August 18, 2011 – Madrid


Yesterday, Archbishop Timothy Dolan said something to our group during a catechetical session that really spoke to me, so I thought that I should share it with all of you. He said, “Faith is always developing. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised, and of course the best exercise for the faith ‘muscle’ is prayer.”

Over the past two days, I have found myself remembering this simile, and it has really inspired me to delve deeper into my prayer life. Luckily, on this pilgrimage, I am surrounded by prayer as well as opportunities to learn and share about my Catholic faith. From attending catechetical sessions and Mass every morning, to getting to know other young Catholics from across the world, to watching the Pope address the World Youth Day participants, there are so many enriching and interesting things to do, many of them thoroughly working out my faith “muscle” (much, much more effectively than a shake weight works out your arms). Yes, that was supposed to be a joke, so feel free to laugh out loud 🙂

I am also really enjoying bonding with our group from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Over the past couple of days, I feel like we’ve really gotten to know each other, and we’ve already shared so many memories. Of course, a lot of our bonding experiences occurred when we were in the New Orleans airport for an entire day while we waited for our cancelled flight to be re-booked, but maybe that’s one of the reasons we were delayed in the first place.

There’s still so much left to experience here in Madrid for World Youth Day, and I am very excited for and open to what lies ahead!

God bless!



Laura Giroir