Its hard to believe we're down to our last 24 hours in Orlando! What a whirlwind it's been. Fortunately we were able round up most of our group for some pics in this beautiful 73 degree Sunny Afternoon. Not that we were outside for long. The "impact sessions" start this afternoon and the biggest challenge for the group was deciding between all the great different talks available which ones they wanted to go to (fortunately, they can buy downloads for all of them).
Last night was truly an amazing and special evening. The ballrooms were prepared for Eucharistic Adoration, where Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist -- the consecrated host -- is adored, praised and worshipped with songs, silence... While that was happening, over 150 of us priests heard confessions. I have to see if I can find pictures of the lines, since I couldn't even get out of my seat to stretch for 10 seconds for over 4 and half hours. All the while you could hear thousands of the young men and women singing "O COME LET US ADORE HIM" as the Eucharist was processed around the ballrooms. It's always immensely humbling to hear these confessions. To see how the Lord is calling out to these beautiful young people to become their best selves - to see them moving away from fear and towards the source of Love that is Jesus Christ to do that and not to be weighed down by whatever obstacles had crept into their lives... It's just inspiring. And considering the extremes that they're faced with, the opposition - not just from peers, but their families and culture overall that constantly bombards them with lies. Telling them to settle. Telling them to look for satisfaction and fulfillment in things designed to entrap them, discourage them,... To see so many of them taking initial steps to turn away from that - it's just a beautiful gift as a priest to be able to be an instrument of God's Mercy and to walk with them as they strive to live as Christ is calling them to. Yes it's sunny outside, but there's a much more brilliant light shining inside each of these people. Pray that it continues to burn and radiate, not just for the ride home and our return to campus, but always....
The morning concluded the three Men and Women's talks which, speaking for the men, was really challenging and well received. Dr. Jonathan Reyes this morning laid out the differences between being a boy and a man and asked them how will they live as Christian Men.
Tonight we're excited for the Keynote by Leah Darrow followed by the concert with Matt Maher.