PAPAL STATEMENT FOR WORLD YOUTH DAY 1998

     VATICAN (CWN) -- In his formal message for World Youth Day of 1998, Pope John Paul II stressed the working of the Holy Spirit.

      The Pope's address for World Youth Day was made public at the Vatican today. The actual celebration of World Youth Day will occur on April 5, which is also Palm Sunday. In 1998 the celebration will take place in each individual diocese; the mass gatherings such as the one which took place in Paris this year are scheduled in alternating years.

      The Pope's message calls particular attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in the cycle of preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000. "The Holy Spirit gives the Christian the docility, the freedom, and the faithfulness without which his life risks becoming subject to... exterior conformity," the Pope said. With the aid of the Spirit, he continued, young people can follow the path of Christ, "without fear of falling, confronting the dangers and overcoming the barriers that separate cultures from the proclamation of the Gospel."

      The Pope added that the Holy Spirit also provides each individual Christian with an understanding of his own calling. He asked young people "consider seriously the question of your vocation, and be ready to respond to the Lord when he calls you to take the place which has been prepared for you." Toward that end, he recommended that young people seek out the help of a competent spiritual director-- someone fully in accord with the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church-- to help them discern the promptings of the Spirit.

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December 29, 1997 volume 8, no. 62         DAILY CATHOLIC