These are some shots of Madrid - there are signs all over for World Youth Day. There is also a shot of Americans gathering for a special Mass with the U.S. bishops today. Our seminarians had a special mass with the Pope this morning.
For those of you who are joined to us spiritually by prayer since when we first left Krakow - a little update: We made it to Madrid after a wonderful day of prayer at Manresa - where St. Ignatius spent a year in prayer and spiritual trials. We soon began to experience our own trials. Our bus broke down outside of Zaragoza and we got here late on Thursday. But in a way World Youth Day began at the truck stop in Zaragoza. The seminarians pulled out a guitar and started to sing. Soon whole groups of pilgrims began to join us. It was wonderful fellowship. One lady was so moved she gave another guitar as a gift - so we sang a special song for her and prayed together. The joy and excitement in Madrid are very beautiful -- like that moment at the bus stop. The Spanish are wonderful hosts.
It is hard to explain the graces that are here. Nothing has been real easy - yet everything filled with so much joy. Trials and sacrifices and hardships are the greatest blessings on a pilgrimage. At the time you do not see it - but then if you are patient and trust - God does some great and unexpected thing. Isn't this just the way He works in our lives all the time when we let Him? Thanks for praying for us and for all your support for our future priests. God is raising up some remarkable men to serve the Church -