Monday, 13 February 2017

With the young

The past two days, Saturday and Sunday I accompanied Fr John and a group of my college students for a retreat/pilgrimage in London.  We drove down together to Battersea and spent the morning in prayer and sharing.  In the afternoon we visited two historical churches (both Anglican) and then joined for Even Song at one.  Returning home we had Mass of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  Long time was spent at the table sharing and talking. On Sunday we had b'fast and a meaningful Mass.  We then sat for a brief round of evaluation and then started back home.

More than a full-fledged retreat, it was more of an outing. But given the varied mixture of the group - 13 students from different nationalities and backgrounds - anything one emphasis would have been an extreme for the others.  Hence Fr John was right in trying to strike a balance - this being the first time he is trying this.

I like being with the group, most of whom I already knew through my earlier interactions with them.  Each one is very very different from the others.  Most often their outward talk and behaviour camouflages their inner depth.  In comparison with the youth of India, these youngsters are far more sociable and ready to interact with others and that too without much delay.  Moreover the content of their conversations is often rich and intense.  Of course, they do gossip about friends but it never has a negative tone or content.  

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