I landed in Vancouver just 3 days ago, after having spent 4 weeks in Europe on pilgrimage. I went to Vienna to catch up with old friends. I travelled by bus (13 hours) to Medugorje, Bosnia, for the yearly youth festival. And as the climax of the pilgrimage, I travelled to Valencia, Spain for Days in the Diocese, and then to Madrid, Spain for World youth Day 2011.
I've had a few days to let everything settle (and to get over my jet lag). I can honestly say that this World Youth Day pilgrimage - for that is what I truly tried to make it this time - changed my life in so many ways. Granted, I know it was not a pilgrimage in the traditional sense. Whereas pilgrims of old would find pilgrimage in the journey, most WYD pilgrims found it in the destination. But I tried my best to lift up my being to God in every possible moment, and it affected me in ways I didn't think were possible.
With that in mind, it'll be kinda hard to sum up everything and get all the major points of my experiences across in one blog - so I've decided to make it a mini-series of blogs. I'll try to express the ways in which God opened my eyes on all parts of the pilgrimage, but focusing on the the days I spent in Madrid. I've been to three World Youth Days, and have gone to places prior to all three, but for whatever reason, this time, everything seemed to really point towards the actual WYD in Madrid. Interesting.
I wasn't able to document anything during the trip, since I didn't bring any phone or laptop. Think of this mini-series as a post-pilgrimage documentation. It'll be part travel-log, part scripture exegesis, and part theological ponderings. I'll try to get them all up within the next few days.
Here we go.
Some more preamble to this mini-series:
Whatever Happens, Happens (WYD 2011)