I just finished a weekend of beautiful liturgies, new friendships, messages and music that ignited once again the embers of a passion for truth, beauty, and goodness. I was one of the speakers for the annual Glory Conference, which brings together young adults for four days in Nashville, TN.
My talk was Saturday morning, so while I had blocked the whole weekend out on my calendar, I wasn’t really expecting to stay around all four days. My plan was to check out the conference on Friday night to hear my friend Mike Aquilina, then come back for my talk Saturday morning, stay for Mass, and then play the rest of the weekend by ear. I ended up spending the entire weekend there, soaking up the beauty.
As one of the speakers, I suppose I was the one who was expected to build the participants up, give them truth, energize and encourage them before everyone returned home to Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, Florida, Kentucky… I hope I did that, but as is so often the case, the opposite happened too. They energized me. They reminded me of the hope of the New Evangelization, the joy of the Gospel, and the beauty of living this radically Catholic life. I didn’t want the weekend to end- I didn’t want everyone to leave my city. To witness their joy, their love, their excitement, their holiness… as I reluctantly waved goodbye this afternoon, I marveled at the gift the conference had been for me. While the four days flew by, Friday also seems like a long time ago. Holy joy does that – expands time as it expands your heart, so that minutes fly by but can feel like hours.
Thank you to everyone who made the experience possible. See you next Memorial Day weekend!
My talk on Pope Benedict, Beauty, and the New Evangelization is posted on the audio page. Enjoy!