Treasure your dreams; they are gifts

Treasure your dreams; they are gifts

In preparation for the Synod on the Youth, Pope Francis held a personal dialogue with the youth.  He took questions from young people; he began his response, centering on the word: “dreams.”

“Dreams are important.  They keep our view broad; they help us to embrace the horizon….  And, the dreams of young people are the most important of all….  Dreams awaken you; they sweep you away; they are the most luminous stars, those that indicate a different path for humanity.”

“So, dear young people, you have these brilliant stars, which are your dreams, in your heart; they are your responsibility and your treasure.  Make them also be your future!  This is the work you must do: to transform today’s dreams into the reality of the future, and for this it takes courage….  Carry on with courage, courage in the face of resistance, of difficulties, of all that extinguishes our dreams.”   

Fostering Dreams.  Pope Francis asserts: “Dreams are to be nurtured, to be purified, to be put to the test, and also to be shared.”  The Pope asks: “Where do dreams come from…?  Are they big dreams or small, meager dreams that settle for less?  Dreams of comfort, dreams of only wellbeing?”

Francis, citing a personal experience, noted that once a priest asked him to say what the opposite of “I” is; when he responded that the antonym of “I” is “you,” he was told that the correct answer is “we.”  Indeed, “the opposite of selfishness is ‘we’ … true dreams are the dreams of ‘we’ … great dreams need God….  You can dream great things, but by yourself it is dangerous, because you can fall into the delirium of omnipotence.  But with God, do not fear.  Dream big!”

Never Stop Dreaming!  “Do not let yourselves be robbed of your dreams” are words of Pope Francis to the youth.  The pope continued, narrating the story of a young man in his early twenties “who began to dream and to dream big.  And, his father, a great businessman, tried to convince him, and he said: ‘No, I want to dream.  I dream what I feel inside.’  And, in the end, he left, to dream.  And, his father followed him.  And that young man took refuge in the bishop’s house, removed his clothes, gave them to his father [and said]: ‘Let me go on my path’.”

Pope Francis explained: “This young man, a thirteenth-century Italian, was called Francis [of Assisi], and he changed the history of Italy.  Francis took risks in order to dream big; he did not know the frontier and he ended his life dreaming.  As I told you, do not let yourselves be robbed of your dreams.”

Francis asserts: “Young people who are able to dream become teachers through their witness.  Do not stop dreaming, and teach others how to dream.  Dreams are a great force.”

The pope continues: “Dreams cannot be bought.  Dreams are a gift, a gift from God, a gift that God sows in your hearts.  Dreams are given to us freely, so that we may also give them freely to others….  Be pilgrims on the path of your dreams.  Take risks on that path: do not be afraid!”