I have the privilege of being part of the Landings program at St. Thérèse Chinese Catholic Church for the past couple of weeks. We have one "returning" Catholic who is participating in the program. I know that sounds ridiculous, but we didn't expect a large participation. And since this is our first time conducting this program, it makes it a little easier.
Confidentiality is critical to the success of the Landings program, so I'll only talk about my own impressions and reflections. To be honest, I feel like a wide-eyed child listening to the others speak of their faith! Some of their stories are amazing!
During one session, I was supposed to give a ten minute reflection on the Holy Spirit. Lord, knows I love to talk, but I understand that some people might not want to listen for even ten minutes, no matter how fascinating my story might be. So I told it how it happened:
The other day I thought about something in my life that I thought I should be worried about. I realized I wasn't worried about it because the Holy Spirit had sent God's Peace to me and I knew that the situation was in God's hands.
A few people were taken aback by my little speech, but a couple of them understood that sometimes, that's how God works.
When it was my turn to tell my conversion story, I was allowed 30 minutes. I laughed and said, "I can do it in fifteen." And I did. I do this because my own mind wanders after a time when people are talking and before I know it, I've tuned out most of their story.
Listening is also critical to this program. We all have a story and a reflection to tell and listening validates the storyteller. Though we are there to help our returnee, I have discovered my own spiritual world opening up with new insights into faith.
In today's Gospel the story is about Jesus raising from the dead a little girl and healing a woman who hemorrhages. In the Landings program, we are all being awakened and healed just by telling our stories.