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Archive for the ‘Summits’ Category

I still have a bit more to write, but I’m putting these up before it’s too late!

1. There was a Summit last Sunday night. They had a priest there for confessions and I was finally able to go. Not only was I definitely due for one but it was also the weekly challenge for the bible study, a couple weeks ago.(One thing after another bumped the next study, so I still met the deadline.)

At the summits they always call us to come up close to the monstrance, and while I was up there I had a moment when everything around me faded away, and I was kneeling alone before God. It was a pretty awesome feeling.

(When I came back home again I was full of peace and joy. But a little argument or 2 with my in-laws, and I was upset and my peace was gone. It was very frustrating, but thinking about it I figured out why it happened: I was so full from the Lord because of how close He was, that I had my heart on my sleeve. I’ll have to guard against that in the future, I will not let them steal my Joy!)

2. At communion last week I had to go to the eucharisitc minister instead of the priest. She placed the host in my hand, despite my trying to indicate otherwise, I had a baby in my arms! So I had no choice. It was a bit awkward, and it took longer than normal, but it made me realize as I was struggling, just how precious and real this is. I have Jesus here
in my hands and I have to finish this! In that moment my understanding of the eucharist and my longing for the Lord went deeper.

In mass on Tuesday I was pleasantly surprised that my deeper understanding and reverence was still there from Sunday. When the priest changed the bread and wine and held them up, it was a little like being at adoration. This is what I have to keep telling myself. When I’m at adoration I want to get as close to the Lord as I can, in the Eucharist, I get closer! We become one!

Also, when the priest said the peace be with you, that too went deeper. It is a sign of the kingdom of God, that we are all one, that we are all united in our faith, The sense of community for me was like it will be in heaven, we will all join together in praising the Lord.

3. On Tuesday I went to another WITS event, Girls Talk Tech. It’s been a while since I’ve done much with the society since I’m not at school as much. It was a networking event where they brought together female students, teachers and women in industry in a fancy restaurant meeting room to discuss a particular issue, in this case: work-life balance.

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It was a lovely evening, elegant and sophisticated. There was complimentary wine and fancy appetizers, catered by the restaurant. It was fun to get to socialize in an upscale adult environment! And the talks and discussion was really great as well. It was all very relaxed and also very relevant.

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Though I don’t plan on working anytime soon, the principles for achieving balance between school, kids, hubby, blog and photos are the same. The 4 principles one woman highlighted for making it work: focus on the task at hand, multi-task when necessary, accept imperfection and don’t over-commit. Pretty solid I’d say. In the multitasking department, after her maternity leave was up one teacher took her 8 month old to school for 3 months when she couldn’t get a daycare spot. She explained that after 8 months of spending all day every day talking to a baby, she needed something OTHER than baby. I can relate, it’s probably why I really like going to school now. So, she said, I’m still going back to teaching, and we’ll make it work! The baby lived in a playpen in her office. She was lucky enough to have her husband’s office right next door so when one of them had to teach a class the other one babysat. She’d just push the playpen around the corner into his office!

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I did wonder though, what does God think about these mothers working??? Should they be home in more traditional roles?

4. Tuesday night after I came home I had a really stuffy nose. I attributed it to dry air, different air with the weather etc but it didn’t go away. After 2 hours of sleep baby got me up and I was unable to go back to sleep. Last time this happened, I stayed up watching tv shows but I decided I could be more productive. So I got up and fetched the laptop. I sat on the bathroom floor typing up all my notes, and got a lot done. When baby woke up I went back in to nurse him, and then left again since I still couldn’t sleep. Among my many late-night ponderings, I began to wonder honestly how I could have gone through 13 years of Catholic school and never heard the Gospel message. We heard that God loves us and that Jesus died for our sins, but never what that meant. And never that He wants a personal relationship with each and every one of us.

