European Youth Meeting in Ávila

As partof the celebrations commemorating the 5th Centenary of the Birth of St Teresa, the European Youth Meeting was held on5 ? 9 August in Ávila. It was organised jointly by the Department for the YouthPastoral Ministry of the Spanish Bishops? Conference, the Ávila diocese, andthe Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Over 6,000 young Europeans gathered for this ecclesialevent, which was held under the theme: ?Introubled times, strong friends of God?. The meeting included spiritual, formation,cultural and leisure activities which we were able to enjoy every daythroughout the meeting and which helped us to become more thoroughly familiarwith Saint Teresa of Jesus and her spirituality. During the course of themeeting we went on three ?pathways? to get to know Saint Teresa more intimately:Path, Life and Mansions.

A group of 21 young people and Brothers of St John of Godfrom Italy, Germany, Austria, Viet Nam, the Philippines and Spain had the goodfortune to be attending the meeting. A few days before hand we met in Madrid atthe ?Albergue de Santa María de la Paz? hospital to prepare for the experienceand share our lives on the basis of faith and hospitality.

I would highlight one is the most wonderful activitiesand moments as the digital prayer on August 8 where, all of us gathered in theevening to pray and thank God for the gift of faith. Mgr Xavier Novell, theBishop responsible for the Youth Department of the Spanish Bishops? Conference,addressed the following words to us: This night, Jesus wants to entrust a secret to you, as he did during thenight before his Passion. Over the past few days, together with this largegroup of our Lord?s friends, Jesus has washed your feet, in the sacrament ofconfession, he has sat down at your table at the Eucharist every day, he hasspoken to you at length in the catechesis, exactly as he did with his 12 firstdisciples doing that night, which was as magical as today?s. And now you arehere, not as individuals lost in the crowd, but as a trusting, listening,curious friend, moved by confidence and trust in you.

Listento what he continually says to you: ?As my Father has loved me, so I have lovedyou; abide in my love?. Before you born, I loved you and my love was so strongfor you that I wanted you to come into life. I yearned to love you personallyand I took the risk of making you to be born and to grow were you were born andgrew up. Although you may think that I have not chosen wisely, because nothinghas been easy for you, even though you think that I have been playing with you,believe me, neve ? but  never ? have I trickedyou. I have loved you too much. Perhaps, if you press me, I might say that Igambled once for you. Look at me, wounded as I am: that time I gambled, and itwas for your good!

WhenI won this trust from my first friends I explained to them how much I lovedthem with an image: the image of the vine and the grafted cuttings. They wereall rural people and they understood what I was saying. When I told my friendTeresa about it, I used the image of a Castle because she was born in a castle,a daughter used to living in these defence walls. How can I explain to you, thesmart phone generation, how much, and how I love you? Through this amazingdevice you do everything ? relating to people, studying, travelling, watchingyour favourite programmes and even praying. In these past few days you havebeen looking for a connection like mad. Wherever you go, the first thing you dois to find out whether they have a hotspot. You are like the mobile phone and Iam like your power source and coverage. Without me you can do nothing, like anintelligent ? but useless ? gizmo. Without me, you switch off. Without me, youcan get nowhere - you will always fall short. Without my love, you will wearyourself out, and be unable to give anything to anyone.

Inshort, then, I want to stand before you, I will send out my love to you, andcover you with millions of megas of love. Connect up with me. Hook up to me andyou are never more look anywhere else. Nothing else can compete with my fullcoverage. 


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