“I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

Rom 12:1-2

World Youth Day has come and gone.  All the pilgrims have returned to their homes.  For us here in the monastery, our days have returned to normal – the TV is off and it’s back to business!  Yet, I am surprised (and grateful) that the thrill of those days of pilgrimage (or virtual pilgrimage) remain.  So many images that we saw flash on EWTN (Our Holy Father’s delight as he drove in the Pope-mobile through the crowds, the young people cheering, chanting, dancing, and celebrating life!, and those same young people kneeling on the wet and muddy ground in adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament) are embedded in my memory, as are the words of our Holy Father.  The underlining current of his words can be summed up by quoting St. Paul – in his letter to the Romans: DO NOT CONFORM YOURSELVES TO THIS AGE, BUT BE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWAL OF YOUR MIND!
Keep that thought in mind as your read Pope Benedict’s words to French pilgrims: 
You have brought with you profound questions, and you are seeking answers.  It is always a good thing to keep seeking. Above all, seek the Truth, which is not an idea or an ideology or a slogan, but a person: Christ, God himself, who has come into our midst! You rightly wish to plant your faith in him, to ground your life in Christ. He has always loved you and he knows you better than anyone else. May these days so rich in prayer, teaching and encounters help you to rediscover this, so that you may love him all the more.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/wyd2011/speeches/welcomeCibelesYouth0818.asp#ixzz1WGlDOae1

And again at the Prayer Vigil, Our Holy Father reiterates:

If you abide in the love of Christ, rooted in the faith, you will encounter, even amid setbacks and suffering, the source of true happiness and joy. Faith does not run counter to your highest ideals; on the contrary, it elevates and perfects those ideals. Dear young people, do not be satisfied with anything less than Truth and Love, do not be content with anything less than Christ.

Nowadays, although the dominant culture of relativism all around us has given up on the search for truth, even if it is the highest aspiration of the human spirit, we need to speak with courage and humility of the universal significance of Christ as the Saviour of humanity and the source of hope for our lives. He who took upon himself our afflictions, is well acquainted with the mystery of human suffering and manifests his loving presence in those who suffer. They in their turn, united to the passion of Christ, share closely in his work of redemption. Furthermore, our disinterested attention towards the sick and the forgotten will always be a humble and warm testimony of God’s compassionate regard.

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/wyd2011/speeches/prayerVigil0820.asp#ixzz1WGnSEQOi

Through the graces of this past World Youth Day, and the graces of each moment we spend united to Christ in prayer, may He continue to transform us by the renewal of our mind…