July 24 2011
A WYD Prayer Newsletter
The Road to Madrid A faith journey for those who go and those who stay at home
A service from Church Resources
Subscribe to CathNews Perspectives The new, weekly email from CathNews For an in-depth look at World Youth Day 2011
Fourth of a series of six newsletters
A WYD Prayer Newsletter
In this issue
The Road to WYD
SECTION 1: FOOD FOR PILGRIMS Prayers & reflections to sustain pilgrims as they travel the inner journey â€“ on the road to Madrid or at home. Cathedral of St James, Santiago de Compostela, 1060-1211
A prayer for all pilgrims Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy; O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Prayer of St Francis of Assisi
SECTION 2: WORLD YOUTH DAY Experiences from earlier WYDs & getting the most out of WYD at home or abroad
Next issue: When the going gets tough
SECTION 1: FOOD FOR PILGRIMS Our Desire to Excel Each of us has a desire to excel - the desire to use our gifts in order to live lives of meaning and value. Speaking to young people in June 2011, Pope Benedict XVI said: ‘We all know that lodged in the heart of every person is a strong desire for happiness. Every action, every decision, every intention holds hidden within itself this deep, natural desire. ‘But all too often we realize that we put our trust in things that cannot fulfill that desire, things that turn out to be shifting sands. At such moments we recognize our need for something 'greater', capable of giving meaning to our daily lives.’
Eucharistic Adoration ‘In modern life, so often noisy and dispersive, it is more than ever important to recover the capacity for inner silence and prayer. Eucharistic adoration enables this to happen, not only around “me”, but also in the company of the “you”, full of love that is Jesus Christ, “God close to us”.’ - Pope Benedict XVI
‘Do This in Memory of Me!’ The Mass provides us with a unique opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ. It is the ‘centre and summit’ of the Christian life. Going to Mass is a public recognition that God is at the centre of my life and that I place myself under God’s protection. In the Eucharist we go to the Upper Room and sit with Jesus and the disciples at the Last Supper - and then stand with Mary at the foot of the Cross. The Eucharist ‘brings us into the heart of God’s life; in it we encounter Christ who, dead and risen, lives in our midst’. (John Paul II) ‘What is happening at Mass is that the body of Christ on the altar gives new life and strengthens the body of Christ - us - gathered as the Church. At the altar, Christ is not only on the altar. He is there with the priest acting not only in the person of Christ but in the person of the Church leading the people. ‘But there is a further dimension to this feast: the risen and glorified Christ sacramentally present in the Eucharist then points to the future. We are experiencing a future in which the whole of creation is to be transformed.’ (Fr Denis Geraghty OP) 4
Getting to Know Jesus Better One of the ways Jesus spoke of himself was as ‘bread’: ‘I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never be hungry. The one who believes in me will never thirst.’ (John 6:35) Going to Mass, being part of the Eucharist, allows us to take our place with the disciples at the Last Supper. As the priest breaks the bread, we hear again the awe-inspiring words of Jesus: ‘This is my Body… This is my Blood… Do this in memory of me!’ Through his life, death and resurrection Jesus takes us into participation in the life of God. As Bread, he sustains us in life always present, always ready to give us fresh energy – and to lead us in what is the right direction for us. Prayer: ‘Lord Jesus, help me to realise that you are always present – ready to support me and guide me into the fullness of life!’
It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards one's progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken. - St Francis Xavier Champions of the Faith – St Francis Xavier 1506-1552 One of the patron Saints of WYD Madrid 2011 After St Paul one of the greatest missionaries of the Church, St Francis Xavier is regarded as the apostle of India and Japan. One of the first companions of St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, Francis was the Jesuits’ first foreign missionary. Ordained in 1537, Francis departed for India in 1541 and reached Japan in 1549. In 1552 he set out for China, landed on the island of Sancian within sight of his goal, but died before he reached the mainland. Working against great difficulties, language problems, inadequate funds, and often resistance from European officials, Francis left the mark of his missionary zeal on areas which would remain Christian for centuries. He was canonized in 1622 and proclaimed patron of all foreign missions by Pope Pius X in 1904.
