Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Today, August 16th began World Youth Day 2011. This is a big deal. Our Holy Father called young people from all over the world to journey to Madrid for the week. Even more importantly, he is calling all of us to be "planted and built in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith." 

In 2005, I went to Cologne, Germany on my own WYD pilgrimage. I was blessed enough to go as a chaperone at the age of 22. This was certainly a turning point in my life. I had already realized that I wanted to spend my life serving God and doing something for the Church, I just didn't know what that "something" was. Pope John Paul II said as we were preparing for the pilgrimage "turn to Christ and He won't let you down." Okay, that is a challenge I can take. I went on the pilgrimage with a open heart and listening to what direction God had for my life. Instead of the loud voices and lightning strikes I was expecting, God instead worked on me interiorly. He spent the trip making me painfully aware of my many vices and where I lacked of virtue. Throughout the week He tested me over and over again, and called me to significant spiritual growth. It honestly wasn't what I expected. I was was ready to serve, to do, to rock things out, but God didn't agree. He knew I needed work and lots of it; a continuing proccess to be sure.

As the week went on, my desire for Him grew. My love of His bride, the Church grew. The call to put Him first, something which I thought I had been doing, also was ringing in my heart. I returned home with a renewed faith and firm resolve to advance in holiness; to root out my many vices and increase in virtue. Like I said before, a continuing proccess.

I received so many graces on that pilgrimage and consider myself so very blessed to have gone. Please pray for the young people now on their own WYD pilgrimage from the 16th-21st. Throughout this week I'm going to share some of my favorite WYD moments and memories. I hope you join me!
A pic I took at the Cologne Cathedral right after we arrived at WYD. So many young Catholics. So awesome!

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