While my husband was off spreading the good news about Miles Christi to the men of Boston, I was on my own mission of information gathering. I certainly didn't start the weekend out with that intent, but that is how it ended up. Each day he was gone, I managed to get "sent" to a talk where I heard amazing things. The really unfortunate part of all of it is that my 40-something brain can't recall most of it. I can tell you, though, that what I came away with was a sense of amazement at all of the good messages being spread by the people of God!
Friday evening I attended the Miles Christi Evening of Recollection. You are guaranteed to hear at least one thing that really grabs your soul when you attend one of these evenings. That night, Father gave a talk about humility and, as I usually am whenever they talk on that subject, I am reminded how far I have yet to travel!
Saturday evening I went to a small, country church to hear Michael Card in concert. I like his music, but it had been a long time since I had really listened to it. What I didn't realize, though, was that he has written a lot of books and is incredibly knowledgeable about the Bible. In between his songs he spoke about different passages of the New and Old Testament that were truly amazing. He spoke at length throughout the evening about God's greatest desire - that He be loved by us. It was a beautiful event.
Sunday we heard a fiery homily from Deacon Ralph Poyo. It must be fun to be able to go into a parish, deliver a tough message and know that you will be leaving soon so you don't have to deal with all of the angry parishioners! He spoke during Mass about Faith. He asked some pretty tough questions of us, like if the government were to come into our church today and threaten to take away all of us who profess to be Christians (which really isn't out of the question given the climate in this country), which of us would have the faith to make that profession? He also hit the men pretty hard by asking them if they have enough faith in God to trust that He will provide for their families. As he put it, if the men think they are the providers of their family, they are wrong. Interesting stuff!
Later that evening we went to hear him give a talk on evangelization. It was a very thought provoking discussion about the "self-evangelizing" church and how we, as Catholics, have lost sight of the important role that evangelization plays in our faith. After all, if the Catholic church hadn't been evangelizing over the past 2000 years, we wouldn't have been sitting there. It has only been in the last few generations that we've lost sight of that mission. He gave us some great things to ponder.
Finally, today, we went to Noon Mass and during the homily, a different priest challenged us on our faith. He asked us why we seek God? Do we seek Him for what He can give us or do we seek Him for who He is? The question he left us with was: If there were no Heaven and hell, would we still come to Mass, especially every day? Would we pray and follow the commandments? If not, then we are seeking God for the wrong reasons.
Needless to say I am exhausted from all of the thinking and processing of information I have been trying to do since Friday. I'm not quite sure why it was all loaded into such a short period of time; God knows my brain can't keep up with all of it. I just have to hope that somehow I have internalized all that I needed to hear and that that I will be able to recall it when I need it :)