Taking risks in life, martyrdom, marriage...On Saturday, the Pope exhaustively answered the questions posed by current students and alumni from Villa Nazareth, a Roman university residence for college students.
He encouraged young people to not be complacent with life and answered questions about the Christian life.
"I have said this word many times: Take a risk. He who does not dare, does not walk. What if I'm wrong? Praise the Lord. You are proved wrong if you just stand still, stillness. That is the mistake, a terrible mistake, to enclosed yourself. Take risks. Approach problems, get out of your shells and take risks, take risks. If not, your life will slowly become stagnant; happy and content with the family but there you will be standing still.”
"Have you had crisis of faith? Where and how have you found a way to recover, not get tired and continue your mandate, first as a layman and later as a consecrated person?”
"This is a question you ask the Pope! You have courage! So many times I find myself in crisis with faith and sometimes even I had the nerve to reproach Jesus: But why do You allow this? and even when in doubt: But this will be the truth, or will it be a dream? And that as a young man, as a seminarian , a priest, a religious, Bishop and Pope. A Christian who has not felt this, ever, that has not gone through a crisis of faith, is missing something: a Christian who is satisfied with a little worldliness.”
He spoke on how to be consistent with faith not to overlook the type of martyrdom that Christians in many parts of the world are suffering today. Pope Francis reminded everyone of the 13 Coptic Christians killed by ISIS but stressed that martyrdom is a distinctly different reality from that of genocide.
"I do not like it, and I want to say it clearly, I do not like it when you talk about the genocide of Christians, for example, in the Middle East: this is a reductionist, it is a reductionist. The truth is that it is a chase that leads Christians to fidelity, to be consistent with their faith. Let's not make a sociological reductionist about what is a mystery of faith: martyrdom.”
The Pope also spoke of marriage as he remembered the telephone call he made to a young man who was getting married.
"Are you well-prepared for marriage? Yes, yes, now we are looking for a restaurant that is not too far, also gifts for the guests, and this and that, and the other. What sense does this marriage make? It is purely a social act, a social act.”
Villa Nazareth was born in 1946 as a school that collected the orphans left behind by World War II in Italy. It was founded by Cardinal Domenico Tardini, who ended up being the Vatican Secretary of State with Pope John XXIII.