Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sydney sunrise

My plane arrived in Sydney at dawn yesterday (it's 1:34 a.m. Monday as I write. With the pink and orange light coming in on the horizon as we touched down, it couldn't have been a more beautiful start to my World Youth Day experience.

The Sunday Australian included an article by Caroline Overington on WYD pilgrims' embracing chastity. I like how she notes that "young Catholics do have ideas about sex that would be unrecognisable to old-school Catholics." By "old-school," she means the poorly catechized generation of their parents and grandparents, who rebelled against what they saw as values based on shame.

WYD pilgrims, Overington writes, believe in saving sex for marriage because sex is meant to be good, not bad. They understand that its goodness is dependent upon their properly integrating it into their lives—having it within the context of the vowed self-gift of marriage. This is the generation I will have the honor of addressing Tuesday and Wednesday, and I am so happy to be here.