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Address of Pope Francis – Pastoral Congress

Basilica of St. John Lateran | Thursday, June 16, 2016

Excerpt: “The old men shall have prophetic dreams” (cf. Joel 2:28). This was a prophecy that Joel made for the time of the Spirit. The old men shall have dreams and the young men shall see visions. With this third image I should like to underscore the importance that the Synod Fathers gave to the value of witness as the place in which one can find the dream of God and the life of men. In this prophecy we contemplate a binding reality: in the dreams of our elders often lies the possibility that our young people may have new visions, may once again have a future. […]

This absence of examples, of witnesses, this lack of grandparents, of fathers able to tell their dreams, does not allow the younger generations to “see visions”. And they are at a standstill. It does not allow them to make plans, since the future creates insecurity, doubt, fear. Only the witness of our parents, seeing that it has been possible to fight for something that was worthwhile, will help them to lift their gaze. How can we expect young people to take up the challenge of family, of marriage as a gift, if they continually hear us say that it is a burden? If we want “visions”, let our grandparents share and tell us their dreams, so that we can have the prophecies for the future.

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