So the question is, even several months after the WYD experience – far removed from physically being in Krakow –how can we stay connected to the spirit of WYD? How can we live what was preached in Krakow? May I offer three suggestions?
- Be Merciful: It was no accident that the Holy Father chose to have this WYD fall during the Jubilee of Mercy. In his remarks at the welcome ceremony, Pope Francis stated, “All together, then, we ask the Lord: Launch us on the adventure of mercy!” His wish was, and is, for us to better understand how we can be more like Christ to others through mercy and kindness. These acts of mercy don’t have to be large, rather they should be found in the small moments of the day. How do we greet coworkers or classmates? How do we share our time with family and friends? Mercy isn’t just about our willingness to forgive others who have wronged us; it is also about how we model Christ’s life.
- Go to Confession: When we go to confession, something happens: there is an encounter with the Son of God. We come face to face with the Risen Lord in the same way the woman at the well (Jn 4:4) or the paralytic (Mk 2:5) did. The priest acts In Persona Christi, that is, “in the person of Christ” (CCC 1548). It is through this sacrament that we learn about the forgiveness of the Father and obtain a closer relationship with the trinity and the Church. For me, the Church never seems as big as it does at World Youth Day, so through reconciliation we connect better with that community.
- Be Prayerful: Pope Saint John Paul II, the father of World Youth Day, says this about prayer, “In prayer you become one with the source of our true light – Jesus Himself.” It is not breaking news that we are all busy; actually, we are all VERY busy. When we take time to pray, we allow ourselves to be in the presence of Christ and to listen to Him. Through this process we are able to remind ourselves of what we were called to in Krakow. This prayer can be in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration, or simply in the quiet of our rooms. What is important is for us to reconnect to those prayerful moments of WYD: the Stations of the Cross, the Vigil, or the Closing Liturgy.