I am so proud of the group I am with. There has been so much charity and patience, and we needed it especially getting to and from Randwick, the site of the Pope's Mass. I don't know which is better -- to plan and take what I needed, which is what I did this time or to take as little as possible, which is what I did at Denver. I guess there is no easy way!
Anyhow, pretty much everything went well -- Praise God! I asked for prayers for confessions and for good weather, and both came through. I think that the Church in Australia should get a "bounce" just from the confessions heard.
World Youth Day is such a JPII event. Pope Benedict has blessed it, as Cardinal Pell said yesterday, and it is now an institution -- but it has the marks of JPII all over it. It's a "big picture" event, painted with broad strokes. And it works. The confessions are the proof of this for me. I'm not sure why getting a whole bunch of young people together from all over the world with a bunch of priests available translates into confessions, but it does. I give credit to the Legionaires of Christ for training some of their boys to be "confession husksters," rounding up penitents. There was one boy from Washington, D.C. in my area who was doing a great job.
Frankly for me, it is a test of endurance because I can't help noticing the "little things," the "fine strokes," that sometimes are a bit rough. For example, the difference between the way the newly confirmed received Holy Communion from the Pope kneeling reverently and on the tongue with a paten held under the chin and the way most of the pilgrims had to receive pushing up to a fence struck me as somehow inconsistent, however understandable the logistical difficulties are in such a large venue. Both images were shown back and forth on the big screens during Commuion. It is the same Lord, regardless of who is distributing Him!
Enough of my crankiness! I have not had time yet to figure out what all of this has meant for me. I'll keep you posted.
P.S. I thought the Holy Father saved his best message for the Angelus at the end of Mass. Go read it!