The following are excerpts from Pope John Paul II's homilies and remarks in Boston and in Ireland yesterday. Boston
" . . . The message of love that Christ brought is always important, always relevant. It is not difficult to see how today's world, despite its beauty and grandeur, despite the conquests of science and technology, despite the refined and abundant material goods that it offers, is yearning for more truth, for more love, for more joy. And all of this is found in Christ and in his way of life.
"Do I then make a mistake when I tell you, Catholic youth, that it is part of your task in the world and the church to reveal the true meaning of life where hatred, neglect or selfishness threaten to take over the world?
"Faced with problems and disappointments, many people will try to escape from their responsibility: escape in selfishness, escape in sexual pleasure, escape in drugs, escape in violence, escape in indifference and cynical attitudes. But today, I propose to you the option of love, which is the opposite of escape. If you really accept that love from Christ, it will lead you to God. Perhaps in the priesthood or religious life; perhaps in some special service to your brothers and sisters: especially to the needy, the poor, the lonely, the abandoned, those whose rights have been trampled upon, or those whose basic needs have not been provided for.
"Whatever you make of your life, let it be something that reflects the love of Christ.
". . . Dear young people: Do not be afraid of honest effort and honest work; do not be afraid of the truth. With Christ's help and through prayer, you can answer His call, resisting temptations and fads, and every form of mass manipulations. Open your hearts to the Christ of the Gospels-- to his love and his truth and his joy. Do not go away sad.
"And, as a last word to all of you who listen to me tonight, I would say this: The reason for my mission, for my journey, through the United States is to tell you, to tell everyone-- young and old alike-- to say to everyone in the name of Christ 'Come and follow me.' . . . "
-- Homily prepared for delivery at the Mass for Young People at Boston Common.
". . . I come to you, America, with sentiments of friendship, reverence and esteem. I come as one who already knows you and loves you, as one who wishes you to fulfill, completely, your noble destiny of service to the world. Once again, I can now admire first hand, the beauty of this vast land, stretching between two oceans. Once again, I am experiencing the warm, warm hospitality of the American people.
"Although it is not possible for me to enter into every home, to greet personally every man and woman, to caress every child in whose eyes is reflected the innocence of love, still I feel close to all of you and you are all in my prayers. Permit me to express my sentiments in the lyrics of your own song: "America, America. God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea."
"And may the peace of the Lord be with you always, America."
-- From remarks on arriving in the United States at Boston's Logan Airport. Ireland
On Marriage-- ". . . The very possibility of divorce in the sphere of civil law makes stable and permanent marriages more difficult for everyone. May Ireland always continue to give witness before the modern world to her traditional commitment to the sanctity and the indissolubility of the marriage bond. May the Irish always support marriage through personal commitment and through positive social and legal action."
On Abortion-- "I say to all, have an absolute and holy respect for the sacredness of human life from the first moment of its conception. Abortion, as the Vatican Council stated, is one of the 'abominable crimes.' To attack unborn life at any moment from its conception is to undermine the whole moral order which is the true guardian of the well-being of man. The defense of the absolute inviolability of unborn life is part of the defense of human rights and human dignity . . . ." On Parenthood -- "Dear fathers and mothers of Ireland, believe in your vocation, that beautiful vocation of marriage and parenthood which God has given you . . . May Irish mothers, young women and girls not listen to those who tell them that working at a secular job, succeeding in a secular profession, is more important than the vocation of giving life and caring for this life as a mother.
"It was for generations, the greatest desire of every Irish parent to have a son a priest or religious, to have a daughter consecrated to God. May it continue to be your desire and your prayer . . . ."
On Religious Dress-- "No change in religious life has any importance unless it be also conversion of yourselves to Christ . . . to you (nuns, religious brothers and priests) I say, rejoice to be witnesses to Christ in the modern world. Do not hesitate to be recognizable, identifiable, in the streets as men and women who have consecrated their lives to God and who have given up everything worldly to follow Christ.
"Believe in the value for contemporary men and women of the visible signs of your consecrated lives. People need signs and reminders of God in the modern secular city, which has few reminders of God left. Do not help the trend toward 'taking God off the streets by adopting secular modes of dress and behavior yourselves.'
Delivered to an audience of priests, religious brothers and sisters and seminarians at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland and to a large gathering of residents of western Ireland at the race course in Limerick.