What i took away from it. Of course this is from a distance. We watched all the events but what we do not see is what goes on behind the scenes. Where the encounters are not broadcast. The young people get a sense of the universality of the Church. They discover they are not alone. Something we may not always discover in the smaller world of our parishes. They came to hear and see Pope Francis. He,like Blessed John Paul II, knows that those young people are the future Church. I wasn't always crazy about the music but this is the Brazilian culture. I noticed how expressive and outgoing they were-it's the same passion Our Holy Father seems to have. The German culture -the last World Youth Day-was a little more subdued in comparison and i think the Polish culture will be different than both of them.Some of the interpretations the young people worked so hard to present,putting their heart and soul into them may have seemed strange to us from a distance. We don't know how it spoke to them. Maybe some of the events were over the top and at the least seemed a little silly to us on the outside. I heard a comment from someone in the news that "all those Catholics do is pray and sing. "
I hear criticisms of WYD and people wanting to put it to rest. Ok. Then what? It's the one chance the youth of the Church get to encounter our Holy Father.It's a big deal. He's the successor of St. Peter. It's the one chance the youth of the Church get to encounter other young people with their struggles and hopes in other countries. We don't know what difference WYD may have made in someone's life. Even if 1 million of those 3 million experience conversion that's 1 million more than we had.
It's a witness to the world that young people don't find the Church irrelevant. I remember when Blessed John Paul Ii was to meet with young people in France. Officials in the Church urged him not to go because it might make him look foolish when no one showed up. The meeting was overflowing with young people anxious to be taught by the Holy Father.
Two other things really stood out to me. The young couple who had a baby born with Encephalitis . They could have had the baby aborted.Abortion was offered and it's common place for a baby who is going to be born with Encephalitis . They chose not to abort. Pope Francis had them bring up the gifts to the altar and he asked specifically they bring the baby. Spoke VOLUMES when the crowd went wild cheering this couple.The Pres of Brazil was in attendance. Maybe she got the message?(Pope Francis could speak to the President privately too and we might not be aware of it) The other was when Pope Francis blessed a young pregnant woman and THEN blessed the baby in her womb.
Yes, i think Pope Francis is shaking things up. Some people are nervous. I hear from a few consternation and a lot of hand wringing. We don't have a choice but to have things shaken up a tad in the Church with the spiritual warfare raging wildly about us.I also hear our Pope talks too much as if to say the person wishes he would shut up. I heard about his brown shoes and his supposed saying something about the circus has ended. I even heard he'd be tossing Marini under the bus. Yes, he still wears those brown shoes. Yes, he lives in a simple apartment and people have criticized that as a false humility. I'm sorry but he comes from a country where the classes are sharply divided and the poor are really poor. We, in the United States, do not know that kind of poverty. Pope Francis has his reasons.We never did have that quote about the circus attributed to him and Marini and he appear to be getting along famously.Can we stop the hand wringing now and see what God may surprise us with?
We can't afford to be sleeping or as Pope Francis put it just content at what the Church is giving us and our making our way to heaven. It's about us getting everyone else there too.I have had a sense that Pope Francis feels an urgency and that time may be short.I also wondered that it wasn't providential that Pope Emeritus Benedict picked RIo for the 2013 WYD and we had a South American elected Pope. I see something providential in the next WYD being in Krakow Poland-where the Divine Mercy Devotion began and where one young man named Karol became a priest.Pope Francis said,be surprised by God. Finally,i noticed that were a lot of people and most of them were young. I noticed that the world took notice.
Tomorrow i'd like to get the chance to write about the TLM and the NO. For those that aren't Catholic TLM stands for Traditional Latin Mass and NO stands for Novus Ordo.