All of lifes responses surrounded the Westminster gorup, from apathy to revernece, to deep emotional reactions to the disinterested. All of life was present, nearby a girl so overcome by Christ’s love for us, the suffering he went through broke down into tears.
As the hammer sounded echoing the nailing of Jesus to the Cross people hung their heads listening to the resounding sound pounding, the definite resolute knocking captured the spirit of the moment.
The pain Jesus went through, the suffering he must have endured. The realisation that Jesus is not just simply a man that was crucified in a romantic fashion, he isn’t the picture perfect Jesus often shown on a cross. He was in pain, he bled, he sweated. The pain was so bad he cried out to God to come to his aid.
Pilgrims around me were touched. The reality of the banging hammer struck home. Jesus’ death was reality in that moment, the reality of his love. The enormity of it all, I was back in that place over 2000 years ago, at the bottom of the cross looking at Jesus feeling his pain, and overcome with his love for us.
Jessica from the USA said: “You can read and meditate of the Way of the Cross alone and you get a small, minute idea of the suffering Jesus endured. When that hammer sounded, just the banging. The loud echo. It was silent and still and I forgot there was anyone else there. I felt it, inside I was deeply moved. How could you not cry? That amount of love is overwhelming.”
Our Magnificat books included the lyrics to This is the Way of the Cross. The lyrics couldn’t have summed it up more for me. This is the Way of the Cross. The Saviour of the World.
Via Crucis. The Way of the Cross. The way it should be. Reverent, thought provoking, moving.
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI will be hearing the confessions of three WYD volunteers today.
Hear from 2 young volunteers from the Diocese of Salford about their views on confession
My name is Jess, this is my first World Youth Day. I was excited to come but it has been nothing as I imagined. It has exceeded my expectations in every single way. Catechesis was something I really had no idea about so I didn’t have very high expectations. I have loved every minute of it, listening to the speakers talk frankly and honestly about the exact questions I was asking myself but didn’t have the courage to ask anyone. Sitting in an arena with 12,000 other young people I didn’t expect the talks to reach a very deep level as it would be difficult to keep them engaged, I was totally wrong. The first talk tackled issues such as abortion and pregnancy. The only experience I had with these topics were from sex-ed at school and they mainly taught us the secular view that it was our choice so hearing from the mouth of someone who had regular contact with pregnant women as well as people who had experienced abortion and found it traumatic was something I had only seen briefly in an RE video.
The next speaker spoke about about the relationship between faith and science. As a committed science nerd as well as a committed Catholic this tackled the issues I was really interested in as the apparently contradicting creation accounts of Science and the Bible were never compared in a realistic way, we were told Evolution is correct and the story from the Bible was not. The speaker, Cardinal Pell explained the science and religion in a way which meant I could satisfy both my logical, scientific mind as well as my inexplicable, incredible faith.
The next day a young married couple spoke about a topic that affects all young people, sexuality. They managed to put across an inspiring argument without being patronizing or graphic, a feat rarely achieved by adults talking to young people about sex. They also reflected and called on their own experiences which is obviously something more difficult for a priest. They admitted they themselves had failings and God didn’t expect everyone to be perfect, only to strive to be the best we possibly can be.
The Catechesis was both fun and instructive and I learnt things which I will carry with me for a very long time, the deep moments were filled between with singing and dancing which helped keep us all both awake (World Youth Day is tiring!) and engaged. Overall I loved every minute of it.