Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives YCV:
I will follow you

By Tracy Leonard
Contributing writer

“Do Whatever He Tells You” and “Listen to His Voice”- these themes of my past two weekends (Women of Grace Retreat at Wadhams Hall and the Youth Rally at IHC ) continue to resound in my heart and mind as I try to live out God’s plan for my life. What is this plan, though, and what is my mission… what’s your mission? Are we hearing His voice, are we listening and are we doing what He tells us?

Some, if not many of us, may feel we don’t have a mission or a purpose. Perhaps we don’t know where we are going. Occasionally I have those thoughts and feelings too but, as I’ve learned these past two weekends, we need to trust in the Lord. If we desire to fulfill the plan of God for us then we must seek after holiness, be like Jesus and be refreshed by the Holy Spirit.

At Women of Grace
Johnnette Benkovic expressed to me and about 100 other women at Wadhams Hall that we must be receptive to the action and will of God, we must trust in His never failing providence in spite of circumstances and we must surrender to His holy will in all things.

She reassured us that God’s love would radiate into the depths of our hearts if we made a conscious choice to be open to the Lord. This is an intentional act of our will to be open to His, for it is in His love that He shows us who we are, why we are and what our purpose is. “Our love must be set upon higher things” she said, upon holiness and truth, grace and obedience, commitment and love.”

In being receptive, trusting and surrendering, we allow ourselves to be entirely open to the omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful) and omnipresent (all present) God who calls us to love.

At the Youth Rally
Christ Padgett, the keynote speaker at the Youth Rally, shared a similar theme. This call to love, he said, is shown by us through Meditation, Advocacy (fighting for those who cannot fight for self), Sacrifice (the gift of self), and through Service. This love is intrinsically connected to God through the celebration of the Eucharist at “MASS.” “Jesus has picked you” he said. “He prepares you and protects you. He wants you on His team!
“Make a commitment to get to know Him from this day forward for He cares about the win- the fight for your sanctity,” Padgett said. “Hear his voice just as a child hears their father’s voice or a sheep hears their shepherd’s voice.”

He went on to tell the 300 plus teenagers and their youth group leaders, “God intends for you to be here today. He loves you and wants you to in turn love one another.” Echoing these words, the youth of our diocese looked at one another joining Chris in song: “I see you’re wonderful, I see you’re beautiful, I see you’re valuable, you matter.”

It was evident that God’s life had taken up residence in all of us present, or as Johnnette said, “our hearts became tabernacles of the Holy Spirit.” Our tabernacles were full of love and therefore, full of God.

Jesus desires for each of us to become a temple in which He dwells continually so that we may be transformed into His image and likeness. Listeners were reassured by both Johnnette Benkovic and Chris Padgett, that God will take our weaknesses or our wounds and do amazing things with us.

Every single person has been uniquely chosen by God to have life, the “Abundant Life.” Simply let Jesus in and your spiritual life will soar! You will experience freedom, new life, hope, and liberation. In doing so, we can better serve Him and love one another- our true purpose and mission in life.

For “those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8: 5-6)

Youth Rally Women of Grace

photos by colleen miner
Tracy Leonard took an active role in the liturgies at both the Youth Rally, left, and Women of Grace retreat, right.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.