The theme of World Youth Day is "You shall receive power" and the Holy Father describes how the gift of the Spirit affects change in our hearts.
"Through the grace of the Church's sacraments, that power also flows deep within us, like an underground river which nourishes our spirit and draws us ever nearer to the source of our true life, which is Christ. Saint Ignatius of Antioch, who died a martyr in Rome at the beginning of the second century, has left us a splendid description of the Spirit's power dwelling within us. He spoke of the Spirit as a fountain of living water springing up within his heart and whispering: "Come, come to the Father" (cf. Ad Rom., 6:1-9).
Yet this power, the grace of the Spirit, is not something we can merit or achieve, but only receive as pure gift. God's love can only unleash its power when it is allowed to change us from within. We have to let it break through the hard crust of our indifference, our spiritual weariness, our blind conformity to the spirit of this age. Only then can we let it ignite our imagination and shape our deepest desires. "
I love how Pope Benedict always uses traditional means to call us beyond the spiritual desert of modern society in a positive way, yet without missing the fact that this is a culture of death, which must be overcome.
May those of us who hear this homily allow the Holy Spirit transform our lives so that we become living reflections of God's mercy on earth.
Read the entire homily here.