Listen to God for guidance to build better world, pope tells students

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Upholding the truth and moral
values isn’t easy, especially for young people, Pope Francis said.

“But with God’s help and with the sincere will to do
good, every obstacle can be overcome,” he told international students and
those who minister to them.

Students studying abroad and about 100 campus ministers and representatives
of bishops’ conferences participated in the Fourth World Congress on the
Pastoral Care of International Students Nov. 28-Dec. 2. The congress was
sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

Pope Francis said it was important that new generations always
be inspired and guided to build a “healthier society,” especially
when it comes to dealing with moral dilemmas.

Today, “the moral challenges to be addressed are many
and it is not always easy to fight for affirming the truth and values,
especially when one is young,” he said, but it can be done with God’s help
and honest intentions.

He said he was pleased to see so many young students
attending the congress because it showed that “challenges do not make you
afraid, rather they drive you to work to build a more humane world. Never stop
and don’t get discouraged because Christ’s Spirit will guide you if you listen
to his voice.”

Pursuing higher studies, especially abroad in a new
social and cultural context, helps students and the communities that host them
to broaden their horizons, become more tolerant and welcoming, build trust and
spark a desire to work for the common good, he said.

The pope told educators and pastoral workers to help
deepen foreign students’ love for the Gospel and their desire to live it out
concretely and share it with others.

By teaching how to think critically and to grow in Christian
values, one forms young people who are “thirsty for truth and not power,
ready to defend values and live mercy and charity — fundamental foundations
for a healthier society.”

While the pope praised the benefits of getting an
education abroad, he lamented “brain drain” — that is, the
“painful” lack of social or employment opportunities in poorer countries, which
pushes bright students to “abandon their own nation.”

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at

Original Article