It was a full house in Turin, as Pope Francis met with about 90,000 young people in the city's Piazza Vittorio.
There was a q and a portion where the Pope directly responded to questions posed by three young adults. Among with was 19 year old Clara, whose question dealt with love.
"All of us, in one way or another, seek love. We seek to be loved and we want to love, even though sometimes we feel disappointed.”
The Pope told the youth that love is much more than a romantic feeling. Above all else, he said, it's demonstrated through concrete action and sacrifice. He then called on them to stay away from a hedonistic lifestyle, which is so often advertised in mass media.
"Often, advertisers want to convince us that something is beautiful and that it's good. They make us believe they're selling diamonds, when in reality, it's only glass.”
Constantly looking for pleasure, explained the Pope, suppresses the ability to engage in sacrifice. He even said that expressing true love, this day in age, is something for rebels.
"We have to go against this current and not be naive. Let's not buy the trash they're trying to sell to us as diamonds.”
It's a challenge that needs to be overcome with courage and creativity, for true love, said the Pope, entails respect and service and not using another to satisfy one's own pleasure.
"It's a love that recognizes the life of the other as something sacred. It says: 'I respect you, I don't want to use you.' It's not easy. We all know the difficulties that rise when trying to overcome the simplistic and hedonistic concept of love. Forgive me, if I said something you weren't expecting, but please, I ask you to make an effort to live a chaste love.”
The Pope concluded the q and a session by addressing the pessimism that often burdens the young. It's a feeling, he said, that stems from everything from a high unemployment rate to war. To overcome this feeling of mistrust, the Pope recommended they get involved in concrete initiatives and social activities. It may not be easy, he added, but it will pave the way towards
growth and maturity.