Dominus Illuminatio Mea

"...the gaze of the Church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the FULL manifestantion of His boundless love." Ecclesia de Eucharistia

Friday, February 20, 2004

Ok. I have some time, so I'll post a little about
  • Youth 2000
  • .
    Let's see...Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting and staying with a girl who will be entering religious life this fall. You can imagine that we had a lot to talk about! She was so kind about sharing her own vocation story with me, and answering all my questions (there were lots!) about "her" order--the TORs.

    Friday morning we got up bright and early and went over to the University of Stubenville where she works. I stayed at her office for awhile and then we took a tour of the university. Perhaps the most beautiful part of the whole college is the "Port"--the Perpetual Adoration chapel that is modeled after the chapel restored by St. Francis. It was wonderful to be able to visit Jesus there before we headed off on retreat. Outside the chapel is the "tomb of the unborn" where 5 aborted children are buried. It is a "reminder of the devastation of Abortion, the slaughter of the Holy Innocents of our day."

    Friday afternoon, the TOR Sisters picked us up and we started the 3 hour drive to Columbus. The Sisters were absolutely wonderful, joyful, and very funny! Their love for their Spouse showed on their faces...totally radiant! I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time through out the weekend with them, and felt completely "at home." We arrived in Columbus right after Vespers and went to get registered. I still didn't have a chaperone, but one of the Sisters volunteered (God bless her!). I was also sooo happy to meet a my brother in Christ for the first time!! After going through registration, we went over to a room in the seminary where the other Sisters from different religious orders were having supper. My jaw dropped when I looked in the door and saw a whole room full of Sisters in habits! One of the seminarians had arranged for about 15 different women's religious orders to be at the retreat. Anyway, then we went up to one of the multiple chapels at the college to pray evening prayer. I have a whole new appreciation for the the prayer of the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours after being permitted to pray with the Sisters throughout the weekend.

    Then, the actual retreat started! We had evening Mass (the source and summit of our day!) and then Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament began, and Adoration continued all through the days and nights while we were there. Volunteers and seminarians kept watch with Jesus during the night. The speakers at the retreat were absolutely wonderful! So many times, they talked about and reaffirmed the beauties and greatness of our Faith. One in particular, Fr. Antoinne, had a powerful way of conveying Truth to hundreds of teens in a manner that kept us all spellbound. He urged us to frequent the Sacraments, particularly that of Confession and reception of the Eucharist. Confessions were available pretty much the whole retreat. Fr. Antoinne would keep an eye on the corner of the gym where Priests were hearing confessions, and if he saw an empty confessional he would go..."awww! Poor Priest! He has no one to pour the blood of the Lamb out upon!! How sad!" It worked too! I have a feeling there were lots of prayers going up for the Priests hearing Confession, because when I went on Friday night, the Priest had just the right words to tell me, and the faces of others coming out of Confession were absolutely beautiful. The rest of the speakers also gave talks focused around Confession, the Eucharist, our Blessed Mother, and the Holy Father’s message to youth.

    The most powerful part of the whole retreat was on Saturday night when the Eucharistic Procession happened. Father Sylvester read us the story of the hemorrhaging woman after some Adoration time. Then, he carried Jesus in the Monstrance to each person in the gym and we touched the humeral veil like the woman who touched the tassel on Jesus’ robe and was healed. St. Teresa spoke a little about this...

    “This is something which is happening now; it is absolutely true; and we have no need to go and seek Him somewhere a long way off. For we know that, until the accidents of bread have been consumed by our natural heat, the good Jesus is with us and we should [not lose so good an opportunity but should] come to Him. If, while He went about in the world, the sick were healed merely by touching His clothes, how can we doubt that He will work miracles when He is within us, if we have faith, or that He will give us what we ask of Him since He is in our house?”

    What can I say? The beauty of Jesus Truly Present is beyond words!!! One of the Sisters that I stayed with (Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr, St. George) told me afterwards that even if the rest of the retreat was crummy (which it certainly wasn't!!) the Eucharistic Procession would have made it worth the trip without question.

    Sunday morning, we had Mass and had the joy of receiving Jesus! The Priest who said Mass for us had not even been ordained for a full year, so he gave us his first blessing. After Mass, he had us sit down and close our eyes. Then he asked everyone who was considering a vocation to Priesthood or religious life to raise their hands. When I opened my eyes sooo many kids had their hands up! Then he asked those of us who raised our hands to come up to the front and he prayed for us and gave us a blessing.

    Well, that's all I have to say for the moment about the retreat. Soo much happened, that it is pretty impossible to sum it all up. Here's a quote from the Holy Father to wrap up this very long post...

    "The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises towards ever wider horizons. May Mary, Star of Evangelization, guide you! Docile like her to the Father's will, take the stages of history as mature and convincing witnesses."

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

  • Two Sisters in a Pub

  • I enjoyed reading the article and this group of Sisters are a beautiful witness to consecrated life. Centered on Christ in the Eucharist, devoted to Mary, faithful to the's all there! Enjoy looking around!

    Monday, February 16, 2004

    Youth 2000 was INCREDIBLE! I'll post about it some time this week, but right now I'm swamped with homework so it'll have to wait. Anyway, I'll just say now that the whole weekend was a HUGE blessing for me and for quite a few others. Thanks again to those who made it possible for me to be there!