Praised be Jesus Christ! It is with much gratitude that I write these closing reflections. The heart is so full, I’m not quite sure where to begin.
Just to share…I don’t usually like to travel, and I’ve never really had a desire to go to a particular place, on a pilgrimage or anything of that sort. Even past world youth days, I enjoyed hearing about it but never really desired to attend. Sometime in April or May of this year (can’t quite remember the time frame) the Lord put a very strong desire in my heart to attend WYD in Australia. Not only was there a strong desire, but simultaneous to this, there was a sense of knowing that somehow I would be going. I can’t tell you how or why, I just knew. When Sister Joseph Louise mentioned to me in passing one day that I had a very important letter in my mailbox – even before retrieving it, I knew it was something connected to WYD. And indeed it was. It was a letter requesting that I and another sister represent our community for this wondrous event. In the privacy of our office, I did a bit of jumping up and down. 🙂 Even some holy hollering. 🙂
Skipping ahead…when one of the Nashville Dominicans approached me in Australia and spoke about the possibility of my receiving Holy Communion from our Holy Father, I was indeed surprised and grateful beyond words, but there was with it, the same sense of knowing…knowing that somehow I would see this pope whom I so love…and gratitude that the Lord chose to plan it in this way.
Why do I mention all this? Simply because it encompasses my WYD experience. It speaks so clearly of God’s unfailing love and generosity, His lavishness, His attention to every detail, His fidelity. The Lord is God. Sometimes I forget this. The Lord is by my side, my Helper, my Guide, my Friend, my Beloved. Sometimes I forget this too. It’s the human element that draws us many times to be self-sufficient and selfish. Nothing to beat oneself over the head with because in a certain sense it’s part of the human experience. But my coming to Sydney was our Lord asking me in a particular way to abide in His love and to experience it in a particular way. He brought me out all this way to show me how much it is that He loves me. This may sound a bit funny to state it so…but it’s something that we each in our own way have to be deeply convicted of. We have to know God loves us. We have to know and believe that if it were only me, He would still have died on the cross. Conviction in this love is what will inspire and draw us to be whole-hearted in our own unique individual response. When one is loved and knows it, one cannot help but want to reciprocate that love. Thank you for reading and for letting me share my blessings with you.
Sister Mary Scholastica