I think I am just going to type out some of my thoughts from the journey that has been this week thus far.
It’s been so filled with grace. The holiness is profound. I came in a day early, thinking that I would have time to retreat, walk around the grounds or spend extra time in prayer – something. I walked in and was met at the door with a Presence.
It was peace.
That day I was struggling with a block. I suspect I was under attack. I felt something wrestling with my heart. I didn’t do much of anything, some talking. Empty words. Lots of words. That was what the first two days felt like for me. Empty – Irritable.
I had a funny encounter the second night. Some of the other youth ministers and I were having a conversation about Prayer and Laying on of hands. One of the guys was talking about having the gift of discerning spirits. Long story short, some of my friends decided to pray over this girl – a first year named Heather. I was so opposed to praying, I actually said no thanks. Of course, I couldn’t exactly not go – as she we the only other female. So I did, but really reluctantly.
We went into the chapel and started. With in minutes I was feeling angry. Like REALLY angry. It was sweeping over me. My jaw set and I started gritting my teeth. Like I was really, really getting angry, my body began to tense up and I was screaming from the inside out. I wanted to get out of there. They continued on, they were praying in tongues and had some special holy oil and it was peaceful from them. After a few more minutes the anger stopped and the pain began. It was in my stomach first but then began radiating up into my chest.
What was going on I have no idea. I was breathing heavily, tears were beginning to drip down my face and as soon as they stopped I got up and ran out of there. I just burst into tears.
This was a new level of crazy, even for me. I have had many experiences before but what was THAT?!
I went away and had a shower calmed down somewhat and started to pray Hail Mary’s. I was feeling frightened in the shower which was anther oddity.
So after I got out, I got changed and came back to the chapel to pray. I can’t explain it – they were all still praying so I passed it all off as me being tired. What else could I say? They asked me if I would like prayer but I still said no. I did however pray the rosary.
When I had the dream a few weeks ago about Saint Padre Pio – I have to think it was for a purpose. I dreamed of a real place that I have never ever seen before yet – there it was. A Basilica in Ottawa. In that dream I was praying for and casting out again a demon from a store. It used to be a religious articles store but the lady the shop owner starting selling purses and jewelry and things since they sold better. I was looking for a rosary in my dream and couldn’t find one anywhere. Next I was in the basilica. Lawrence was in my dream again, as well as this girl. She has shorter curly brown hair. I think she might have been his girlfriend. And then Padre Pio. He was so joyful. Dancing in the isle between the pews.
The dream is fading now, but was it ever detailed then.
After that, I started seeing him everywhere. Padre Pio I mean. I am supposed to be praying the Rosary. It’s my weapon.
Well I might go back to that one a bit later but for now I’ll continue on with my week here.
The day that followed my night of anger and prayer, I felt tired but a bit better. Maybe like I let go of something heavy like a burden.
I did my first class. It was a struggle. I struggled through most of the day. Then one of my units was on servant leadership. I wept. It really convicted my heart. As my heart recognized this longing my world started to spin. I felt lost and out of touch, not having any idea where I was supposed to be going. Youth Ministry? It sure didn’t feel like it.
That night I needed to get away from everyone. I left and retreated to my room.
The next day was really more of the same. I struggled through the course, not really grasping much and just brooding really. It stopped storming and I had the opportunity to got outside at lunch and pray. That afternoon I obediently continued on.
It was that I guess now I am looking back, it was then that I let go. I humbled myself and obediently asked God to lead me.
I ate dinner, and left quickly.
We had a priest come in for mass that actually rocked me. He was a street minister for nearly 20 years. At 17 he witnessed his brother die and tragedy soaked his life.
Long story short he reminded me of who I am. Really. Who am I? Where did I come from?
I have been really lying to myself and I don’t even know when that began.
Why am I a Youth Minister? I was the lost one. I was the one that was forgotten and betrayed. I actually was the one that at 13 was alone on the streets at 4 in the morning. I know what that feel like. The lost ones
When I grew and matured and became a mother. I vowed to never let that happen. I knew that I could help so my fiat came long before I answered my call from Jesus.
That priest reminded me that I am not here to strive and grow and become professional. I am here to serve the lost ones.
My ego was so great that even though I was guarding myself – I fell into a more cleaver trap. It was the same ego with a new face.
Last night I cried again, this time though the tears were in thanksgiving.
I recognized that Jesus in his merciful way had just gifted me with guidance.
Here we are today, we celebrated “Eastern Day”. We started this morning with the Jesus prayer – which hands down is one of my very favorite prayers.
I saw something this morning during prayer. My son.
He was bound in light brown hair, silky hair like a cocoon. In the fetal position on the ground encased in this cocoon he was struggling to get free. I started to cover him in prayer. When we finished the image was clearly imposed in my mind…
The courses today were highly practical, all hands on. It was an 8 hour day of self evaluation and reflection.
I felt compelled to pray for one of the teachers today as well as all the first year students at lunch. I walked out the wind picked up and I knew the Holy Spirit was Present. I covered her and them in prayer.
Then another gift, we went to the Eastern rite Cathedral. We were able to celebrate Divine Liturgy.
Divine Liturgy. Overwhelming.
This is one of the most beautiful churches in all of Canada. The priest that was there was a monk, an actual hermit. He explained so beautifully the rite.
Following we went to visit a chapel built to honor, 2 Canadian/Ukrainian Martyrs.
One last little blessing. When we were with the relics. I felt compelled to pray for two unusual people. Two saints, two grandparents. Head to toe – ever inch of them. These saints are known for their healings. So I prayed that they would be healed mind, body and especially souls.
It’s incredibly late – I need some sleep. I might post this tomorrow.