The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, challenged hundreds of young people to not be embarrassed by their faith or be afraid of telling others that they go to Mass on Sundays.
“Let people know you are Catholic, don’t hide it,” he said during a gathering for youth in Archdiocese of Lima on Sept. 16.
“The Pope is asking young people today to live a pure life and to build good families. And the Holy Father is also telling young people that we need priests and religious.”
“Young people,” he told them, “Have the courage to say that you go to Mass on Sundays because you have faith; that you go to confession because you believe in the forgiveness of sins; that you study because you want to be better.”
The cardinal invited them to have “more faith in God, so that you can see that this world is beautiful, joyful and enjoyable. I encourage you to discover that other world where there is more room for study, for sports, for friendship, and where you can be honest with each other.”
He also spoke about Pope Benedict XVI’s relationship with young people.
“The Pope prays for you first of all. So see how important prayer is. Perhaps you don’t realize it, but the Pope and the bishop pray for you...The question now is that you pick up the flag and say: we want to be part of the Church.”
“You are living in a complicated era,” he told them, “Because in today’s world young people have enemies. You think you are free but you are not, because there are great forces in the world leading you to drugs, pornography and sex.”
“I want to help you so that doesn’t happen,” he underscored. “I want you to go on to college and to become the future leaders in art, sports, culture, engineering and medicine.”
“The Lord, who is good, expects much of you,” the cardinal said, “don’t let him down.”