"This marvelous world is the theater of a never ending battle being waged for our dignity."
Whether we realize it or not, we are in the middle of a spiritual war. It is a battle for our soul and it is up to us to fight against the evil spiritual forces in this world.
When visiting the United States for the eighth celebration of World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, John Paul II did not mince words when addressing the youth.
This marvelous world … is the theater of a never ending battle being waged for our dignity and identity as free, spiritual beings. This struggle parallels the apocalyptic combat described in the [book of Revelation]. Death battles against Life: a ‘culture of death’ seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full.
John Paul II pointed out how this battle is taking shape in our world.
The family especially is under attack. And the sacred character of human life denied. Naturally, the weakest members of society are the most at risk: the unborn, children, the sick, the handicapped, the old, the poor and unemployed, the immigrant and refugee, the South of the world!
He then went on to challenge the youth to be on the front line of this battle, giving them specific tasks that will help good triumph over evil.
First of all, he urged them to use their talents for the culture of life.
Young pilgrims, Christ needs you to enlighten the world and to show it the ‘path to life’ (Psalm 16,11). The challenge is to make the Church’s ‘yes’ to Life concrete and effective. The struggle will be long, and it needs each one of you. Place your intelligence, your talents, your enthusiasm, your compassion and your fortitude at the service of life!
Besides being a force for good in the world, he also challenged them to proclaim the Gospel to others.
Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel (Cfr. Rom 1,16). It is the time to preach it from the rooftops (Cfr. Matthew 10,27) … The Gospel must not be kept hidden because of fear or indifference. It was never meant to be hidden away in private. It has to be put on a stand so that people may see its light and give praise to our heavenly Father.
Above all, he encouraged them to share the freedom they had with others, leading them to along the path of life.
Share with them the freedom you have found in Christ. People thirst for genuine inner freedom. They yearn for the Life which Christ came to give in abundance.