Over the past weekend, I helped lead a Confirmation retreat for over 175 students. I find it so interesting the differences from one kid to the next. Some have been given a very firm foundation of faith. They are firm, bold and willing to defend Christ and His Church. Others really just didn't get it. They don't get the point, and they find it hard to be motivated in something they have never really connected with.
By the end of the retreat, they were finally willing to go deeper, so we took them there. On a scale of 1-10, they were about a 7. They had a great time, met some friends, heard some great talks and enjoyed being a part of this. We weren't quite at a 10 yet until Christ came into the picture. We took them over to the church to experience adoration, confession and the mass. When they walked in the church, you could just feel the spirit moving. It was emotional, spiritual and yes even physical. We could physically feel the presence of Christ in our midst. Its like that feeling of the last day of school. The excitement for summer and the feeling of pure freedom! This wasn't just psychological, and it was absolutely nothing I could have created myself. It was truly the work of the spirit.
Students were moved to tears. They broke down for the first time in years and said it felt good. We walked around and prayed over students and time and time again, I could feel the spirit within as I laid my hands upon their shoulders. I could feel the spirit lifting the burdens from their hearts and filling them with peace and joy as a small glimpse of heaven.
Moments like these make me wonder how I could ever have doubted! There were so many cues from the spirit, guiding our work and our ministry. On Friday night, we were getting ready to spend the night in the church when the spirit spoke and wanted me to share a scripture. The spirit whispered to me "Speak now, your servant is listening". I immediately got up and found the scripture in the book of Samuel. I couldn't remember exactly what the scripture was about, so when I looked it up, I was in complete amazement. The spirit guided me to a scripture about Samuel and Eli sleeping in the temple. Here our students were, about to be sleeping in the church.