Young Adults Gathering Testimony #4

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit .” (1 Cor 12:12-13) – Word of God received during one of the praises. 

When I found out about the possibility for me of joining the gathering in the U.S., I thought, “This is crazy…. It’s far away, it’s only for a few days, it’s cold, it’s just after Christmas, etc.” But then curiosity and a willingness to get to know better my brothers and sisters on the other continent won. Indeed, it was amazing! Somehow this gathering reminded me and even strengthened my decision to be in the community, which I made a long time ago. 

Sam (Minnesota) inspired me to praise more and that my whole life should be a praise of God, not only those 10 minutes a day. To be honest, since then, I can’t stop praising God every day. It brings me so much joy in my daily things to do.

Isabella (Netherlands) reminded me about my baptismal vows and how I can live them – especially about joy, which is contagious. Oh, and one more thing: Isabella made me sing, which nobody managed ever before … many tried, believe me. I also thought that it’s impossible, but apparently it was not that bad.

Agata and Gasper (Slovenia) made me reflect on how to adapt and put into practice the graces of community in a national context. I keep thinking now about how to be more creative in evangelization in the country where I live.

Thanks to Janez (Slovenia), I came back closer to the heart of community which is Paray-le-Monial and its message. It encouraged me to get to know better the life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and to lean more on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The presence of all our beloved priests and families with children let the gathering be not a closed circle of young adults (as often happens in parishes), but it gave impression of a real family, the body in Christ. I am so grateful to them for giving their time, efforts and hearts for us. It’s so important for me to see and meet happy, joyful people who are living their vocation 200%. 

I am thankful for sharing important moments with those whom I didn’t know before, but because of their acceptance and hospitality, we became close brothers and sisters immediately. Late night talks, cooking dinner together, praying for each other for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, sharing talents and experiences, and much more created bonds and filled up my love tank to the full. What a joy! I came back strengthened, renewed and peaceful. I am sure that those are the fruits of the Holy Spirit through the community, simply because they last. I am looking forward to see how the Lord will work in the community in the U.S. in the future. Praise the Lord for all His gifts!

This reflection on the North American Young Adult Gathering was written by Joanna Statnik, a member of the Emmanuel community and ESM alumnus who lives in Denmark.


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