I am married to Randy and we have two sons; Jake who works for DTE, and Jeremy is attending SVSU playing basketball and working on a degree in engineering. When we started a family we wanted children raised in a faith tradition. With Randy’s family being Catholic, and him a member of MHT the boys were baptized in the church. During Easter Vigil 2002 I was received into the church. Upon reflecting for this article, this is my
greatest blessing. Years after becoming Catholic I attended a conference with Steve Ray at St. Mary’s and became hooked on conversion stories. With reading conversion stories, my interest in Catholic literature expanded to most all things Catholic. I am just a Catholic nerd seeking out books, CD’s, online resources, radio programs, speaker series, and book studies to expand my knowledge.
I had been invited to attend several retreats before committing to the retreat this past September. I cannot say that I was reluctant in attending. With the boys in high school it seemed retreats started on a football or basketball game night. So once our nest was emptied I was invited to attend the retreat in September. Most of the trepidation was me not having a detailed timeline for the retreat. It was Gods way of him being in control, and for the Holy Spirit to touch me.
Before the retreat I had prayed that God keep my mind open to the experience. I drove down with a new retreat attendee which helped some fear of a new experience. It was a small group, but very diverse in ages. We all ad our own room. The meals were good and had plenty of “down time” to do as we wish. During some individual time after a talk, we were asked to reflect on some questions. The first question the Holy Spirit touched me and showed me in detailed area that I was not living my faith. It was a profound experience and eye opener. There were prayer teams to pray over us. I was reluctant Friday night, and finally took the step the following night. Being prayed over was a profound experience. There were lots of tears, but I just knew God want me to surrender my problems to him. That night we had Adoration, at the end the priest walked around with the Monstrance and paused in front me. I could feel God reaching out to me and say “Here I am”. I now find Adoration a calming experience and know that God is there in person. All I have to do is remember frequently during the day that God is always with me. I just need to quiet my life to hear and feel him, and offer up my challenges. The whole retreat experience was touched by the Holy Spirit. I have made some new friends from the experience. Many who explore with me new opportunities to grow in my faith.
So in closing I invite you, as Matthew Kelly has invited us to “do the next right thing, and become the best version of yourself”. Give the control to God. Consider this a personal invitation to attend the next retreat. Turn the technology off and nurture your spiritual life. GOD WILL PROVIDE! You will not regret it.