College Chaplain Reflection – August 11, 2016

August 10, 2016

I’ve just returned from Krakow, Poland, along with 1000’s of other Australians who had travelled for World Youth Day. Every pilgrim I travelled with was profoundly changed by the experience. For some, their faith was awakened or strengthened in ways they never thought possible. For some, Christ became someone real and living for perhaps the first time. For others, faith was restored.

I wish I could adequately describe for you just how great an experience it has been, but sometimes words just fail us. How can you adequately describe the tangible excitement of tens of thousands of boisterous pilgrims flooding the streets of Krakow every hour from all over the globe? The dancing, the singing, the trading of flags and photos? The feeling of some 2 million people kneeling together in silent prayer as we kept Vigil with our Lord? United in that moment, with eyes and hearts fixed firmly on Christ? The tears of joy and peace flowing from a soul who has encountered Our Lord’s Mercy? Years of burdens and anxieties lifted off their shoulders, so that freed again they could look up to see the face of our Lord looking upon them with love, and only love? Some things can never be reduced to words; they can only be lived. Joy, peace, mercy, love-¦ words that have meaning only insofar as they are experienced, insofar as they are lived.

But I am rather keen to share the blessings I received, so I am going to have to try! Next time I will share some of the messages Pope Francis had for us. In the meantime, you might like to check out the blog of our group-, or of Fr John Corrigan- If you are bit more pressed for time I recommend you at least listen to this 1 minute testimony of Tom, one of the pilgrims in our group.