Bloggers Nikki and Tricia Walz participated in World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, July 26-31. Using this blog, they will reflect on their experiences. This is the first in a series.
Imagine for a moment the world’s largest sleepover: 2 million young Catholics all sleeping outside in an enormous field. All for the same reasons: to pray together and to see Pope Francis!
I was not particularly looking forward to sleeping on the hard ground, in the cold, possible rain, in the midst of the bugs and slugs, but it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. Besides being the largest sleepover I have ever been to, I was super touched by many of the people I was with, the words of Pope Francis, and the prayer time I had.
During the prayer vigil we were all given a candle. Besides being able to see candles lit for as far as I could see, I was really struck by the beauty of the candle itself and how it relates to our lives.
Our faith life is like a candle – at times it is bold and burning bright- other times our flame is barely burning, or maybe it has gone out. When I was praying in this field the wind would pick up and I would have to shield my flame to prevent it from extinguishing- I had a couple of close calls! Sin, worldly ideals, temptations, etc. are like the wind when it comes to our faith lives. The only way we can protect our flame is by shielding it from the wind. We have so many tools to use to help strengthen ourselves from this wind. Confession, Mass, Adoration, the Rosary, Divine Mercy, the list could go on for pages!
During the vigil it was not uncommon for someone’s candle to extinguish. Without thinking twice they would turn to their neighbor to re-light it. This is also a perfect example of our faith when we are struggling spiritually: if our flame has quit burning we need to rely on our family, friends, the Saints, Mary, Jesus Himself, to help re-start our flame.
My challenge for you is to look at the people in your life and take note of those you can turn to that will help you keep your flame burning bright. Keep these people close; you never know when a gust of wind might come.