From this cold I have learned a few things. My colds usually follow a pattern. They always hit in the evening and I usually end up spending most of that night awake (though sometimes just getting up out of bed and doing something for an hour or so is enough to clear my nose and let me sleep). The worst is always the second night, up until I fall asleep, because I’m exhausted and have been miserable most of the night and all day. By the next morning I’m usually feeling better. Not so this week, I didn’t really feel things lift until Sunday night, but that might correlate with a faith rediscovery as well. Also, in the future, when I can’t sleep, if I decide to get back up and make a second ‘day’ of the night, then it too should begin with prayer.

5. My friend’s dad had some sudden heart trouble last week. I don’t know if they’ve found out what’s wrong yet, but the whole family could sure use your prayers for healing, body, mind and soul.

6. I happened to catch a couple minutes of supernanny when my in-laws were commercial channel flipping. During the few minutes I saw I picked up a couple discipline tips and since then I have been making sure to make eye contact, and asking my 2-year old if he understands what I’m saying before administering any punishment etc. Things seem to be going a bit better, if nothing else my emotions are less involved in the process and it’s coming instead from a place of love.

7. Last week I discovered you can find coffee yogurt in the stores around here! They have it at sobeys, in the organic refrigerated section, with all the soy products. But it’s real yogurt. Yum.

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Tonight there was another Summit. I decided to go a little early, so I could have confession beforehand, and thus have all of adoration to be as close to God as possible. When I came in I found out that it was my own church priest filling in. Although I’ve never gone to confession with him I was not backing down, so I asked and we went.

When I was finished, Father gave me the most beautiful penance. He told me to spend some time tonight (before God) thanking Him for my two beautiful children and for my husband. That was it, a call to gratitude.
It made for a wonderful evening. I was as close to God as I can ever get in this life, and I was filled with His Love, with Gratitude and with Joy. The priest’s words cause me to think way back to the day I first decided I was going to go to church regularly. In his homily Fr Bryan spoke about evangelizing your children. That struck such a cord with me, even though I didn’t have children at the time. It was the biggest reason I started going back, I guess because deep down I wanted the possibility of a relationship with God for my children, even if I didn’t yet have one myself, I still felt it was important.

And now I do have children, 2 wonderful kids 🙂 As for my husband-I realize as Ii type that I am a little jealous of the CCO couples that have the privilege of sharing every aspect of their lives, including God, and growing in faith together. (Jealous is not the right word, since I don’t wish to take away any of their happiness.)
However, the same way I am glad my husband and I found each other young and now have the rest of our lives to enjoy each other’s company, I am also thankful that I found God young, and have the rest of my life to get to know Him, to walk with Him and to grow in love, instead of finding Him or the first time on my deathbed. My life is so, SO much richer for my faith. It is the best thing in my life. (I’m not putting it ahead of my kids or my husband, rather they are a part of my vocation as a wife and mother. )

One of the talks was on having a relationship with God. Here it is, reproduced in its entirety (thanks to facebook):

I want you to know that you can have a relationship with God. Do you believe that? Do believe that you could experience Jesus in a real way and He could become relevant in your life? Tonight is opportunity for you, if you so desire, to say Yes to God, to say “I want to have a relationship with you.”
The first time I heard this I had many questions:

How long does it take?
What do I have to do before this happens?
Will I be weird like the other Christians?
Will I have fun anymore?
Will I still like girls?
What do I have to give up?
What do I have say to God if I want a relationship with him?
Whoever came up with the notion that you could have a relationship with God?

I will address that last question first: Where does this notion of a relationship with God come from?
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus says, “And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you: seek, and you will find: knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks, receives, and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus gets a little more personal: “Abide in me and I will abide in you. These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” Please know that God wants to have a relationship with you. When God sent Jesus, God gave you, personally, everything He had so that you could have a relationship with Him. If you are waiting for something else… it’s not coming. In His infinite wisdom and His vast richness, God has nothing more to give. Your creator wants to be with you. If you were the only person on the face of the earth, Jesus still would have come to die for you.

