healthy restlessness, the ability not to be satisfied with a life without beauty, without colour,” he said, adding that “if young people are not hungry for an authentic life, where will humanity end up?”
Pope Francis was speaking to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square during his weekly general audience, during which he began a new series of catechesis dedicated to the Ten Commandments.
Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency (CNA)