More than Just a Roman Holiday

How World Youth Day turned my life around.

More than Just a Roman Holiday

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There are only three types of people in the world, wrote Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth-century French philosopher and mathematician. There are those who seek the truth about God and have found it.

There are those who seek but have not yet found. And, finally, there are the “foolish and unhappy” people who neither seek nor find.

I was seventeen and somewhere in the middle between group two and three in August 2000, when I went to Rome for World Youth Day. My mum had offered to pay my way, and I had jumped at the chance. But I wasn’t going for Jesus. “I’m going for the ladies, for a good time,” I told a friend. Never having been outside Australia, I wanted to see the world. Besides, I was pretty sure I didn’t believe in God.

From Seeker to Skeptic. Earlier in my life, I had been a seeker of the truth, the second type of person that Pascal described. By age fourteen, I had started asking a lot of big questions about…

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