Please keep the pilgrims at World Youth Day (WYD) in your prayers. I am at the Jesuit-run Colegio Nuestra SeÃ±ora del Recuerdo with hundreds of young people who went on the Magis Program in advance of WYD, and they are bursting with stories of how they have been transformed by experiences of pilgrimage, service, vigil, prayer, and liturgy. They have faced long hikes, blistering heat, injuries, sickness, exhaustion, and homesickness, and yet they are still exhilarated by the opportunity to be in the presence of so many others who bring great holy desires to their lives. It is moving to be among them.
My main prayer is that the experience will help them to understand the First Principle and Foundation, that all their experiences might be used for God’s greater glory. One of our number has been ill, and yet he has used his illness to elicit compassion and care from others. One has found it difficult to relate to a certain wounded soul, and yet has expressed gratefulness at the opportunity to learn how to love someone she does not particularly like. These are peak experiences, but my prayer is that they might hold onto the wisdom that God has incited in their hearts, in order to return to their lives with greater love.