Next question: How long does it take to start a relationship with God?
For me, all it took was a moment. Actually it was a night very similar to tonight. In a moment I listened to my heart and thought, “God if you are love, I want that, and if I have the freedom to choose you, then I want to choose you.” This relationship is something only you can choose for yourself. You might be thinking “I’m very busy these days. Now is not a good time for this.” In Corinthians St. Paul says, “I tell you, NOW is the time of God’s favour, NOW is the day of salvation.”

Next question: What do I have to do before this can happen?
You have to sin…so you are on the right track. In the Gospel of Mark it says, “Jesus sat at the table in his house, many university students and CCO staff were sitting with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many who followed him. And the scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with CCO staff and university students, said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with these sinners?’ And when Jesus heard this, he said to them, ‘Those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do; I came NOT to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
When I started thinking about turning back to God, I thought I have to do all these things first – sort of clean myself up – then I can present myself to God. But the truth is God meets you right where you are. No matter what you are caught up in right now…God is reaching his hand out to you saying, “you and me, one more time”. He calls us by name. The gospel of John says, “To him the gatekeeper opens: the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Next question: Will I be weird like the other Christians? Will I have fun anymore?
In 2004 I was challenged to go on a summer mission called Impact with Catholic Christian Outreach. I really wondered, what would it be like for a “cool” guy like myself to be with a bunch of Nerdy Catholics. And what if this mission changes me and I can’t have fun anymore? And being around these odd people, I won’t be me anymore? I fought hard not to go on that mission. Eventually the guy who challenged me threw his knock-out punch. He said, “If you go on this mission, God will do something awesome in your life.” I wanted that.
On that mission I met 60 very normal people… and Eric and Michelle. What I found on that mission was that I was more me than I ever was before. I had the freedom to be who I ought to be. It sounds a little cliché, but I felt more alive than I had ever felt before. Something new came alive inside me. Jesus wants you to feel alive. Jesus says in Luke, “I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled!”

Next question: Will I still like girls?
Actually, no one teaches love better than Jesus. I needed Him to show me how selfish and self-centred my love can be. If you don’t learn to sacrifice, good luck loving! It’s funny eh? A cool and macho guy might look at Jesus on the cross and just laugh. In that moment Jesus captured billions of hearts. After experiencing Jesus’ love I can love my girls more! (Carolline and Talitha)

Next Question: What do I have to give up?
A better question might be: “What do I get?” But we do have to give up something. Our sin and are unfaithfulness. In the book of Isaiah it says, “Rather, it is your crimes that separate you from your God, it is your sins that make him hide his face so that he will not hear you.” If you want to destroy a relationship with God, with your spouse, with your boyfriend or girlfriend or friend, sin and be unfaithful. If you want to love God and others, cling to what is good and true. Be faithful and faith-filled. As Jesus said “Abide in me and I will abide in you.”

There was a definite turning point in my life. A time when I made a decision to stop worshipping idols and follow God. I gave up some things in my life but God has giving me more than I could ask or imagine. In Corinthians is says, “no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Last question: What do I have to say to God if I want a relationship with him?
This last question, is what tonight is all about.
All you have to say is “yes”. What do a man and a woman say to each other when they get married? They say “I do.” They don’t say “I will be perfect, I will never let you down, I will love you for three years and then we’ll go from there. They say I will be committed to you until the end. Through good times and bad. Jesus lived a whole life of “I do.” He said “yes” to you every moment of his life and on the cross, his defining moment, he said “you are worth it.” Tonight is chance for us to say “I do, Jesus I want you in my life.” Does anyone know what Jesus’ last words were? “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”

This is the relationship you were created for. Jesus wants in, but you hold the key.

The question, ‘what do I have to give up’ made me think a moment. To be honest, I don’t remember ever feeling like I was sacrificing anything. I did have to give some things up, it’s true, but for me it was almost automatic. When I chose to follow God (not thinking about anything I might leave behind t the time) those things that I ‘gave up’ no longer brought me any pleasure, in fact, I acquired a disdain for them.

