I still find myself thinking back to the days of the WYD in Köln, and why it has been simply amazing despite the fact that most of the time I spent there was spent working, away from the Catechesis sessions, away from the Spiritual programmes. To my regret, I did not even go for a single reconciliation!
After some thoughts, I realized a few things in particular struck me deeply:
- Visible display of faith
When I departed for Köln, I had no idea what kind of event is the World Youth Day going to be. It exceeded all expectation, and I was moved to witness so many young people responding en masse to our new Papa Benedict XVI's exhortations. He is not Papa JPII, his speeches are entirely of different style, but he proclaims the Truth, and that is what young people want to hear. It is heartening to see and hear this hunger for Truth, this visible affirmation of faith from the young pilgrims, despite what the rest of the World says.
- Young Church
One of my team members come from a small German village where there is Mass only every two Sundays because of priest shortage. While this is generally still a malady, I was so happy to see so many young priests and seminarians from all over the world attending the WJT. (In fact +9,000 priests turned up, more than twice the number expected, and most of those I encountered are pretty young!) The springtime of the Church is before us!
- Meeting of other wayfarers
Although deep within my soul's subconscious, I know to trust God for "We come from God, we depend on God, God has a plan for us-- a plan for our lives, for our bodies, for our souls, for our future." (Pope John Paul II), I am made of weak flesh and blood. Often the worldly uncertainty in my own journey made me feel even more solitary. Meeting other 'wayfarers' during WJT reaffirmed that while it is not an easy journey, each of us is never alone.
Well, that's it for today's WJT reflection! I am currently reading a small book containing quotes of Papa JPII—"In my own words". In there I find two insightful quotes (amongst many!), that are particularly applicable:
"Everyone has a vocation: parents, teachers, students, workers, professional people, people who are retired. Everyone has something to do for God." ('95 Homily at Giants Stadium)and
"The search and discovery of God's will for you is a deep and fascinating endeavor. It requires of you the attitude of trust expressed in the words of the Psalm... 'you will show me the path to life, fullness of joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever' (16:11). Every vocation, every path to which Christ calls us, ultimately leads to fulfilment and happiness, because it leads to God, to sharing in God's own life."
and then in EWTN's page of daily Mass readings, I found this quote:
The devil will try to upset you by accusing you of being unworthy of the blessings that you have received. Simply remain cheerful and do your best to ignore the devil’s nagging. If need be even laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Satan, the epitome of sin itself, accuses you of unworthiness! When the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!
-- St. Theresa of Avila