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Chapter 33. Ninth Commandment: Practice Purity of Heart • 445

• The Gospel can renew and purify what is decadent in our culture and

gradually displace the attraction of sin. Asserting Christ’s Gospel by

word and witness helps to transform the moral tone of our culture.

This approach fosters virtue in the human heart and its development

through the grace of the Holy Spirit.


At the conclusion of the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II reflected

on his meetings with young people throughout that year:

And how could we fail to recall especially the joyful and inspir-

ing gathering of young people? If there is an image of the

Jubilee of the Year 2000 that more than any other will live on

in memory, it is surely the streams of young people with whom

I was able to engage in a sort of very special dialogue, filled

with mutual affection and deep understanding. It was like this

from the moment I welcomed them in the Square of Saint John

Lateran and Saint Peter’s Square. Then I saw them swarming

through the city, happy as young people should be, but also

thoughtful, eager to pray, seeking “meaning” and true friend-

ship. Neither for them nor for those who saw them will it be

easy to forget that week, during which Rome became “young

with the young.” . . .

Yet again, the young have shown themselves to be for Rome

and for the Church a special gift of the Spirit of God. Sometimes

when we look at the young, with the problems and weaknesses

that characterize them in contemporary society, we tend to be

pessimistic. The Jubilee of Young People however changed that,

telling us that young people, whatever their possible ambigui-

ties, have a profound longing for those genuine values which

find their fullness in Christ. Is not Christ the secret of true

freedom and profound joy of heart? Is not Christ the supreme

friend and the teacher of all genuine friendship? If Christ is pre-

sented to young people as he really is, they experience him as an

answer that is convincing and they can accept his message, even

when it is demanding and bears the mark of the Cross. For this

reason, in response to their enthusiasm, I did not hesitate to ask