Saturday, June 09, 2007
What my spiritual director told me....
“If you don’t come back normal, I’m gonna kill you!”
So yeah, exactly what possesses a dozen college students to spend their summer – from the beginning of June to mid-August – walking over a thousand miles through eleven states? Well, it’s all about the New Evangelization and the Theology of the Body. The way I see it, it’s a matter of living as witnesses to God’s love for us. And how better can we understand our relationship to God than with ToB?
Who am I, and why in the world am I so excited about this walk? Well, I am an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying Government and Politics and Philosophy. I learned about the summer walk while doing a shorter, 40-mile walk with the Missionaries of the Eucharist the weekend right before the Mass and Rally for Life. During that walk, I felt a whole lot of peace and joy, through prayer and community life – perhaps more than I had ever felt before. I knew that God really wanted me to go on that walk. And so, after a lot of questions and trying to figure things out, I was able to join the MoE for the summer walk. My parents weren’t too excited about the idea, since it meant I would be away from home for another 2.5 months. And of course, it required a lot of faith, hope, and love on my part – I really needed to trust that this was what the Lord wanted me to do, that I can actually last the entire walk.
So far, it has been an amazing experience. The walk hasn’t even begun yet – so far we’ve had a week of training. Nevertheless, the people we have met and the experience of community life have been wonderful. We heard talks on community life from Fr. Bill at the CSC and Br. Hyacinth of the DHS. We’ve learned to express ToB through swing dance. We met Christopher West (!) and related ToB with the Apostle’s Creed. We went to the Monastery of the Precious Blood in Brooklyn to meet Msgr. Reilly, who is a world-famous leader in prayer vigils. And now we are up in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where it still falls to 40 degrees at night (“Vermont does not know it’s June!”) and where stars are actually visible.
I look forward to this summer. I know that it will be a period of formation for me and greatly anticipate growing in spirituality. I also know that it will be a period of trial, of hardships – both physical discomfort and spiritual combat. But not to worry – I am confident that these sufferings will bear great fruit. Until next time – God bless, pray for us.
Who we are?
Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.
We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.