He opened by telling us of a 26 year old lady who attended WYD in Toronto in 2002. Her life had not only been transformed through WYD, it had been saved by WYD! She got into drugs and took to the streets and fell into prostitution. Many men told her they loved her for $50 for her prostitution services, but she had never been told by a man that she was loved until she met Blessed John Paul II. And he not only told her that he loved her, but that God loves her! She was tempted to overdose on drugs and end it all, but that changed through going to WYD!
Like this lady, our souls are restless and are constantly searching for God. Have you ever worked with people with cancer? There, you will see hope. You will see people smiling with their friends and family, always looking to something.
St. Augustine put it very well, said Cardinal Dolan, when he said: "We come to you, oh God, and our hearts are restless until they return to you for all eternity."
The greatest temptation in life is that something or someone else can completely satisfy us, but they can't. Only God will never let us down. Cardinal Dolan believes that's why God made this the first commandment. When we worship idols and false gods, we brake the first commandment.
There are four threats, or enemies, to hope:
1. Ourselves - We are aware of our sins, our imperfections, our failures. That can damage our hope. Recovering alcoholics and drug addicts can only overcome their addictions when they put their hope in someone else. They need to learn to accept and forgive themselves for the mistakes they make.
2. Other people - Our family, our friends, and the people in the Church let us down . It renews in us the profession of faith that our hope is in God and Him alone.
3. The world around us - The bad news in the world, including the poverty and violence.
4. Time - God takes His time and we're impatient people, especially when we pray! We like a microwave, but God uses a crock pot and food from a crock pot tastes better! God's will always triumphs, even when it takes time. Very often, God only fulfills our hope in eternity in heaven.
There are some things in this life, like tragedies, which will only be answered in the next. Cardinal Dolan told us about a woman, a doctor who travelled to French Guyana with her husband and kids and her son died from drinking the water! That tragedy ended her marriage with her husband. Then, her seven year old daughter died from a brain tumour, even though Cardinal Dolan and others were praying for her healing. After she had passed away, Cardinal Dolan got in prayer that the girl is being held and rocked in God's arms for all eternity.
The session was followed by a question and answer period, and then followed by Mass. Some of us also went to Confession before Cardinal Dolan spoke.