>March 26, 2010
Rocca di Papa, Rome
I snuck out of the last session today. Des is still at the chapel (where most of the other delegates still are) where the World Youth Day cross is. I prayed, venerated the cross, and then had to leave (nature called). It is amazing that the WYD cross is traveling all over the world. So many people have been touched by it.
I realized while praying, that I am happy. I mean, I know I am happy, but I just needed to affirm it to myself. I wasn’t crying buckets of tears. Nor was I moping about my problems. I went to the cross and told Jesus: “I am happy.”
I am happy with my family. My community. My being in Rome. My sharing with Des. My work. I am happy. And it is because God’s will is being done in my life. And I hope I continue to be open to that will, no matter what else is in store for us as a family.
Today was a heavy day. And it was good that heaviness is always balanced with fun mealtimes. We had breakfast with Latvia. Lunch with ICYCW, FILCAP and Indonesia. And dinner with the Asian Barkada (Myanmar, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and us)… Hungary came along as well.
We had a lot of lectures and a lot of sharers. The lectures in the morning were heavy, but very interesting. All about sexuality and culture. The first was “Sexuality, God’s gift, a personal treasure, language of communion” by Attilio Danese and Giulia Paola Di Nicola of Brussels (i think). And the second was on Cultural shifts in sexuality today. Msgr. Jean Laffitte (Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family) spoke on “Consequences of the sexual revolution” and Lola Velarde (President of the Institute for Family Policy) spoke on “Gender ideology”. Both were SO INTERESTING. And I am so excited to re-visit my notes on it.
There were testimonies from people from Austria (about chastity), Italy (from the organization New Horizons), Argentina (a nun) and Italy (a priest).
And then…. us. 🙂
We were chosen to give a testimony during the session on “Newness of Christian life experienced in marriage: fruitful love!”. Along with us, was a couple from France (one year married) and a couple from Ireland (2 years married). It is weird that we are married the longest. We are so used to being one of the younger ones. Des and I are actually part of the older delegates here.
We were one of the few testimonies given in English (a fact that has been the rumblings of some delegates – why there were so few english sharers, and no english speakers.. yet). And we were the ONLY SHARERS FROM ASIA. It was an honor to be able to speak in front of the IYF about our marriage, representing the Philippines – and Asia. An honor we will never forget. I hope we get to share this blessing with even more people.
After us, there were more testimonies. One by a Rwandan couple that was spared from the genocide there (Francois-Xavier and Solange Ngarambe). And another by the head of John XXIII Movement (Giovanni Paolo Ramonda).
It was a heavy day. But I am happy. And the smile on my face just won’t go away. 🙂