Monday, March 29, 2010

Pray the Pier Giorgio Birthday Novena!

Just a little reminder -- if you want to start a novena in time for Pier Giorgio's birthday on April 6th, you should begin today! Here is a link to the novena online. (It is also printed in the little Book of Prayers in Honor of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pope Benedict and Pier Giorgio

I always find it thrilling when the Pope mentions Blessed Pier Giorgio in one of his talks. He did it again just recently in his message to the youth for World Youth Day -- on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the institution of World Youth Day by Pope John Paul II.

Even more exciting is that Pier Giorgio is not mentioned among a list of other saints and blesseds but stands alone in the Holy Father's reflection on our focus on eternal life. You can read the whole message by clicking on the following link: Pope's World Youth Day Message.

Paragraph 5 is excerpted below:

5. Oriented to Eternal Life

"What must I do to inherit eternal life?" This question of the young man of the Gospel seems far from the concerns of many contemporary young people, because, as my predecessor observed, "are we not the generation, whose horizon of existence the world and temporal progress fill completely? (Letter to Young People, No. 5). But the question on "eternal life" flowers in particularly painful moments of existence, when we suffer the loss of a close person or when we live the experience of failure.

But what is the "eternal life" to which the young man refers? It is illustrated by Jesus when, turning to his disciples, he affirms: "I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you" (John 16:22). They are words that indicate an exalted proposal of endless happiness, of joy of being filled with divine love forever.

To ask oneself about the definitive future that awaits each one of us gives full meaning to existence, because it orients the plan of life toward horizons that are not limited and passing, but ample and profound, which lead to loving the world, so loved by God himself, to dedicate oneself to its development, but always with the liberty and joy born from faith and hope. They are horizons that help not to absolutize earthly realities, seeing that God prepares a greater prospect for us, and to repeat with St. Augustine: "We desire together the heavenly homeland, we sigh for the heavenly homeland, we feel ourselves pilgrims down here" (Commentary on St. John's Gospel, Homily 35, 9). Keeping his gaze fixed on eternal life, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who died in 1925 at the age of 24, said: "I want to live and not just get along!" and on the photo of an ascent sent to a friend, he wrote: "Toward on high," alluding to Christian perfection, but also to eternal life.

Dear young people, I exhort you not to forget this prospect of your plan of life: We are called to eternity. God has created us to be with Him, forever. This will help you to give full meaning to your choices and to give quality to your existence.