We asked them what World Youth Day means to them. Here are some of their answers:
“This extraordinary opportunity to gather with other youth at World Youth Day reminds each and every one of us that we aren’t alone in believing that we can make a better world. When we’re together our strength grows in living for this. .
Then, going to Madrid means being with Benedict XVI! At times, he could appear to be far removed from our daily life, particularly for us who live in another continent where the Pope isn’t often mentioned. But the Pope is the point of unity for the Catholic Church and we young people also hold a special place for him in our hearts and in our prayers.”.
Maria Lúcia comes from Brazil, she sounds quite certain. In fact, she’s absolutely certain when she states:
“WYD allows us to shout to the world that young people are not like many think… unable to think of the future, indifferent and passive. We have great ideals and great values!
How are the preparations going? During these past few weeks we’re experiencing a power “acceleration”, inspired by something Chiara Lubich wrote which focuses on the art of loving, to help us improve more each day. Prayer is also helping us to prepare for the WYD with our soul. And the result is that we are experiencing a great enthusiasm, a joy that we only find in God.”
Mariana, another young Brazilian young woman is equally convinced:
“For me this is a strong sign that millions of youth are more than ever interested and involved in the Church. Together we hope to show that Christianity is not something of the past. . . quite the opposite! Even today, we young people would like to live for something great!
Personally, I’m very interested in making this experience along with youth from many cultures, many ecclesial backgrounds, many movements – all of us together. Our differences are the bricks that will build a united world. I don’t know if we’ll see any planetary changes, but for those of us who will attend and for those who will be linked up via Internet, it will certainly be a radical experience!”
Kyoko comes from Japan; she belongs to another culture and to another faith group. We are surprised that she is also preparing for WYD. We asked her the same question:
“At first I thought that WYD was only for Christian youth; since I’m a Buddhist, I didn’t feel drawn to it. However, being here in Loppiano (a Focolare Center of Spirituality) for the past few days, and living with young people who will be going to the WYD in Madrid, my interest in the WYD grew day-by-day. Now I’m convinced that it can also be an important moment in my life. I can discover something beautiful, meet other young people whose values might differ from my own; this is the positive experience I am going through in the Focolare Movement”.