Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mass, Priests, and an Upperclassmen Party, Journal Entry #7 Part I

This journal entry will be in two parts (one today, the other tomorrow) due to its length.

23 January 2011

Dear Lord,

As I begin this note to you, I am in a train on my way back home. Outside the window The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Mother Church of our great nation, passes by.

As I look back on yesterday I cannot begin to thank you enough for the blessings of that day.

To start things off, we had a keynote talk by Jeremy Rivera. Yet again, a fairly young person filled with your spirit and is actively and passionately living out his life for you and you alone.

Following that we were blessed to partake in the sacrifice of the Holy Mass. When they brought the Tabernacle in, everyone knelt in reverent silence out of love for you Lord. Never have I been with so many college students (1,300) who were all worshipping you and praying. It was truly an amazing experience.

After Mass we had three workshop sessions. I attended 'Living with the Heart of Christ- Pierced and Enflamed.' It was about Jesuit spirituality with a particular emphasis on your Sacred Heart. I really enjoyed this session because I now know more about the devotion to your Sacred Heart Lord. Thank you.

The second Impact Session I attended was entitled 'How to live out FOCUS on a non-FOCUS campus. I found great value in this particular session Lord because Mt. Vernon is not exactly what you call a Catholic Campus. Thank you for giving me new tools to evangelize to my peers Lord and for equipping me to do your work.

The final Impact Session I attended was the 'Men's Religious Panel.' I feel as though this was my favorite session Lord. It was amazing! I sat by Joe, my roommate. There were six men in total on the panel- a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, the Vocation Director of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, a Benedictine Friar, a Capuchin Franciscan Friar, a Dominican Friar, and a Jesuit Priest. A few things really stuck out with me from this session, and they came by way of what the men said:

"Go into their doors so they can come out yours. Meet people where they are."

"A call to Religious Life is two fold: Diocesan Priesthood, or Religious Priesthood."

"Where is your heart being drawn?"

"Spiritual fatherhood is like being a dad, only the demands are much greater."

So I thank you Father above for this amazing blessing. Probably the most profound truth I heard there was from the Vocations Director of Atlanta.

He said, "It's natural for men to want a wife and children. Know this- if you are discerning a call, and feel you want a wife and children, this does not cancel out a call to the Priesthood. I say this because, if a man is discerning a call to the Priesthood, and he does not desire a wife and children- chances are they will not make a good Priest, because the Priest has as his wife the Church, and his spiritual children are his parishioners."

Wow! That is all I can say Lord. Thank you for that message Lord.

At around 18:15, the FOCUS staff held a party for Juniors and Seniors who wanted to learn more about becoming a FOCUS missionary. They had Hours'doeurves and refreshments. I met Matt Gill there, and I now consider him a new friend.

After a little while of talking with Matt I met a girl, Lauren, and she is the FOCUS missionary at George Washington University in DC. We talked for a good half hour or more. I told her my conversion story and where I am now in my faith journey. She highly encouraged me to apply to be a missionary. I am really thinking about it God! I will definitely be praying about it.

Part two of this journal entry will be uploaded tomorrow.

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