Rite of Welcome - Part 2

Then we did a short prayer walk. There is a hallway in the building we were in that has a row of icons on it, so we all walked along that, stopping at each one for a moment to reflect and pray the short prayer on the icon and then make a sign of reverence, kind of a bow with your head. Then we went into the Retreat Room and Monsignor read us the second creation story and we talked about that for a minute. Then we were sent out into creation to reflect for a bit. We were also told to bring back something that said something about ourselves. I brought back a little plant with some roots on it. I talked about how it is the root's job to soak up the water and nutrients. I feel like right now that is where I'm at. I've spent a while in this active learning stage, reading, thinking, praying a lot, but now it is time for me to slow down and just kind of soak everything in. Absorb everything around me.

Then we read the story of God telling Abraham to sacrifice Issac and talked about it for a bit. Then we broke up into pairs to talk about trust and faith. I ended up with our leader since my sponsor had something else today. I really like our leader, she is always so encouraging and helpful and I'm blessed whenever I get to talk with her. So we talked about the questions. And we also talked a bit about where I was in all of this. She said that she was reading all of my reflection papers (since I'm done with the book, there are quite a few of them!). She also mentioned how she like the one when I was talking about how Mary is slowly finding her way into my life. She said that it seems to be like that, that the closer one gets to Jesus, the closer one gets to Mary.

Then we read a passage from Romans about sin. We talked a bit about personal sin and original sin. We talked about how we all have those places where we have failed. Then we each got a piece of paper where we were supposed to write down all of those things and then fold it up and put it in a bowl. Then we quietly walked outside with those and burnt them. It was a powerful moment. I was thinking, this is what confession will be like, all that stuff will be totally gone! When we went back inside that is what we talked about, how powerful a thing the Sacrament of Reconciliation is. Even as it is scary to admit all of those sins and to speak them out loud, I'm getting more and more excited about being able to do that. I'm excited about the grace that God gives through the sacrament!

I really am getting more and more excited every day about this. It is crazy, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would end up Catholic. But I'm one hundred percent convinced that this is where God is calling me. And this journey is amazing!

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