Yesterday afternoon, the event that I have to say has been my favorite so far, took place. First the pope met briefly with fifty disabled youth and gave the first address on this page. He then proceeded, to the tune of Bach, in his pope mobile to a large field where were gathered about 25,000 youth. The crowd went crazy. Many ran along behind to keep up with the pope-mobile, I even saw someone perched high above the crowd (on a PortaJohn), taking pictures.... I wish I could have been there. Once the Pope reached the stage, he was presented with gifts by various youth. (Beaming almost the entire time) He was introduced and gave a marvelous speech, which is the second on this page. A few of my favorite quotes are below:
At times, however, we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ's radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage! Fix your gaze on our saints. The diversity of their experience of God's presence prompts us to discover anew the breadth and depth of Christianity. Let your imaginations soar freely along the limitless expanse of the horizons of Christian discipleship. Sometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth! Authentic Christian discipleship is marked by a sense of wonder. We stand before the God we know and love as a friend, the vastness of his creation, and the beauty of our Christian faith.
Friends, again I ask you, what about today? What are you seeking? What is God whispering to you? The hope which never disappoints is Jesus Christ. The saints show us the selfless love of his way. As disciples of Christ, their extraordinary journeys unfolded within the community of hope, which is the Church. It is from within the Church that you too will find the courage and support to walk the way of the Lord. Nourished by personal prayer, prompted in silence, shaped by the Church's liturgy you will discover the particular vocation God has for you. Embrace it with joy. You are Christ's disciples today. Shine his light upon this great city and beyond. Show the world the reason for the hope that resonates within you. Tell others about the truth that sets you free. With these sentiments of great hope in you I bid you farewell, until we meet again in Sydney this July for World Youth Day! And as a pledge of my love for you and your families, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing.
I wish with all my heart I could have been there, but thank goodness for EWTN. There are a few pics here if you scroll all the way down. And we're still awaiting video.
Fun Fact: Pope Benedict gave the crowd +A for their German pronunciation when they sang him Happy Birthday.
The Pope visited Ground Zero today... we'll be posting soon.
The next event is his concluding Mass at Yankee Stadium at 2 PM ET today. He leaves at 7:30 PM ET today.
More to come,