A PLACE TO BE FOUND

It was 2016, and my friend asked me to help her lead a small group that was preparing for Confirmation. She had led a group in previous years without my help, but extended the invitation anyway. I supposed it really was just an invitation from the Holy Spirit that she was faithful enough to hear and pass along. 

I was confirmed in the early 2000s as a middle schooler. I was not interested in the sacrament. I completed the program solely because my parents “forced” me. I don’t remember learning anything in the classes I was required to attend, nor do I remember going on a retreat (but I am hopeful there was one!). I picked my confirmation saint to be St. Elizabeth (which one, I don’t know) strictly because my mom wanted to name me Elizabeth, but my dad signed the birth certificate while my mother was sleeping postpartum (an article for another time). So, to say that I was not qualified to lead a small group was the understatement of the century. 

Thanks be to God, I did find my way back to Sunday Mass during college – a time when most people leave the faith entirely. I was developing a relationship with Jesus, but knew I had a long way to go. 

I am not a scholar. I did not excel in school, I was (am) a slow reader, and am intimidated by anyone with a strong vocabulary. When people spoke with me about the Church it felt like they were speaking another language.  In fact, sometimes they were… and it wasn’t Spanish.  My Latin is still very, very weak. So is my Spanish.  Despite this, or maybe because of this, I was eager to learn more about the faith and “get” what everyone else was talking about.  I agreed to lead the class with the understanding that I am going to be the assistant – really just there for the “soft stuff” of asking textbook questions and listening. Maybe I would even learn a thing or two along the way. 

I remember vividly watching a video as part of our curriculum. This person on the screen was talking about a time we can all relate to; a time where he felt he was abandoned by God. He was down and feeling alone.  A time where he pleaded for God to prove that He was there.  And you know what he heard?  Nothing. Then, God spoke to him through a person who challenged him, “Are you putting yourself in a place to be found?” 

The analogy provided was a story about someone walking around and realized they were lost. They desperately needed to be found.  Did they hide behind a clothing rack in the back of a department store? Did they cozy up in a chair at a coffee shop? Did they continue to walk around until they found someone they recognized? No. They stood in the middle of the road. To be found by anyone driving, walking, or standing outside, where the traffic was. Definitely, a place where they would be seen and found. 

When I feel abandoned, left, alone, down and out wondering where God is, where His voice and direction are, I remember this video and put myself in a place to be found. I go to Mass, adoration, and immediately call my Blessed Mother on a rosary. While these things don’t always generate an immediate response, or at least a response that I immediately understand, I know that slowly but most assuredly, I will be found. The Lord will not let the lost sheep stay lost. We only need to put ourselves in a place to be found.

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At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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