Right now, more than a million people (youth in age and at heart) have descended on the Spanish city of Madrid in various assorted Catholic t-shirts, carrying countless rosaries, and meeting new people who join in the Hail Mary with funny accents.
Ignitum’s very own Trista, Fabi, and Marc are over in Madrid celebrating World Youth Day among the funny accents and I’m sure you wait in anticipation for their stories! While we sit here in America, let us not twiddle our thumbs. Let’s have a stay-cation World Youth Day!
The quote at the top of this post is the 2011 WYD theme. To get ourselves in the Madrid mindset, repeat after me:
“Arraigados y edificados en Cristo, firmes en la fe.”
It was the double “r” that gave you trouble, wasn’t it? Next, redeem yourself by engaging in another Spanish culture characteristic: time for tapas!
There is no better meal than the Last Supper, or a papal Mass in Madrid as a close honorable mention, but we are setting the stage for our stay-cation World Youth Day. This requires good, Spanish food.
If you’re skilled in the kitchen, attempt some barbecued mini ribs, ceviche, foie toast with jamon Ibérico, fried black pudding (Morcilla Frita), shrimp fritters (Tortillitas de camarones), and spicy sausage and cheese tortillas. For those who cannot or do not want to set off another smoke alarm, find a Spanish restaurant and indulge in the salty, cheesy delicious finger foods.
Now that we understand the menu, we need to create the Madrid atmosphere. Invite your closest one million friends to join you at the Spanish restaurant, or at your home, and pray together.
Perhaps that number makes you uncomfortable and you’d rather invite five or six. Either way, make an effort to band together with youth, especially if that includes people whom you have never met.
This is the Catholic Super Bowl party; get rowdy with praise for Christ, people, it’s time for the Popemobile!
Instead of endzones and defensive plays, we have EWTN and blogs:
- See the schedule of events in Madrid.
- Tune into EWTN where Fr. Mark and Doug Barry of “Life on the Rock” will keep you updated on the sleepless excitement in Madrid.
- To my tweeters out there, follow the hashtag #WYD and the official Spanish tweeps behind @Madrid11_En who are keeping us informed.
- Keep your browser pointed at the WordPress categories “Madrid” and “WYD” and discover new bloggers who manage to find a cyber cafe and share their tales from Spain.
- Watch Seth and his inevitably numerous videos from World Youth Day on One Billions Stories.
- World Youth Day is also “on-demand” on Xt3.com where you can watch live and past feeds of the festivities.
- “WYD Central” is hosting more videos and event coverage.
- The Catholic Guy, Lino Rulli, is also in Madrid with his usual bag full of tricks and quips.
Once your one million (or half a dozen) buds are gathered, armed with tapas on paper plates and standing around the computer monitor, open the meal with a blessing for our brothers and sisters in Madrid, for the Pope that his words might inspire those in Spain who are sacrificing sleep and good hygiene to be on the ground at World Youth Day, and that this week sparks a refreshed spirit among the World’s Catholic youth.
“Over the years, I have often repeated the summons to the new evangelization. I do so again now, especially in order to insist that we must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardour of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost. We must revive in ourselves the burning conviction of Paul, who cried out: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).”
-Bl. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, NOVO MILLENNIO INEUNTE
All of the Spanish calories in the world are nothing if we don’t allow Christ to reenergize our faith life so that we might share it with others. We are “planted and built up in Jesus Christ” and we must make the effort to be “firm in the faith” (cf. Col 2:7).