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November 23, 2010

WOW.  What a weekend!!!

13 Youth Leaders, 5 Young Adult Volunteers, a dozen parents, 28 candidates and 1 short CYM along with 2 priests, a nun & a HOST of intercessors from San Diego to Rome led to this AMAZING encounter with the Lord.  This 6th Confirmation retreat under my very small hands was of EPIC proportions.  First off, the Youth Leaders TOOK OFF with this retreat beginning many weeks beforehand in the planning stages, the novena heading into the retreat as well as the fasting they offered up for the retreat.  Their generosity of heart and mind is PRICELESS.

I handed off the mic to our fearless MC and the team shot out like a cannon ball running the entire retreat.  My job was to keep the stuff behind the scenes going…it was different not being in charge of introducing speakers, running a small group or giving a talk (until the end, of course).  They truly took over and stepped up to the challenge.

I was in tears on Saturday morning, in awe of the reality of what transpired the first night.  Saturday was jammed pack with presentations by the team.  We had an amazing time praying with the candidates as they went through Reconciliation.  We cried with the seniors realizing that this was the last retreat as high school students.  We celebrated the Lord’s Day and went into Adoration for some face to face time with the Lord in the Mission itself.  I wanted to look at all the beautiful shiny souls, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of Jesus.  My heart was on FIRE in THANKSGIVING for EVERYTHING.  I was praying for each of them to allow our Lord to love them right where they were.  As a surprise, my dear friend DB burned off some purgatory as he taught them how to swing dance, ending the night with an ice cream sundae social.  Another late night and early morning with pancakes, etc…my team got me a caramel macchiato with soy (YAY!)  We went to Mass @ 9 a.m. in our loud yellow shirts and shortly after, my family blessed me to finish off the retreat.  I was in tears on Sunday as I gave the last talk and was surrounded by the youth praying over me.  These were truly happy tears and evidence of my ever-widening heart.  One of the candidates said, “Don’t cry…you are SO loved!”  I told her, “These are happy tears, the love is just expanding my heart.” They presented me with flowers and attacked each other with Sharpie pens signing each others’ shirts.

It was also one of the fastest cleanups (with minor adjustments) I’ve ever experienced.  The seniors went off to the local taco shop to revel in the weekend and I begged off to get myself prepared to receive at the Daughters of the King.  I went home, spirits high, body dead…only to check in with my roomie & be greeted by a surprise guest…I’ve never yelled so loud in my life when I found out my SIC, Mandy, was back in town for the DOTK & Thanksgiving week!

It could not have been a better way to end the weekend so full of the Holy Spirit…Daughters of the King, was put on by our most awesome BICs with the BEST planning team ever put together: DB as our fearless leader and MC, MCR as our creative genius & Grand Central Station connector, JV as our head chef extraordinaire and 17 other amazing MEN to serve 60+ SICs, dressed to the 9s and looking oh-so-fine…It was a miracle that I even had the ability to get up out of bed and dress up!  That’s the Holy Spirit. The details were well thought out & executed well.  The food was OUTSTANDING.  The service was given in such love it made our hearts soar.  The entertainment brought smiles to our faces and the presentation on Blessed Mother Teresa moved me to tears.

The love that the men put forth into everything just did something amazing for us all.  I pray that each one would be blessed many thousands of times over for the sacrifices, the stress and the countless time & funds invested into reminding the women that we are LOVED.  As I ended that evening in front of our Lord for a brief visit, all I could do was thank Him for the tremendous extravagant love He’s bestowed on us all.  I entrusted my entire life to Him all over again.  This song is the song of my heart:

Thank you, Fr. Jacob, for introducing this song to my heart in Adoration at the August Camp Emmaus.  It’s my theme for LIFE.  Oh, what a BLESSED life I lead!  Praise the Lord!!!


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