So this weekend I was helping to run a retreat called Convivio. This is the fifth year I have been involved in this wonderful retreat and I was extremely excited for this year’s theme. “Love as I have loved you.” John 15:12
On Sunday Monsignor Weiss from St. Rose of Lima in Newtown came to give a talk about loving in the face of hate. (St. Rose is the only Catholic church in Newtown, where 26 people were murdered by a gunman on December 14, 2012)
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember where I was when I got the news, I remember watching the live feed all day, and I remember going to the vigil at St. Rose that night. I remember seeing my best friends in Mass that night and holding them as we cried together. I remember the thousands of people that came to church that night seeking comfort. This talk brought all those emotions back. I was an emotional wreck. Tears silently rolled down my cheeks and I gripped by boyfriends hand for strength to get through this talk.
When the talk was over we all (300 plus participants) prayed a decade of the rosary for healing in Newtown and in the hearts of all who are affected. I was still extremely emotional when a fraternal (a consecrated lay women) leaned over to me and asked me to play Lord I need You. I was terrified. I had never played for this many people let alone leave people in worship. I threw up a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit to guide me and asked St. Cecelia (the patron Saint of musicians) to help me out. I set up the guitar and took a deep breath and attempted to read the chords off my cell phone. THEY WERE THE WRONG CHORDS but I had already started playing….so there was nothing I could do. My heart was racing and I was panicking, and I desperately prayed that the Holy Spirit would take care of me. Somehow I got through the song and I had people thanking me all day and encouraging me keep using my talents to pursue the Lord.
I walked away from the guitar thinking, “What just happened?” There is NO way I did that on my own. That was all the Holy Spirit. I have never felt so out of control of my own life, and I will never forget that experience.
I am learning that help is only a prayer away. I just need to ask.