You find yourself thinking about new, overwhelming ideas. What does God do when he sees a family die of starvation? Does he turn a blind eye to the girl who is raped by a brute? How can he let something like a brain tumour ruthlessly corrupt someone, someone like Mum, until there is nothing left in her? I could never find the answers to these questions, so in the end I stopped searching. I thought, perhaps it was all just a lie.

Why am I here? I think I’m lost. But something happened today, just while we journeying around Krakow, that was peculiar. I kinda felt something, you know? It’s a little hard to explain, but it was like a sudden impulse of joy. And I didn’t feel it in a Mass like I was told I would, nor in the prayer or reflection. I felt it when I saw a young man help an elderly lady carry her bags; when a women offered the last of her water to a thirst-stricken young girl; when a Polish guy carried a disabled kid about 3 k’s to a medical tent. These moments where nameless people showed genuine selflessness and care to strangers; where the essence of what it is to be human was displayed, that’s when I felt something. I saw this spirit of love and compassion in the people.

And I can’t help but compare this to back to school, where even the system pits us against one another. Where society drives us towards an individualistic lifestyle, and too many people, even in Xavier, judge or are judged by people who always think the worst. I don’t wanna go back home. I wanna stay here. But that’s the type of selfishness I’ve grown to condemn.

Something Pope Francis said, while I listened to him in a drenched field outside the city, has stuck with me. He stated that “the world doesn’t need any more messiahs; it needs only more disciples.” As I stood in that field, I thought that when I return home, I’m not gonna preach about God. I’m not gonna go around and love everybody. I’m just gonna merely take that genuine selflessness that I’ve found here, and try and bring it back to Xavier, in the hope that some of you guys might follow suit.

This place, WYD, has changed me. I’ve realised that my faith goes far beyond the unending Masses, beyond the prayer. It’s too much a part of who I am and who I want to be, and so I can’t give up on it, otherwise I will be lost.

Why am I here? I’m here to find the person I aspire to be. And, in this chaotic mayhem of love, I think I’ve found him.