This past weekend I was high! It was exciting, exhilarating and exhausting all at once. This is the eleventh time I was on this high and it never gets old. Each year at the end of June I spend three days getting lit on fire!

Okay, I don’t know what you are thinking, but I am talking about the energy and fire of the Holy Spirit!

YLC 2011’s theme was “Bread of Life, Covenant of Love” and at this 31st Annual Youth Leadership Conference you felt LIFE and LOVE!!

Over 650 teens, 50 college students and 100 adults come together to Praise and Worship and learn how to Share their Faith with others.

It was a powerful experience.

LIFE – – I felt LIFE at every turn. From the high energy in the large general sessions that included teen witness talks, intoxicating prayer services, compassionate reconciliation and adoration; joyful presentations by Jesse Manibusan and ValLimar Jansen and workshops by spirit filled presenters!  We experienced God’s great love through new friends, reconnecting with old friends, singing, adoring, Mass on the grass, and of course frisbee in the quad.

The power of forgiveness was flowing in the field house Friday night with teens gathered at the large crosses, knelt in adoration and feeling the mercy of reconciliation.

Prayer experiences on Saturday were a strong testament to the openness of these amazing youth. They were assigned “by the Holy Spirit” which prayer workshop to experience. Their openness try new things and let the Spirit guide them was apparent as they attended Guided Meditation, Taize, Marian, Art Prayer, Centering, Novena, Digital, Nature and other prayer forms. What a spirit-filled adventure.

LOVE – – I felt LOVE! Love from all the youth; smiling, joyful, kind youth that were eager to share that joy with everyone they met. I want to harness that love and energy just to release a little every day. The youths were happy to be there even amid all the construction of the college campus and walking from dorm to workshops, from workshops to cafeteria, from cafeteria to dorms and back again!

This was a high for me. It is every year.

Our bodies seek this type of event to refocus and refresh ourselves. It’s a time to put the busy-ness of life away and to be in the presence of a collective joy. From 6:30 am to 10:30 pm, non-stop vitality is exciting, exhilarating and exhausting all at once. We all need a retreat every year. I actually prefer three “retreat” experiences a year. They can be service retreats, leadership retreats, contemplative retreats or spa retreats. We need to spend time working outside of our everyday routine…and get REFRESHED!

Even though I was so glad to be in my own bed Sunday evening, I was already missing the joy and fire of the weekend.
Well, until next YLC!

Categories: Balance, God, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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