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Pope says hedonism and consumerism stifle vocations

Hedonism and consumerism are asphyxiating the generosity of many youths, John Paul II said in a message to the Carthusians on the ninth centenary of the death of their founder St. Bruno.

"Our contemporary culture, marked by a strong hedonistic feeling, the desire to possess, and a certain mistaken concept of freedom, does not facilitate the expression of youth's generosity, who wish to consecrate their life to Christ, hoping to walk on the path of a life of sacrificial love, [and] concrete and generous service," the Pope said.

In his letter, sent to Father Marcellin D. Theewes, prior of La Grande Chartreuse, and minister general of the Carthusians, and to all the members of the order, the Holy Father said he prays "fervently to the Lord so that he will make resonate in the heart of numerous youths, the call to abandon everything to follow the poor Christ, in the demanding but liberating Carthusian life."

After emphasizing the simplicity of life of the Carthusians, the Pope said: "The seeking of God in contemplation cannot be separated from love for brothers, a love that makes us recognize Christ's face in the poorest among men. The contemplation of Christ lived in fraternal charity is the surest way for the fruitfulness of every life."