After I wrote my first blog, I was sure that I would continue with my conversion journey but then life happened. So that will have to be written another time.
For several years one of my dearest friends has been trying to get me to attend our diocesan Fishers of Men Dinner to help raise tuition funds for our seminarians. So this year I finally agreed to go with much hesitation. I love to get dressed up for a fun occasion but haven’t had any clothes for this type of event in years. After all , I live in a small Andy Griffith Mayberry kinda town. So the first thing I had to do was scour the internet for something to wear, a challenge in itself. I am not 20 something nor am I a pencil shaped twig from the magazines. I am also not frumpy in my wardrobe choices. Fortunately, the internet helped me find an outfit I truly liked, didn’t feel old or blah in and could afford. Miracles do happen!!! So off to the ball Mrs. Cinderella went!
At the doors, we were happily greeted by some of our 26 seminarians, and then we found our way to the very crowded cocktail area. After grabbing a glass of wine and a few bites of assorted hors d’oeuvres (and yes, I had to use spellcheck for that one!!) I began to mill about the room. It was fun hearing bits and pieces of lively chatter. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but this didn’t have the feel of any other fundraiser I’ve attended. Everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves! But it still didn’t hit me…yet.
For the dinner, I was seated at a table with three nuns and my friend Pam and her husband Bob. Pam is the one who kept insisting I come to this dinner. It was a lovely time and the meal was quite tasty but the best part was having our 26 seminarians serve all the tables. I’m not sure who trained them in their duties, but any of them could easily be a waiter at a 4-star restaurant! We all enjoyed the chance to talk to and hear stories from them. Then, with dessert, we heard a heartfelt speech from our vocation director, a priest, and vocation stories from two of our seminarians. Then it began to hit me in the head! As each of these speeches were made, a recurring theme popped out. ALL OF THESE GUYS ARE TRULY FILLED WITH THE JOY OF JESUS CHRIST IN THEM! They are not fearful of the future. They know Jesus has said his Church will always prevail! These young men are the future of our Church and are we ever in GREAT hands. They are smart, devout, caring men who love Christ’s Church.
As we were driving home, I felt the most wonderful rush of peace and joy come over me. Those guys filled with THE HOLY SPIRIT assured me that the future of our Church will be just fine. Even though it took 3 years for my friend to get me to this dinner, I am so grateful that I was moved to go. On that night, when I was least expecting it, Our Lord showed me four hours of “Finding Joy”! A fundraising dinner wound up giving me a gift.
So if you want to find great joy in our Church, get to know a seminarian and you will always find it in them.
Keep Finding Joy!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.