#WYDKrakow by Hope Reyes

Essay 2

My fourteen days in Poland during the World Youth Day 2016 felt like a year. A lot of things happened for such a short period of time. It has definitely changed me and completely made a difference in the way I see things, interact with people, and handle life experiences. It was a ‘great year’, a year you never want to end even if it only lasted for 14 days.

What struck me the most is how simple the life is in Poland, simple yet has a great impact. Things doesn’t always have to be grand, doesn’t always need to be special, wrapped up in a glittering box, but it is in the simple little things that greatly affect our lives. How simple the life and joys of the Poles. It may be a bit routinely, but all these things we seem to take for granted, the things we think are unnecessary, usual, not so important stuff are the most important of all: our families, time spent with them, communication, love, openness, etc. are what matters most for them.

The World Youth Day 2016 for me can be summarized in a few words: meeting new people with different perspectives, having their own strategies in life and personal intentions, but with one goal in life, one purpose: to be messengers of mercy to the world, bringing the joy and love that we receive from God to everyone and to freely give it to others. To meet the Lord every day, in all people, to let the Lord be part of our lives, to go on an adventure of mercy!

It was great to serve the Lord differently, in the different people and nationalities I interacted with, in the different places I have been to, having no idea what to expect, but God still provides, He still educates, He plans things you can never have imagined or dreamed of, and always always, it is the best.

I would like to end my essay with a prayer to the Black Madonna (Our Lady of Czestochowa). The Black Madonna has a rich history, but more than this, is its powerful prayer and miracles truly given but definitely undeserved, may our blessed mother guide and protect us always as we journey through life, bringing Christ’s love and mercy to the abyss of the unknown who definitely definitely need it but doesn’t know how to find it. “Holy Mother of Czestochowa, Thou art full of grace, goodness and mercy. I consecrate to Thee all my thoughts, words and actions, my soul and body. I beseech Thy blessings and especially prayers for my salvation. Today, I consecrate myself to Thee, Good Mother, totally, with body and soul amid joy and sufferings to obtain for myself and others Thy blessings on this earth and eternal life in Heaven. Amen.”