Of course I’d heard about God’s love before, as children we are told that God loves everyone, but before CCO I had no idea that God loved ME (I guess somehow I thought I could be exempt from the term ‘everyone’.) God’s love is deep, deep and personal. Every time I hear a talk on God’s love I experience it in a deeper way. These words especially stuck out for me tonight: If I were the only person on Earth God still would have come and died on the cross for me.

Usually there is a time for everyone to bring a candle up to the altar as a commitment to God etc, but tonight they did something different. Everyone was invited to come close to the altar together and to take a letter from the chair on the way, girls’ on the right, boys’ on the left.

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I chose a spot right up front like I usually do, and then I picked p the letter. Oh, that letter! It is written primarily to a young person who does not yet have their vocation, but some of the things transcend a person’s place in life. It was a personal letter from God, what he might say to his children. The letter was beautiful and tailored (I thought perhaps the guy’s letter would be much the same except saying son instead of daughter but the letters are written specifically for a girl or a boy (I know because I picked up a boys’ letter to give to my sons someday.)

One line especially touched my heart: “Though I know and see all, I thirst for your love and long for you to spend time with me. Tell me your hopes, fears and longings. Let me see you, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and you are lovely”

As I knelt their looking up at the monstrance I saw the Lord clothed in magesty and mystery. Kneeling there I experienced a perfect moment. I was looking up at the host flickering with candlelight in the monstrance and a heavenly sounding music was coming from the band. It took me again for a moment, to that place outside of time, https://starrball.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/7-quick-takes-heaven-40-days-for-life-and-real-estate/. I felt forever.

And I felt something else too. I was overcome with an immense, spontaneous and uncontrollable joy, such that I’m not sure I’ve ever felt it quite like that. I’ve felt that joy before, but never so deep. It was a child-like joy, that went deep down to the core of my being. All I could do was smile. I was beholding God face to face. I could hardly shut my eyes (normally I spend a lot of time with my eyes closed to feel God’s presence) but I had to keep them open tonight, I couldn’t look away.

I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to leave my spot right before Him. I found it especially hard to tear myself away (and give someone else a turn) when I had my hand on the monstrance.

That evening I came to the realization that I would be ready now in my journey etc, to give a testimony at an event if they asked me. I’m not one for public speaking, but it would be a good challenge for me. I’d have God holding my hand the whole time and it would be for a good cause so to speak. AlsoThat would prove to me that I’m part of their world of ministering to others, and I want to share my journey. I hope they will ask me someday.

This is just a little anecdote I’d like to share:
Near the end of the night the Praise and Worship leader called us back to our seats, “Everyone please return to your pews.” To me it sounded like something you’d hear on an airplane and when I shared this the girl beside me added, “make sure your kneelers are in the upright position.” 🙂

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On Friday there was another summit but it was a different priest this time. I sat in my usual spot right at the front, this time with a carseat and a tiny baby next to me. The priest chose to talk (a bit) about surrendering, and he had his own example to personalize the story: his sister was currently in the hospital in labor with her first child. When he mentioned this kind of surrender etc our eyes met knowingly/we shared a moment (it was obvious I had a very new baby with me and had recently gone through the very thing he was talking about). Nothing compares to that moment when all of a sudden you hear your baby crying and it’s all over.

I was at the summit for the first time with the new baby, and I had forgotten to bring the diaper bag. I’d heard some ominous noises down below and I was imagining all sorts of horrible mess underneath his sleeper (he wears a onsie and pants underneath to keep his clothes clean and to keep him warm). I was wondering what I was going to do if I ended up with a big mess on my hands such that I HAD to change him because I had nothing clean to put on him and no diapers! The only hope I had was that the other new mom would show up, but we were already over 30 minutes in, so I wasn’t sure she was even coming. Finally I decided I at least had to go back and LOOK to see what the state of affairs was, and just as I was walking to the back of the church she came in and I was able to get a clean diaper and borrow her wipes. All I could think as I breathed a bi sigh of relief was God is just too good!

