So we are at the end of a rather long day (or is it two) here in Orlando, Florida. We stepped off the bus at 3PM, Mass was at 5 PM (and with over 6000 people attending, communion took about 30 minutes) and then the first talk was at 7 PM.
Our MC for SEEK is none other than Chris Stefanik, who gave a memorable day long lenten retreat last year at MSU. Chris introduced the first Keynote address speaker -- international Catholic evangelist Matthew Kelly (author of Rediscovering Catholicism)
Matthew's main thrust was to encourage us to note the difference between Happiness and Pleasure. He said that often times, especially in this day age, people confuse the two and see them as meaning the same thing. But as he differentiated them:
Pleasure can not be sustained beyond the activity producing it... For example, eating is a pleasurable activity that ceases to be when we finish eating. And because we enjoy eating, that's one reason we can over indulge, over eat way after our hungers have been satisfied.
Happiness is different...Happiness can be sustained. And God the Father created us for happiness. That's where our choices come into play. We have to make decisions and "right order" our desires our pleasures (or they can easily become disordered)
Then he made a really profound observation: He said Great thinkers and great cultures ask how's the best way to live? Our culture doesnt do that at all. Our culture is more interested in defending self expression rather than producing selves worth being expressed.
With this as the "opening night", it's shaping up to be a pretty phenomenal week. Keep praying for all of us as we promise to do for you.
Now, finally off to bed!