SECTION 2 WYD EXPERIENCES
Many will scratch their heads
Inspiration from WYD Cologne 2005 The Theme for WYD Cologne: ‘We have come to worship Him.’ (Matthew 2:2) Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowds: ‘In the Eucharist, we find ourselves in the "hour" of Jesus, to use the language of John's Gospel. Through the Eucharist this "hour" of Jesus becomes our own hour, his presence in our midst. Together with the disciples he celebrated the Passover of Israel. Jesus follows the rites of Israel. He recites over the bread the prayer of praise and blessing. ‘But then something new happens. He thanks God not only for the great works of the past; he thanks him for his own exaltation, soon to be accomplished through the Cross and Resurrection, and he speaks to the disciples in words that sum up the whole of the Law and the Prophets: "This is my Body, given in sacrifice for you. This cup is the New Covenant in my Blood". He then distributes the bread and the cup, and instructs them to repeat his words and actions of that moment over and over again in his memory. ‘By making the bread into his Body and the wine into his Blood, he anticipates his death, he accepts it in his heart, and he transforms it into an action of love. What on the outside is simply brutal violence – the Crucifixion – from within becomes an act of total self-giving love. ‘We all eat the one bread, and this means that we ourselves become one. In this way, adoration becomes union. God no longer simply stands before us as the One who is totally Other. He is within us, and we are in him. His dynamic enters into us and then seeks to spread outwards to others until it fills the world, so that his love can truly become the dominant measure of the world.’ 6
After leaving Marienfeld, our St Louis group walked and waited for nearly five hours until finally reaching our bus and heading to the hotel. Germany was not prepared for such a large number of people, and I hope that many will scratch their heads and wonder why so many youth would participate in such a religious activity... It is because Christ is present in the Eucharist and his body is a living, active body that all these youth came together in Köln, Germany! Seeing the Pope was a wonderful experience, as was seeing the million-plus youth, seminarians and priests on Marienfeld... but none of this would be possible without Jesus' presence. Through all the cultures, groups of people, and regions of the world that I saw represented at World Youth Day, the Body of Christ's universal appeal shined. Jeff Geerling, a pilgrim photographer from St Louis
Bernadette Toohey reflects on WYD Cologne My experiences at WYD in Cologne can be easily summarised in two words - fun and faith. Our amazing German host parish treated us to dinners, activities, dancing and even a Schützenfest (shooting festival) during our Days in the Diocese home stay. It was a fantastic chance to meet the local people, absorb some German culture and share in heaps of joy with my fellow Adelaide pilgrims. WYD week itself was an incredible experience of colour, crowds and chaos. Some of my favourite memories are of the late night singalongs on the tram ride home and dancing until my feet hurt at a huge youth festival one evening. Initially I found it hard to connect with God on our WYD pilgrimage. I was especially unsettled and challenged after an impromptu Q&A session about the Catholic faith between a priest and a small group of pilgrims one night. Little did I know that in Mass the next day God would speak to me so clearly and simply that it would change the direction of my young life. It was during the song, Open My Eyes, that the big turning point of WYD occurred for me as I felt a gentle and loving challenge to follow God more closely. The theme of WYD in Cologne was ‘We have come to worship Him’ and as I began the journey toward home, I felt an incredible parallel with the Magi, who were so touched by their meeting with the child Jesus that they returned home via a different path. My faith encounter at WYD encouraged me to take a new path that involved ending a relationship, beginning to study Theology and moving into an intentional Christian community. The experience of WYD in 2005 has remained with me until today, as it was a special time of forging lasting friendships, creating fun memories and taking some crucial steps on my faith journey.
--------------------------WYD Cologne in August 2005 was the first International WYD attended by Pope Benedict XVI. (Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005.) 7
WYD at home – how Wollongong Diocese does it. ‘Can’t make it to World Youth Day in Madrid? Then let Madrid come to you. Madrid Encounter 2011 will feature all your favourite elements of World Youth Day: Catechesis with Sr Hilda Scott, Stations of the Cross, Reconciliation, Youth Festival, Youth Mass and a Spanish Fiesta. This is all happening on Saturday, 20 August at St Patrick’s College, Campbelltown.’ See http://www.dow.org.au/youth
El Camino de Santiago After Madrid, some of the WYD pilgrims will tackle a pilgrimage which dates from medieval times, El Camino de Santiago - The Way of St James. Today more than 100,000 people complete the camino each year. There are many routes but they all end in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the venue for the 3rd International WYD in 1989. A popular camino route begins in St Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees, passes through the cities of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon across northwest Spain, and finishes about 780km later in Santiago. Since the Christian symbol for St James was the scallop shell, many pilgrims wore one as a sign that they were a pilgrim. Pilgrims carry a passport, the credencial, which is stamped with the official stamp of each town or refugio at which the pilgrim has stayed, and finally recorded in Santiago de Compostela.
Lismore Diocese prepares for WYD Madrid (at right)
The WYD logo for Madrid consists of two ‘M’s, one for Madrid and one for Maria (Mary).
!Adiós por ahora¡ (Goodbye for now!) This Newsletter is available free for photocopying. It can also be found under the caption ‘WYD Madrid Prayer Newsletter’ on the CathNews website at www.cathnews.com Our thanks go to all who’ve contributed to the series, especially Lisa Bright, Sarah Coppola, Robyn Gallagher, Chris Nolan, Bernadette Toohey – Anthony Neylan, Editor email@example.com