The Diocesan Youth Conference had nearly 550 teens in attendance from the Diocese of Trenton. We had a small group of 6 attend, and I was so thankful we did because I truly needed this day centered on Christ. It is my encouragement for every teen to attend events like these. I hear many of the same excuses over and over from various teens, and I just pray for each. I pray that the Lord touches them in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to do the work that needs to be done. For the teens who do Venture to retreats and conferences, I always commend them. I remind them that while yes, there seems to be a lot of "talking" during these events, that sometimes there may be ONE SINGLE LINE that you need to hear. It is up to us to open our ears and hearts to give up just a few hours in the grand scheme of the busy life! I always remind our teens that while I am super thankful for their attendance, that they may realize the power of turning off the world for even just a an hour or so and turn on the Holy Spirit.
This amazingly INSPIRING (the theme of the day) day was filled with two powerful speakers, Leanne Holmes and Dr. Alex Gotay. Each had a unique way to delivery his powerful message. I share with you my key takeaways below:
- The only tool the devil has is to whisper lies in our ears
- Often times when we feel underappreciated and feel like we give and give and give...the reality is that we need to "give more"
- The things most taken for granted are the sacraments
- The list of "rules" the Catholic Church asks us to live by actually "make sense" and are an inspiration - they let us know how to live and we have the most freedom when we are living accordingly.
HERE'S A BIG ONE!
- How often do we answer, "I'm busy" when people ask us how we are doing...well, God gave us the Sabbath! He gave us an ENTIRE DAY EVERY SINGLE WEEK to REST! A full day to unwind from the week prior and to prepare for the week to come, yet we are "too busy" to ever rest. God didn't give us this day for HIM, He gave it for US, it is a gift that is so important but often times rejected.
- Simple easy prayer, Help me to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday
- I'll bet you can write a lot about God, but DO YOU KNOW HIM?
- The greatest inhibitor to our faith is ourselves
- You want to change the world? Go home and LOVE YOUR FAMILY
- What is keeping you from being a saint and serving others?
- It is no accident that the symbol of the Holy Spirit is fire, fire is the brightest light. The Holy Spirit inspires us
- Our faith comes from 2000 years of history, Jesus started our church, sit with that for a few minutes
- St. Jose Sanchez and the Cristeros...Viva Cristo Rey...just wow!
- They can kill you but they can't kill your soul.
- Mary was 13, David was 15, Jose was 15...don't tell us that you are the church of tomorrow - YOUTH are the church of TODAY!
A Few Notes from Bishop's Homily:
- The power of the world wants you to hide the light of Christ under the bushel basket as heard in the gospel
- You don't have to be PERFECT in the eyes of others, in fact you inspire others in your imperfections
- Sometimes "later" becomes "never" DO IT NOW!