Never ignore those moments when you are called to walk with someone on their faith journey.
A dear colleague contacted me about 6 weeks ago and requested that I lead her and a group of friends on a retreat. They were all “ministry people” that I looked up to and aspired to mimic their prayer life.
I couldn’t say no and I’m glad I didn’t. Two of the retreatants had walked prayerfully along with me about a month or so after I lost my baby Charlie. They had together planned for me a retreat day starting with breakfast, including a grief spiritual director, and ending with a glass of wine and late lunch. This retreat was so giving and needed and I’ll never forget how blessed I felt to have had this opportunity.
As soon as I confirmed the date, worry set in. Creative planning is a great outlet for me but my fears were geared more towards my feeling of inadequacy. I was able to verbalize it to them with a story of course.
Once I heard a talk given by Archabbot Lambert who was St Mother Theresa’s confessor and retreat leader. He talked about being humbled by leading St. Theresa and her sisters on retreat noting that he felt inadequate at times to lead her. In this moment of planning and leading this retreat, I too felt inadequate.
And then I had my Faith Bump moment during our opening prayer and I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be. As part of our prayer I shared this reflection with them from Matthew Kelly’s book Mustard Seeds.
“To pray so as to grow and become more like Christ is the challenge of every Christian. To spread the gospel message of Christ in its fullness is the mission that accompanies baptism.
The later demands the former.
You cannot give what you do not have.
God is calling you to turn on the tap of your spiritual life. Not full blast, but just a steady drip. If you put a bucket under a dripping tap eventually it will fill and once it is full it has to overflow. There is nowhere else for the water to go. The tap is our interior lives. The drops of water are the peace, joy, love, and happiness that are the fruits of prayer.
The bucket is our hearts and souls.
Drop by drop, through prayer and the sacraments, we are filled with this peace, joy, love, and happiness, and once full we too will overflow.
It is then that every place we go, every person we are with, begins to benefit from the overflowing of this peace, joy, love, and happiness, that we allow to flow from Christ through our words, actions, and even by our mere presence.
When we love God, the conversion of society and the people around us will not have to be premeditated.
It will be natural.”
As I listened to the retreatants speak about how this reflection impacted their own lives and thoughts, I found it a beautiful and calming start to the rest of our time together.
Having led them, my faith bucket was added to as well. The Holy Spirit is alive and well. In these moments when we are called to serve others, we too are served. I am thankful to have been open to this opportunity of Peace.
In His Peace,