MY EXPERIENCES AT THE STEUBENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH CONFERENCE AND RETREAT
BY JACK GEBERT, graduated senior.
Steubenville, for me, was a wild ride. My name is Jack Gebert, and I'm a graduating high school student going into college and, more specifically, seminary. Now, before I even went to Steubenville, I had a choice to make. Either go to a Christian music festival with your baptist cousins for the fifth year in a row, or go to a crazy Catholic youth conference. The choice was a hard one, because of all the friends I made at this festival. God had different plans, though, and I saw the fruits not in the loud worship moments that I would have gotten at the music festival, but in the quietness of the retreat following the conference.
For so long, I’ve forgotten where God does His best work. Before this retreat, I was going through a lot of things that God was trying to work on, but I wouldn’t let Him. My friend died last November, and it was something I blamed myself a lot for. It wasn’t until I was able to forgive myself that God could heal me of this burden that I’ve been carrying with me. This healing didn’t take place during the amazing, big, and loud adoration that took place. It took place during the quiet of preparing my heart for Mass on Sunday morning.
Quietness is so important to the faith life as it is impossible to truly hear God speak to you without it. Following Steubenville, we went on a retreat that was mainly quiet, and it was really stressed that quiet time is the most important time to hear God in. During the short three days at the retreat center, the Father, using quiet prayer, was able to heal one part of my life and be able to prepare me for another battle going forward. Although knowing that another battle is coming, I can be at peace with this because of the healing that took place. Not during a big moment in adoration, but just a quiet moment while preparing my heart for Mass.
Make sure to take the quiet moments with God. It’s the most important part in any prayer life to reflect with Him in quietness. Big moments in adoration is great and God-given, but hearing God speak in the quietness after the big moments is even better. What could be better than conversing with the One that actually perfectly understands you?
Please keep Jack, and all our seminarians, in your prayers as he enters St. John Vianney Seminary this Fall.