I promise that I will write about everything that happened during WYD, but if I had to sum it up... I'd have to simply tell you all about this guy that I met.
Before I left, at least two of my friends here made comments about how amazing it would be if I met someone in Madrid. Coming off of this summer (and the months leading up to it), I wasn't sure if I wanted that to happen or really hoped it wouldn't. Taking into account all the gory details not included in my blog post (and there were many, unfortunately, even continuing after the relationship ended), things just got really ugly. I understand that this guy was lashing out because he was hurt. However, that didn't make it any easier. Add in a heavy dose of "Catholic guilt" due to some rad-trad beliefs that he has and I was a mess. Although I doubt he meant to, some things that I heard over and over again really gave me a beating. These aren't doctrines or dogma. Nothing that is essential to Catholic teaching. To sum it up... I do not believe that a woman has to wear a high-necked shirt with a long skirt and a veil to be modest. Modesty is awesome, don't get me wrong. And I definitely consider myself modest. But, when I'm subjected to talk about legalistic rules, I want nothing more than to put on a bikini and go to the beach. When Jesus appears to me and tells me that I must only wear blouses dipping no lower than two finger widths below the pit of my throat and a skirt that fully covers my knees while sitting or standing, I'll listen to Him. Until then, I'll have to keep fighting this ridiculous guilt over nothing. Honestly, when I think about it, what comes to mind is Eowyn's comment to Wormtongue in the Two Towers: "Your words are poison!" ... minus the evil intent.
What does any of that have to do with WYD in Madrid?
Well, my friends were right - sort of. I did meet a guy in Madrid. But then, I've known Him for years. Even so, I really needed the week away with Him. Jesus is the only one who can heal my heart and clean up this mess that I've gotten into. And WYD was the beginning of that. Through the people around me, speakers, bishops, Papa Ben (of course!), and just the general atmosphere, He was present in so many ways. But nothing compares to the sacraments. I was blessed to spend time in adoration twice (technically thrice if you count the Saturday vigil but I wasn't participating in that much for reasons which I'll get into later) -- there is nothing more beautiful than gazing at the very face of God and letting Him gaze back at you... except for receiving Him at Mass. I really needed to go to confession (yet another very tangible expression of His love) and had the chance - finally - on Friday morning. While I don't recommend getting into such a situation, after not being able to receive Communion before I went to the sacrament of reconciliation, it was incredible to to to Mass directly after. Although knowing that I was still so unworthy, being able to welcome Christ into a "freshly cleaned house" was priceless.
SO, was my future husband in Madrid? No clue. I kind of doubt it, even though I met some awesome people and there were more than a million who I didn't meet, but I don't know for sure. And, theoretically, there is always the option of religious life... although there really aren't many opera singing nuns. In any case, the week was spent rediscovering the love of the One who has always loved me and can never stop and, especially right now, that was better than being with anyone else.