“Jesus I trust in you”, is the subtext to this year’s World Youth Day theme, “Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them” . For it was St. Sr. Faustina in Krakow, where WYD was hosted that made the title three words world-famous. Krakow is a great city of Saints who showed us regularly how to depend on God’s mercy for the outcomes of our lives. Participating in this year’s WYD, I was reminded and struck by the many examples around me…
My landing flight to Krakow was cancelled and I was reassigned to the subsequent flight. Two other passengers were Sisters of Life. They, unfortunately were not assigned a seat. Through their hard prayer, I witnessed a snafu in the boarding process cause the airline to resort to extraordinary measures to allow two more seats to be allocated to the sisters so that they could make it to Krakow in time.
Keynote speaker Jacqueline Isaac who trusted the Holy Spirit to take on dangerous trips in her pursuit for justice of victims of Christian persecution in the Middle East. An Archbishop in Iraq who came with pilgrims from Iraq and Syria to plead for religious freedom everywhere – to great sustained applause – and even acknowledge that persecution exists in North America as well, albeit in a different form.
Leah Libresco, who dared to pray to an unknown God so that He might reveal Himself to her so that she could follow the Truth where it would lead, to the Catholic Faith.
Seeing and touching The Ark Church, the result of Karol Cardinal Wojtyla’s persistence for a church to be built in the late 70’s in the Nowa Huta neighbourhood where authorities had envisioned an atheist utopia.
Countless occasions of running into old friends multiple times in the midst of millions of pilgrims flooding the city.
The incredible Night of Mercy where a capacity crowd worshipped and knelt in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in a powerful prayer service facilitated by Bishop Robert Barron and musician Matt Maher.
As I’m fresh from my trip, there are many other thoughts and feelings to process before I have more to share. Suffice to say that World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow was a great shot in the arm for my own faith and for all who attended and we are all reminded to trust Jesus in the end, into the deep scary unknown.
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