Just a few other things that stood out for me:

Suffering is how we work out our salvation.

All (good) things come to an end, suffering will end as well and when it does something beyond all our imagining awaits.

After the priest spoke one of the CCO staff shared their own personal story (there is also a small possibility that I heard this at the previous summit instead). He talked about finding God/Jesus for the first time. He said for the first time he felt fully alive. This I can relate to, I get what he’s saying because it’s a better way of expressing how I’ve felt in the past. Additionally he had a hangover, still feeling fully alive the next morning, instead of half dead. This I can also relate to, because after I went to the summit for the first time, I too had a hangover the next morning, and it lasted for a full week! (This was actually how I thought of it as well, before he described it that way).

I had a moment during adoration where I glanced down and saw the ring on my finger resting on the baby in my arms, and I was felt grateful. They represent the best things in my life, my husband and my kids 🙂

I also had a moment during one of the songs. The other couple with a little baby had come up with their candles and instead of going back to their seats had sat up in the front row to my right. The other father (who’s wife and little girl I have not seen since the end of august) came up the aisle with his candle and knelt down on my left. All of us were singing, and I could make out the other voices, and because we’re all connected as parents it was special to me. I felt such joy during that moment as our voices joined as one, in praise of the Father.

Lastly, when I went to confession, the priest’s advice also stood out to me: He told me I had very high standards (in a tone that indicated he didn’t think this would be news to me), and as a result he spoke about God’s perfect unconditional love, how He will love and forgive us no matter what we do, we don’t have to be perfect. This is something I thought I knew so his words really surprised me! Still, I believe God was speaking to me directly through the priest, so that was what I needed to hear.

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This post is about getting rid of the comforts of doing things our way, and doing them God’s way instead.

I like to take advantage of the opportunity to go to confession that the Summit provides. This term they haven’t been announcing it and the priest hasn’t been going to the back for it, but I still feel I need it more often than the 2 times a year the churches do it around Christmas and Easter, when you can talk face to face with the priest instead. As a result I see myself going over to ask for a confession at the Summit as becoming a regular thing.

Just like I did before the last Summit I spent time preparing for confession, which includes an examination of conscience and then typing up what I intend to confess. Some people can remember everything they need to say, but I feel more comfortable writing it down. Preparing didn’t feel quite as successful as it has in the past, but I was content with my list so I printed it out and forgot about it.

Later that evening when the time came when the music stopped I took the usual deep breath and walked over. I asked for my confession, and we sat at the other end of the aisle. I unfolded my paper, said the opening and began to read off my sins. Only, they weren’t my sins, when I printed the file I never specified the page number to print, and only put the one piece of paper in. So I was left without my list, without that comfort to go it on my own. The priest was able to guide me through it and I know I didn’t get everything that was on my list, but he said God forgives the sins we forget as well.

I don’t know just why God wanted this to happen, probably something to humble me, and I’m fairly sure next time I go to confession I will have my paper with me, but it was an interesting experience.

Interestingly, some of the advice Father gave me was to ask for the wisdom to know when to give and when to receive. I’m trying to take care of baby as much as possible, and I kind of don’t want help a lot of the time, but I guess I need it so I don’t get too burned out. The 9th month of pregnancy is not for the faint of heart!

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This Quick Takes post is about getting back on track with my relationship with God.

Written on Thurs
1. I’ve kind of been feeling blah for several months but the cooler weather is here and I feel like I might be able to get back to where I really want to be overall, like before the whole hassle with moving. Part of it is that my faith etc has been weak (I made resolutions a couple times and have not been able to stick with them) and I’m hoping that will be able to at least start really improving this evening, as CCO is having the first event of the school year. They call it the Summit and they usually have confession, and I’ve been feeling like I need to do that for months now. Seems like the logical next step to getting back to where I want to be. I think I’ve also been struggling because I get very little alone time (sitting at my computer going through pictures while baby naps, really doesn’t count) and I feel I can only center myself when I have down time without DH’s parents around. I just can’t quiet the world to hear God’s voice most of the time because there’s too much going on.

