Pope tells young people not to be couch potatoes

The July 30-31 World Youth Day vigil inspires this young adult pilgrim to act.

World Youth Day vigil July 30-31 Photo: Courtesy OYYAE
Tyler Smith, young adult pilgrim

World Youth Day is a time of simplicity. 

In preparation for the final mass with the pope, we spent the night in an open field. Our dinner consisted of a pre-made, bagged meal, which we ate while sitting in a circle laughing at not being sure what we were eating. "Is this dessert? It's pretty hard to tell from the package." 

Pope Francis' message at the evening vigil was powerful. He called for the young Catholics of the world to be a generation that gets the most out of life and to love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

However, the pope pointed out that many in our generation have become "couch potatoes," falling into mindless routines that are comfortable but do not allow us to grow into the people God meant us to be. 

Over a million pilgrims left the vigil site the next day to go back out into the world. Our group chose to avoid the crowd and take a route that took us through the Polish countryside. It was a dirt path lined with tall grass on each side. 

The mindless patter of left-right-left of walking for several hours back to Krakow gave me ample time for reflection. I had never realized how easy it has been for me fill my life with "things." Work. Sleep. Eat. Repeat ... without fully allowing the spirit of God in. 

There are countless human beings that could benefit from the gifts I have to offer. All it would take is a simple, "Hello."​

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