Today was an extraordinary day. The morning began with a concert; then a catechesis lesson given by Archbishop Dolan in the Love and Life Center (which is the place to be if you are an English-speaking pilgrim here in Madrid); followed by the Way of the Cross with Pope Benedict XVI outdoors in the city of Madrid; and ending with a healing service, also in the Love and Life Center.
I had been looking forward to experiencing the Way of the Cross since I first learned that I would be traveling to Madrid to write articles for Catholic New York (visit www.cny.org to read the articles!). Even though the mass crowds kept me from viewing the actual stations of the cross taking place, just being in the crowd, listening to the music, and watching the faces of the people there with me was such a beautiful experience. There were also jumbotrons set up on the streets between Cibeles Square and Plaza de Colon. Below is a photo of one of the jumbotrons.
My husband and I, and a friend of ours who we ran into while in Madrid walked around after the Way of the Cross ended, and due to sheer luck, stumbled upon the street where the pope drove right in front of us!
Afterwards, we headed back to the Love and Life Center for a healing service. We only caught the very end of the service. What amazes me about the events of World Youth Day is all the different ways one can experience the faith. During the healing service, with the lights dimmed, and which included Eucharistic Adoration, there was complete silence among the crowd as the Franciscan Friars and Sisters played music and sang. Spending time with Jesus, one on one, was the perfect ending to a perfect pilgrimage day.
How do you feel like you connect best to your faith? Through spirited songs and talks, or in quiet prayer? Please share!