Thursday, April 5, 2012

NET Team 2

Okay, so I was part of a traveling youth ministry called NET Ministries. What did I do? Well, when I had just graduated from high school and I joined this ministry. I was put on a team with 10 other people. We traveled around the US hauling a trailer with our stuff and we put on retreats 6 out of 7 days of the week for 6th through 12th graders. And the commitment is for 9 months. Let me tell you, when you are put in a van with 10 other strangers who are NOT people with similar likes or interests, you really get to learn and understand what it means to love...even when you don't want to...talk about an intense ride.
Yes, this is a NET van with the trailer
There was a lot I learned while on the road. I learned about myself. I learned about my lack of charity, I learned about my insecurities...but most of all, I learned what it meant to be a son of God. I learned that I was good and that God had endowed me with a dignity that I could not take away or add on to (sure we can commit good or bad actions but perhaps THAT is understood more as actualizing our goodness or rejecting/neglecting it). I learned to get outside of my comfort zone. That the devil owns the comfort zone. Gosh, there was so much I learned about myself and my relationship with God...and because of that, I was able to grow as a Christian man of God...I was ultimately able to utilize all I learned in my vocation as a priest.

NET Team 2 is a team that is passing through Savannah. They did a couple retreats in our Diocese (Columbus, GA), and they are on their way to Florida to spend their Easter there. I was their contact and it was weird being on the contact-side of things rather than on the team-member-side of things.

I gave them a talk or two to help re-focus them, to exhort them, and to guide them on their walk for the rest of the year. That was yesterday. I also let them have Team Prayer in the Cathedral. The doors were closed, they had the place to themselves to express with their bodies and with music the desire of their souls and hearts, which is God. I exposed the Blessed Sacrament as well; an hour of Adoration and Worship and Praying in the Spirit. It was the most Charismatic prayer I have done in so long....I loved it...and yes, this is legit. Don't hate.

After which we went out to eat. The food was incredible. I told them to take pictures. I know they felt out of place, but they deserved it...especially after going through the diocese of Milwaukee...oi, I went through there and let me tell you, that is one HEAVY diocese to go do retreats for. Why? It's mainly the constant going and traveling that one does every single day! I gots to tells ya, if you go on NET and go to Milwaukee, you deserve all the props you can get! And NET has a special place in my heart, so I wanted to honor the team for the great work they do...I wanted to show them that the gift of this year is a very special blessing...so I fed them well!

It was a little sad to see them go, but as a priest, I still have work to do...and the team has work to do too. After prayer this morning, we said our good byes and I prayed that they keep the focus and finish strong. May the Lord guide this team and all other NET teams, especially as they go through the Easter Season together....

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