Day 7 Friday Denver
Shakira Shakira! Greetings from Denver… House of the Beatitudes!
Matt and Bryce here and we want to just evangalize via the blog-o-sphere! So by now I’m guessing you are wondering if we took advantage of some of the new legalization laws here in Denver, but I want to let everyone know we are just very tired and full of the Holy Spirit which as many of us know fills us with great joy. After an adoration filled night, the day began with Mass and Lauds. The sisters sang to our hearts and nourished ours souls for the day. Once again we were late to Christ in the City and after much discernment the group decided to meet at Holy Ghost Church in downtown Denver. From there we began a pilgrimage to all the different churches in the city. Let me tell you Denver sure knows how to “Church.” Some highlights from the walk included; walking in the pouring rain without appropriate gear, Matt slipping on a banana peal, and praying a Rosary through the busy streets. After the pilgrimage lunch we ventured back to Christ in the City to break bread as the group decided to fast together in observance of Lent. Grace, laying in her bread crumbs proclaimed, “LENT!” thus making her the poster girl of all those fasting. After a period of down time the group began the penetant task of making rosaries. Let’s just say my purgatory will be spent making Rosaries, Bryce began to contemplate pagan beliefs. However, after seven hours I (Matt) have completed a rosary.
We now want to take this time to inform you about the big city driving experience. Katie and Matt change more lanes faster than shakira’s hips don’t lie. Let me tell you, Matt set the record for the most consecutive days of being honked at, which could barely be heard over our screams. One time Matt nearly killed a man, we were pulling out of Christ in the City and like a Gazelle, this runnner jumps in front of us. We all scream and Matt hits the breaks barely missing the dude. I peed a little. I will tell you though, Matt may be our best driver, I still have not stepped foot into Katie’s car. Especially, after watching Katie cross a double white line to make an exit cutting off some people…. I-was-horrified. I am still here so it leads me to believe that my many prayers to our guardian angels protected us. We are not home yet, but so far so good, right. Lets not even talk about Tessa and driving……. let’s just say speeding tickets in Wyoming are very expensive.
Tonight in the Jewish tradition Shabbat is celebrated as the sun sets welcoming the Sabbath. The Community of the Beatitudes celebrates Shabbat as a way to remember our roots in Judism as Catholics. After all Jesus, Mary, and all the Apostles were observent Jews. During the Shabbat meal the group prayed in Hebrew different psalms. We then sang and danced around the table celebrating the arrival of the Sabbath. While the praying lasted three hours Bryce felt the prayer was more of a celebration. If you have never heard of Shabbat you need to google it is truly amazing and our words cannot do justice to the grace of the meal. Father Gregory pushed the wine a little too much, but no one fell to their weaknesses. Overall the Shabbat meal will be a fond memory for all involved. The evening came to a close with many stories and much laughter by all.
On a more serious note today was a day designed for us to remember all the graces of serving in Denver. I (Matt) have been so blessed to be apart of this group. As the only senior on this trip I can now say I have so many new friends both in the Carroll Family and here in Denver in the streets… Ask me about Lawerance if you want a good story! In prayer I have been very “focused” on the importance of presence while loving others. To be fully present to another is very important to making others feel loved. While on this trip I really learned how unloving I can be. Those experiencing homelessness are very easy to judge, but after encountering people in a more intentional way I came to the realization that it would be very hard to tell which one of us truly was poor if you only could hear our conversations. Mother Teresa once said that, “We have forgotten that we belong to eachother.” While on this trip I met brothers and sisters who will forever hold a place in my heart because of the love they helped me come to know. One of my favorite quotes is from Toni Morrison is, “If I had known more people. I’d of loved more.” I’m reminded of this quote as I prepare to leave Denver and know God has graced me with the ability to love more because of all the people I encountered.
Bryce here on the more serious note. As we have journied through this week it has led me to understand alot of things. Before this trip I feel like I was a dry root of a fruit out of soil and for the Lord I did thrist for his love and will. By the end of this trip (and tomorow we leave), I feel as if i have quenched this thirst. I came here to do what I could in his name and I cannot leave happier. You see, what I have learned from this trip is a type of recognition, a new sight, spiritual sight and my human sight that blinded me was washed away. I began to recognize that God’s will is in me and everone around me and as a whole we are a part of a holy community, a holy family. So instead of walking up to a man that was homeless , I instead was walking up to a brother in Christ and in recognizing this I no longer was just trying to serve this man but instead I was bringing two humans together to share a story. It is in other’s experiences, not just our own that we must learn how to live the life that we are in. This is our call to the human experience to be in union with one another, so that we can grow with one another. This trip taught me a lot and I am thankful for every second God gave me on this trip.