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World Youth Day...going on right now. In a word? Awesome - literally.
The decision of St. John Paul II to create this incredible celebration of Catholic youth all over the world was a brilliant combination of deep love, out-of-this-world wisdom, and a prophetic eye. In each country that holds this conference of celebration and encouragement, an excitement builds like no other as youth prepare for their journey to meet the Pope and have him all to themselves. The city of Krakow, for instance, was filled with such a fervor of anticipation when it was announced that World Youth Day would be held there this year that they fitted a special clock to the front of the city's cathedral to count the days, hours, minutes and seconds until its arrival.
The countdown continued elsewhere for the 200,000 pilgrims from 187 countries that prepared to travel to reach Krakow. Their journey now realized, they are enjoying beautiful ceremonies, shows, music, reconciliation, catechetical sessions, pilgrimage walks, and, of course, copious time with a Pope who loves them deeply and has waited to spend this time with them.
In light of the atrocities occurring world-wide and the reality that Christianity is under such increasing attack, this WYD holds an even deeper significance this year.
Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz spoke during the opening Mass and said some very inspiring things. This line, however, really stood out as a true reflection of our times and the necessary response of Christians to our troubled world.
"You bring with you many experiences. You bring many desires. You speak numerous languages. But starting today, we are going to communicate with each other in the language of the Gospel -- a language of love, brotherhood, solidarity and peace." Krakow Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
Focusing on mercy and love this week, this year's World Youth Day is sure to be a huge success, and, God willing, will continue to equip and empower our youth to stand up to the evil that is attempting to spread its errors throughout the world.
Praise You, Lord, for the incredible gift of World Youth Day!
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