Friday, 24 September 2010

Another Young Person's Reflection on the Papal Visit

Catherine Anne Crick who is Head Girl at the Towers Convent School in Upper Bedding made a presentation to the school about the Vigil at Hyde Park during assembly this Monday . Below is a small selection of what she said:

"Then the evening Vigil began. After an introduction and welcome from the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Reverend Peter Smith and The Holy Father we had a reading and gospel. After the homily in which The Holy Father spoke of John Henry Newman, now Blessed John Henry Newman he lit the Paschal Candle and from this candles from the Parish representatives were lit. This part of the vigil was to emphasise the light of Christ being with us and also being with us in body as the Blessed Sacrament procession began.

The next part of the vigil was, for me, one of the most amazing moments of the day and one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. The Holy Father knelt in front of the monstrance and lead adoration. For the first few minutes of adoration you could have heard a pin drop in the crowd of 80,000 people. Then the choir began to sing. I have been in the presence of the Eucharist before and I have to admit I haven’t always felt any benefit from it. I didn’t really use the time I was given well and I would mutter a rushed prayer and daydream for the remaining time but on Saturday I prayed for the whole time. Not for my own needs but for leaders, other religions, the homeless, those who have lost faith, lonely, sick, deceased, all my family and friends and the Towers Community and my Parish community. I also thanked God for the opportunity to be in the presence of the Pope because like I felt at mass and sudden rush of realisation came over me and it sunk in that I was in the same arena of the Pope, breathing the same air, in his presence. I found that quite hard to take in but at the same time I was unbelievably privileged to be part of it.

A litany of the sacred heart then followed and then we had Benediction which was spectacular as I have only had Benediction once and for my second time in which I actually knew what was going on the Pope was leading it. He then thanked everyone for coming and blessed us before leaving Hyde Park. I was slightly saddened by the fact that it was all over but then I told myself ‘It doesn’t have to be. You can tell your friends, family, youth group, church. You will remember this day for the rest of your life, there may never be another time when you will ever be so close to the Pope again.’

As we left Hyde Park to make our way back to the coach one of my leaders was beaming and so we asked why and she simply said: ‘I love Jesus. I just love him. I think he’s lovely and I love him. I love Jesus.’ We all laughed a bit at this but then we realised, well actually so do we... we felt the same and Saturday has made us more aware of our faith, proud to be Catholic and has strengthened our belief in God.

So I leave you with one thought: The Holy Father’s message is: Every single human being of whatever religion is entitled to and worthy of happiness. The greatest tragedy in life is that most people never find their happiness because they are looking for it in the wrong place. You will only have true happiness if you learn to love. When Pope Benedict says ‘Heart speaks unto Heart’ he does not mean just understanding each other, He means for you to love each other."

What a powerful testimony from Catherine!

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