March 27, 2010
This week I chaperoned my students on a Kairos retreat for three days. I had never been on one of these retreats (although I had been on something similar called Encounter in college). After years of organizing and leading retreats in college, it was nice to have a different role as someone who sits back and is there for counsel should it be asked for. And boy, was it asked for.
I was incredibly humbled that girls came forward to ask to talk to me about their personal and spiritual struggles over the course of the three days. What a great responsibility spiritual direction and counseling is...posing questions to them to make them look at themselves really directly and then look at God's hand in their lives. I couldn't help but thank God for priests, spiritual directors, and therapists who bring their education and wisdom to these very personal and intimate settings of self-revelation. They are really sacred encounters.
Many of my students brought up the following: alcoholic parents, parents who should be arrested for neglect, self-loathing, abusive relationships with boys...you name it. I saw real wounds, real piercings of the heart, mind, and flesh. However, it was incredible to watch them be healed by the love of Christ in community, in the sacraments, and in silence. Grace abounded, and the witness of so much healing strengthened my own faith. It was what I needed.
Kairos means "the Lord's time." My own belief in Providence was affirmed and renewed watching the girls be healed, in God's time, over these past few days. When we abandon ourselves to God's time, we get a taste of eternity and the peace that it brings.