I did have a moment a week or two ago when I was somehow able to quiet the world enough to remember that He is there whether I see Him or His effects or not. In a time when I didn’t really feel it, I was still able to look in my heart and just know the Truth, that God exists.

2. Baby is actually walking now. Wow, it’s hard to believe that when I read it! He’s not walking well, and especially not in shoes, but he’s letting go every chance he gets to try his luck. I saw a noticeable jump in progress on Tuesday. That was the first time I could tell, he wanted to walk. He had been taking 2 or 3 steps at a time that morning, which is usually more of an evening thing, but around lunch time he stood up at his high chair and took 7 careful steps towards me, and didn’t fall 🙂

3. Yesterday DH and his parents went to Blandford and took baby. I stayed behind because I wanted to go to the Summit last night, but DH really wanted to get down there so he didn’t want to wait for me. As a result I got the whole afternoon/evening to myself because he isn’t coming back until tonight. I took the time to type the cottage saga and prepare my confession. It felt long overdue, so I hoped the supposedly shortened Summit would still give me the opportunity.

The time I spent preparing my confession was the first time in a while that I was able to really focus on God, and as a result I experienced that simple clarity of thought. Through my examination of conscience I realized that there are some things that I can do better. Then as I was walking from the house to the car, I almost started to cry, but it was out of joy to finally be going again. It just shows how much this means to me. Basically, I was happy to finally be going to where I knew God would be, and also to be able to repair my relationship with him that suffered so over the last 4 months.

4. Summit
We ended up starting late and this was the first CCO event for the new priest. He didn’t mention anything about being available for confessions and when the praise and worship part was done and we had our time of silence, he was still sitting in the pew like the rest of us. This left me with the choice between walking over in front of everyone to ask for confession, or just waiting until next time. Everything, the worlds sung and spoken, how I was feeling , pushed me to go ahead with it. Knowing that I would not be turned away (I can not see a priest refusing confession to a person who wants it) gave me the extra courage to go over and ask.

Instead of the act of contrition the Priest just asked if I was sorry for my sins. And in the same way that I’m coming to KNOW the Truth in my heart, I wasn’t sorry because I knew I was supposed to be, this time I truly was. I had seen what the last 4 months had done to my relationship with God and I wasn’t happy about it. It’s the difference between being a child in my faith and being an adult. But since I came to it late it all takes time.

Afterwards I felt much lighter. Now I have a fresh start I can put the last 4 months behind me. I want/am ready to help rebuilt my bridge back to the Lord.

5. There had already been a shift, finally a few days ago. I had been wishing we could live out the last few months before this baby on our own, because I felt like DMIL was taking over a bit, and the baby was choosing her over me. We had a walk together and it came up, and now basically he is MY responsibility, and so far it’s working a lot better. She has still jumped in and changed a few diapers but it’s not the end of the world, and I do feel more like his mother now, something I’ve been waiting for since he was born. There has been a definite shift in my thoughts, I don’t know if some of it had to do with losing Tigger and how that sort of thing is always a reminder of how precious our time is, but I am voluntarily doing more for him as a result of it all, and I don’t feel like I am missing out so much anymore.

6. I knew that afternoon in my time of clearer thinking that I am meant to stay in Timberlea as well. And the thing is I already knew that before, but since then things had gotten difficult and I had questioned it, and tried to find my own way around it, instead of trusting in God’s plan for me, just like the Priest in He Leadeth Me. I’d had that sense of peace about it before, and when I have that peace I am calm and can be more patient, and I know that when I have that sense of peace I can handle anything. I just couldn’t feel that peace because there was too much else in the way.

