This weekend was one of those crazy, busy weekends with what I like to call a "Church work weekend," but the best part was all the little Holy Spirit moments I saw along the way.
Along with being a Youth Minister, I have begun to do a fair amount of chastity talks on the side for the past few years. This weekend I had another speaking engagement at an inner-city parish to 80 teens! I was excited to share this opporunity with my honey, Jim as he spoke to the young men, and I to the young ladies. I think it went pretty well. They listened to what I had to say, asked really heart-felt questions, and it helped that I was able to make them laugh too! Speaking about chastity and how it is actual what real love is all about is something so important to me, and I really believe in it too. By the end of the afternoon, Jim and I were already agreeing to do another talk together this spring sometime before our wedding. It is just so funny how God works in our lives sometimes. 5 or 6 years ago, I would have absolutely hated to do public speaking, and now I am doing it like second nature; just makes me me smile on how God works everything out along the way.
This weekend I also have another great opportunity to do one of my most favorite hting with young people: take them to Washingto, DC for the annual March for Life. I have been going every year since I was in college, and I just love it so much. Usually when I have taken teens I take anywhere from 10-15 on this awesome pilgrimage; this year we only had 6, but it again proved to be a powerful and hope-filled experience for them. The weekend was full of long bus rides, sleep-less nights, but most important great joy and hope at the power of the pro-life movement. We went to a Youth Rally and Mass on Monday morning where over 20,000 young people gathered for prayer, praise, and lots excitement! It was life a rock concert atmosphere where we all gathered for the same reason, to re-commit ourselves to work for the protection of all human life.
And then comes the actual March itself. Hundreds of thousands of Americans from all across the country walk and pray together specifically for an end to abortion. We listened to Orthodox priests and monks chant in Latin. We sang praise and worship songs with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. We chanted loudly at the top of our voices. We heard powerful testimonies of women who regret their abortion and men who regret lost fatherhood. The March for Life is a time of great hope as we pray and continue to work for the protection of all human life from womb to tomb.
A particular powerful moment for me came as we were leaving from the Supreme Court bulding. There was a long line on men and women lining the streets from the Silent No More campaign holding signs that read, "I regret my abortion" or "I regret lost Fatherhood." I began talking and thanking these men and women for their witness here. SUCH a Holy Spirit moment.
So yes, this weekend was very busy. And yes I came home totally exhausted. But more importantly, I came home enriched both emotionally and spiritually from both of these wonderful experiences.
God is so good!