Guided by a singular Hail Mary and local-mall-food-court dinner, Kathryn-of-the-quizibrow and I met to talk about something. (OH MY GOSH, I JUST REMEMBERED: I WAS EVEN WEARING MY MADELINE DRESS. But, I took off the red tie and wore heels so: I don’t think anyone noticed. Except Kathryn. And the Apple-store guy all, “I love your shoes.” ANYWAY.)
That “Something” we talked about was the “not-lame Young adult retreat-y thing” I’ve previously mentioned, but, can we stray from “retreat” and go with “immersion experience”? Because, that’s kind of where I am at the moment.
Friend of mine, to me: “What do you even mean by that?”
Great question. Basically: I’m open to creativity. Always. But, especially here.
Oh! Why don’t we talk more Evangelii Gaudium??? “The work of evangelization enriches the mind and the heart; it opens up spiritual horizons; it makes us more and more sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit, and it takes us beyond our limited spiritual constructs.”
My “limited spiritual constructs” is what I’m trying to break away from.
K and I made a list of things we think young adults could use/ need. Here they are, in no particular order, but feel free to discuss if you agree or disagree or see something blinding which we’ve forgotten/ overlooked.
- Discernment – P.S. These aren’t in any particular order. I listed this first, though, because it’s kind of the inspiration behind this (potential) event.
- Support/ Community – This from peers. That, “Oh, you’re here in your life? Me too, cheers.” Kind of deal.
- Affirmative mentoring – This from people just a step or two above you on the life-ladder who can say, “You know what, you’re on the right track” or “Here, try thinking about things this way” or “Do you know what I’ve found helpful?”
- Rest. Time for prayer/ silence. – We all know I wrestle with silence…but, I love it. And, after last year’s retreat, people were like, “This is what I need.” So. There you go. Plus, God speaks in the whispers, ya know?
- Age-appropriate information – Not in the sense of “I’m to young to learn about AARP benefits!” but rather, I think it’s important to remember that young adult ministry isn’t middle school ministry all grown up. Nothing against playing life-size Connect 4 to win jelly beans, but, most of us have (or are working on) college degrees. We have jobs and adult skills. We can handle reading the writings of the church. We can handle the intense discussions of the saints.
- Models for openness – Because, frankly, pursuing holiness can be daunting.
- Surrender/ Trust in God – Here is where best-laid plans unravel. For grace is just that: a gift. And I don’t know how to walk people to the love of God, how to have them encounter, how to have them leave everything on the seaside (so to speak) (Holla atcha boy St. Peter). But!!! It’s the most crucial, isn’t it?
- Confidence in inner-holiness – One time I was discerning somesing (and I can’t recall what)…and I asked my SIL for prayers but she was just like, “Nell. You know the voice of God. I know you do. You know what the Holy Spirit sounds like. You probably know what to do in this particular situation. What you need to do is follow that.”
And, you know what? She was right. (#always)
And sometimes I say that same thing to people.
“You know the voice of God. I know you do. You know what the Holy Spirit sounds like. You probably know what to do in this particular situation. What you need to do is follow that.”
- Cohesive Catholicism – This meaning: we shouldn’t be splintered by worship-types (“praise&worship” vs. “Latin”, for instance). We can just use all of our beautiful spiritual spectrum respectfully, prayerfully, beautifully.
- Daily life/ Daily vocation – This one is the biggest and the hardest and the most, “This is so important…but, how do we address it?” This one we talk about the nitty-grittes of all of the vocations and the discernment therein. (“Can I shave my legs in a convent?” “Dating: what should it look like?” “What if my family isn’t Catholic and I join the seminary…will I be out of place?” “Should I ask my boyfriend if he watches porn?”) YES. THESE ARE ALL OF THE HARDEST AND MOST AWKWARD. And these things should be addressed but, like, how the heck do you do that well, you know??
This is where I am. And I’d appreciate your thoughtz.