September 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
I wouldn’t be rosy-eyed and say WYD was a blast, I will only tell you that there was much suffering involved and that this suffering is soul-building. I wouldn’t say it so readily for my other sufferings, so being able to see these sufferings as good and therefore not actually minding it much is a grace 😉
WYD involved waking up in the morning, EVERY DAY, still sleep-deprived, and going for meditation and mass. At least, it meant that I had something to offer for mass– waking up for meditation and mass (which I could and was tempted to skip) when I am so darn tired 😀 I really am glad about that part, since Jesus will take what we offer and multiply it like he did to the bread and loaves.
WYD also involved not being able to do what I wanted to do. Instead, to cause less trouble, we had to follow the itinerary set out– some of which were not very appealing. I wanted to go for more WYD-organised events rather than OD stuff. There was the feeling that we didn’t too much, or much of what I wanted to do. Oh but well, this is training to be the kind of sheep that follows Jesus rather than go on its own way. Specifically, this is training to not follow my will all the time and to deny it sometimes to not make things difficult for the group leaders, who had to keep the group together. Applause, they really were very patient with us, but I would be sure they emerge from this with a more vivid understanding of how it is like for Jesus (with the Pope) to shepherd people.
Watching WYD on the web is significantly different from being there and actually experiencing it. On the web, the main events are clear. You get a clear glimpse of the pope, hear the music clearly, and get the translation (or it is easily accessible). For those who are actually there however, it involves jostling in the crowd, being way too far behind to actually see or hear anything, bearing the heat of the sun and the crowd…and at least for us, it also involved not understanding what is going on, because the mass and homily and speeches are in some foreign language. The opening mass was a huge shock– the venue couldn’t accommodate us most of us, I daresay even half of us.
Not very strangely then, what stood out for me was how very human we were, in how the event was organised (must be hard to organise it for this number on low funds) and in how we reacted to the events– sometimes with frustration. Yet, this made me realise even more what it meant for Jesus to shepherd such people, even take on a human nature to be among such people. As Fulton Sheen’s analogy goes, it’s like a human allowing himself to be among serpents. It also made me realise that despite our humaness, there was, surprisingly still room for grace and the presence of God. Yes, the presence of God I felt more strongly, which is a grace because I wouldn’t know how to pull through the suffering the WYD involved.
So that is it. I’m not going to apologise for not saying that WYD was a blast and enjoyable. Blah, no it wasn’t. But it was spiritually fruitful, and maybe I can say, I did feel some joy in the midst of the suffering 😉
And even if I didn’t get any spiritual fruits, it was ALL WORTH IT because I got to see the Pope LIVE, and just a metre away 😀 😀