Common Grounds

The Evangelical Pope | Dare to Replace Fears with Dreams!

September 11, 2023

Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen

Published Sunday, September 10, 2023

The Evangelical Pope | Dare to Replace Fears with Dreams!

               28 … Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
                     Your old men will dream dreams,
                     Your young men will see visions.”


               __ Joel 2:28 (New International Version)

The Vatican - Saint Petersburg, 25 August 2023 | God calls us to walk and sends us forth to go out and walk. We are all chosen and called. Yes, the Lord has called you from the beginning of your life. He has called you by name! We were called to be called before the talents we have, before our merits, before our darkness and wounds, before everything, and called by name, one by one. God does not go to the bunch; God goes one by one.

God’s love is for everyone, and the Church is for everyone. God’s love is recognized by its hospitality. God always welcomes, He creates, He creates space so that we can all find a place, and he sacrifices Himself for the other. He is attentive to the other’s needs. Go and invite everyone” (Matthew 22:9). Do not forget this word: everyone. The Church is for everyone: young and old, healthy and sick, the righteous and sinners. This is what Jesus meant: everyone, everyone, everyone.

The young, encountering the elderly, can receive the wealth of their experiences and lives. And the elderly, engaging the young, find the promise of a hope-filled future in them. The young dream, the elderly dream. It is precisely the dream, the capacity to dream, the vision of tomorrow that unites the generations. In this way, the elderly dream of democracy and the unity of nations… and the young prophesy they are called to be artisans of the environment and peace.

I invite you to be builders of bridges. Builders of bridges between the generations, recognizing the dreams of those who have preceded you along the way. The alliance between the ages keeps the history and culture of a people alive. I wish for you, young Russians, the vocation of being artisans of peace amid so many conflicts, in the midst of so many polarizations that are everywhere, that afflict our world. I invite you to be sowers, to sow seeds of reconciliation, tiny seeds that in this wintertime of war will not germinate for the moment on frozen ground, but in a future spring will flourish.

As I said in Lisbon, “Dare to replace fears with dreams.” Replace fears with dreams. Replace fears with dreams. Do not be administrators of fear but entrepreneurs of dreams. Permit yourself the luxury of dreaming big!

Excerpted from:

Video Meeting with Young Russians Gathered in Saint Petersburg,
On The Occasion of the 10th National Meeting of Young Catholics Of Russia
[23-27 August 2023], Address Of His Holiness Pope Francis, Friday, 25 August 2023



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