I look for things every day. My phone, my keys, my shoes, my list . . . I tend to be very forgetful. I’m pretty sure Saint Anthony will have me working for him someday – I owe him big time!
But when I seek something . . . it’s usually more than a thing. I seek companionship, friendship, reassurance and love.
For as far back as I can remember, I sought out good friends. I wanted people in my life that shared my interests, humor and goals.
For many of my young years I was often blessed with friends that were truly kind, amazing people. But often, we did not share common interests. I loved soccer, but the classmates that befriended me did not share my love for that sport. Same happened with tennis and softball. Eventually though, as I matured, I became more and more blessed with teammates,classmates, and colleagues that shared more of my values and hobbies.
I’m also continually blessed with people who don’t share much in common with me at all – and they help me grow in mind, spirit and body in ways no one else could. I see the Lord’s light in most people I meet. Some relationships can be more challenging, but whenever I take a step back, I see a lot of good come in all different personalities.
The true uniqueness of each person is nothing short of amazing.
But still, it is extremely helpful to be able to engage with those people that share our values, dreams, humor and hobbies.
The Prayer, Wine, Chocolate Retreat gave me that opportunity.
When I announced the retreat, I had high hopes for a good turnout. In my mind, it was an awesome day planned. I mean – all my favorite things – prayer (check), wine (check), chocolate (I’ll get some, then I’ll check) were my exact thoughts.
Speaking of chocolate – a giant thank you to Trappistine Quality Candy who provided us with amazing chocolate!! Please make your next candy purchase with them – the extra prayers makes them absolutely delicious!
Then something unexpected and amazing happened. An incredible woman who I look up to and admire – even though she is younger than me- said “I’m in!” This woman is Annie Deddens. Annie and her husband John Paul are the founders of Pray More Novenas and Annie is also the writer at Catholic Wife, Catholic Life. Annie does not live in driving distance of me or The National Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel. Annie was one of the first people to sign up. Annie was seeking the same thing I had been seeking – friends who love the Lord, love being Catholic and desire to be the person God wants daily.
Twenty others who seek this companionship also joined us for this incredible day. From my mom to Leslie and Carol who drove hours from Maryland, to Mickey Kelly, (our only man who joined us this time)- incredibly awesome and inspiring friends – some new, some old- came together to enjoy the gift of faith we share.
The weather forecasters for the week before spoke of clouds and gloom. My heart called upon Our Blessed Mother to bring us sunshine and perfect weather; and even though I forgot to put her statue in my window, she came through. The day was absolutely beautiful.
As someone who has learned about St. Katharine Drexel before, I loved the presentation given by Sister Agnes and I learned more.
On this retreat, I sought:
To admire God’s creation
Prayer with others
And yes, even chocolate.
I found all that I sought.
My hope, prayer and wish for those that came to the First Prayer, Wine, Chocolate Retreat is that all found what they were seeking. For I truly believe we share faith in the Gospel message:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7