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strength = weakness

June 15, 2007 5 comments

St. Thomas AquinasIn order to call yourself a true Christian, I think you need to honestly answer the question, “Do I trust God?” Many answer “NO” or avoid the question by hiding behind personal strengths or weaknesses. For example, if someone has great knowledge & intelect to debate various sides of an issue, the “strength” may become a substitute for faith, ultimately becoming a “weakness”. On the other side, the “weakness” of having limited knowledge may encourage more trust in God, resulting in a “strength.”

What brought this on? A teen on the YES Retreat challenged and humbled my lack of knowledge in the area of philosophy. His private school education and “independent” readings of Thomas Aquinas, Neitche and other philosophers got me lost in conversations at times. He even asked, “Can God create a rock that is so heavy that God could not move it?” Uhhhh … yes … no … yes? I don’t know. (if you’re reading this, I’d like an answer) My humility turned into a concern for his young (and growing) dependence on knowledge, that may cripple a faith in God if not balanced right. I know we each have a “void” we fill with our own comfortable “strength,” but some things make us “too smart for our own good” which pridefully answer the ultimate question with “NO.” — This is why I’m afraid of taking 2 years of philosophy.

I’m back from Y.E.S.

The 5 day Y.E.S. service retreat ended today with a Mass at noon. When I offered to help chaperone and videotape, I didn’t think I’d get much footage since I didn’t know the kids and some teens feel nervous being videotaped. Well I don’t know where those “shy” kids are, because these teens could be great candidate for a whole season of “Big Brother.” They were so photogenic, that I have over 5 hours of raw video footage. Since I just let the camera run at time (like football & evening recaps) hoping to get a few usable clips, it’ll probably get cut down to an hour and maybe a short music video and/or individual profiles (collage of clips for each teen). It’s gonna be a lot of work, but it’s gonna be fun. — But first, let me get some sleep. (–“Sleepy”)

Review YES Retreat 2007

YES pics by Francis

The Youth Enjoying Service (Y.E.S.) Retreat is a 5 day (June 6-10th) service project experience for high school teens from all over the archdiocese of Miami.  It’s is held at the Madonna Retreat House in Hallendale.  This year had a small (but very lively) group of 12 teens.

This blog post will be the master directory of all the events & pictures from the video in case the locations change.  You can find most of the events on PAGE 3PAGE 4 of my archives, but the link to each event is below:

——————–  Day #1 / June 6 / Wednesday  ——————–
(evening) Welcome + “Human BINGO” + “4 Winds Blow” + Dinner (11 pics)
(talk) “Catholic Social Teaching” (4 pics) — by Gloria Luna

——————–  Day #2 / June 7 / Thursday  ——————–
(morning) Breakfast + Prayer + Leaving by Bus (3 pics)
(project) St Elizabeth Gardens arrival + games + lunch + BINGO (27 pics)
(dinner) “Class” Dinner (5 pics)
(talk“Immigration” (2 pics) — by Sr. Ondina Cortes
(eveningEnd of day sharing + making lunch (6 pics)

——————–  Day #3 / June 8 / Friday  ——————–
(morning) Breakfast + Prayer (? pics)
(project) Providence Place (? pics) — women’s shelter
(free time) S.W.A.T. training (? pics)
(talk) Monica Santos (? pics)

——————–  Day #4 / June 9 / Saturday  ——————–
(morning) Breakfast + Prayer (? pics)
(project) Daily Bread Food Bank (? pics) — food pantry
(free time) Football (? pics)
(talk) Convenant House (? pics) — shelter for runaway teens
(talk) “Eucharist” by Bishop Estevez (? pics) — a great surprise visit
(dinner) Dinner (? pics)
(service) Commissioning (? pics)
(nightime) Dancing? + “Mission Impossible” (? pics & 1 video)

——————–  Day #5 / June 10 / Sunday  ——————–
(morning) Breakfast + Prayer (? pics)
(closing) Closing Mass (? pics)


——————— STATUS  of  VIDEO  EDITING  ———————-

July 18 — finished day #2 (35 minutes) – “Class” dinner, immigration,
sharing, & making lunch
July 17 — working on day #2 – finished aerobicsBINGO (10 minutes)
July 03 — working on day #2 – finished wheelchair races (14 minutes)
June 29 — finished editing day #1 (7 minutes). See pics on PAGE 4 (middle).
June 28 — I found a 2 minute video clip on my memorystick.  See it here.
June 27 — added blog posts of retreat events (without pictures, yet)
Francis also posted pictures of the retreat on the Office of Youth website.