7. The fact that God exists is becoming something I know, instead of simple something I believe. A lot of the time my faith has been will based, I know I’m supposed to believe x so I do, but now, at least with the idea that God exists, it’s moving past that. I had made the choice to follow God and as a result I’m supposed to believe that He exists, but now I know it way down in the core of my being, and there’s no going back. It has become much harder to fully doubt that God exists. I just have to find that quiet place in my heart. I hope I can continue to do that, that was one of the priest’s suggestions, to find some time for God each day, 1 way or another to remind myself that He exists.

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I have been busy with my programming assignment today (and struggling with even the basics so I didn’t get very far!) so the weekly Quick Takes post was not a priority. I hadn’t thought much about it during the week and I didn’t have a whole lot in mind to fill 7 things. Then I went to something this evening, and it’s the only thing I want to write about, so here it is, in 7 parts.

The Summit.
1. So, on Wed I had to go to the Dal Society Fair or at least I felt obligated to (whether they really needed a 4th person in the morning or not) for whatever reason I felt it was my duty to go. So I did.

2. Maybe God was calling me there for a reason. He also compelled me to be sure to walk around to the other booths and to talk to the people because it was at one of the Christian ones that I learned for sure that there was a Catholic group on Campus, Catholic Christian Outreach. I think I must have half known about it, because the Chaplain at Dal, who is also Catholic comes and does mass at our church from time to time. Anyway, I ended up at the CCO booth, talked with them a while and took a calendar and a card for the next event, which happened to be on Friday.

3. It was called the Summit and it was on a Friday night. I felt strongly compelled to at least give it a try, and so I did. I do not regret the decision in the slightest!

It was an evening of praise and worship, with adoration, 2 speakers and music. It was mature, age appropriate and meaningful. The altar was lit with candles like it had been when I went to adoration once before, although this time it was more effective because it was after dark. In addition, everyone was invited to bring their own candle up to place on the altar during adoration, and they also had confessions, though I had nothing prepared so I didn’t go this time. The music was contemporary, and I could really identify with it. It filled my soul. Music is such an important aspect of worship for me.

4. It was amazing. There really aren’t a whole lot of words to describe it. It was a truly amazing experience. Before going I basically told my husband that it was a prayer service, though when I got home I corrected that judgment- it was so much more than a prayer service. More intense. More Mature. More powerful.

It was awesome. Awesome to witness other young people so serious about their faith, and so devoted to God. Awesome to find the right adoration for me, the setting that opens my heart and my soul the fullest. Awesome to have my mind full of doubt and yet to still feel so full of the presence of the living God, every fiber of my being completely consumed with the Spirit. I felt a deep devotion, deeper than I have ever felt before. It was also the first time I really felt love for God.

5. And it really was just what I needed. I’d been feeling discontent and frustrated and selfish and unable to fight it. Unable to rise above it. What a blessing to just be able to re-center my life and just BE with God.

6. I kind of think this is like a mini Steubenville, though I haven’t gone there yet. I have been praying that we get lots of kids to go to Steubenville so I can go too, as a chaperone. It’s a bit selfish of me but I think it would be good for me and I’ve felt compelled to go since I first heard about it. Though, if it is not God’s will, at least I have found a close substitute.

7. Afterwards they had refreshments downstairs and a chance to meet people and socialize. I had already done some socializing upstairs as the people I met Wednesday were thrilled to see me there to join them. During the announcements right before we all went downstairs, I found out someone I knew was there, a fellow classmate from my graduating class. Surprisingly, she hadn’t heard that I had a baby, so that was fun. (I hadn’t seen her since I ran into her at the bridal show when I was planning my wedding. One of her siblings was getting married and she was a bridesmaid.) Downstairs we had a chance to really catch up, and it was really nice. She asked lots of questions, I guess because we had time, (usually when I run into a classmate it’s a short ‘hey, how are things.’ ) She really took an interest. She asked about how we met (me and my husband) and how the weather was for our wedding and even about the birth. I haven’t been able to have a real catch up talk with anyone for a long time.

All in all I think I may have some new friends and if this is my social life besides meeting with friends one on one then this works for me. And I am definitely going back next month!

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