29 Apr

No, it’s not a magic word. It won’t summon Harry Potter to come zipping along on his broom.

But the word signifies power – a great and good power. XLT is an abbreviation for “exalt.”

XLT is a celebration of faith in song, praise, scripture, reflection and Eucharistic adoration. It’s like a week-long retreat compressed into 90 minutes because it is centered on worship and praise of God, not on what God can do for me or us. It is seeing God’s love and goodness in our own lives and in all creation.

Last evening in our own St. Mary Magdalen Parish we experienced XLT.

At the end of the event (does XLT ever end … can gratitude to God ever end), people of all ages gradually left the church – gradually, because they didn’t want to leave. They were hugging, laughing and still high on God’s love and his glory and majesty. Outside, members of Life Teen (our vibrant youth ministry) served lemonade and the celebration continued. Folks just didn’t want to leave.

Now what? That’s the question that looms in the minds of people who organize, who want to have follow-up to this or that experience. Indeed, now what?

I can only share what I experienced.

During the silence of Eucharistic adoration, I really listened to the Lord. If you know me personally or through my writings, you know that I am a workaholic and a control freak – and I have more than a tendency toward impatience and anger. You know that I have an almost anxious concern for people who do not yet believe in God and his love, for our nation in these trying times and for our Church which needs waking up.

While our Lord was reigning on our parish altar, I followed the reflection available at the door of the church, “Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament.” This prayerful reflection helps you to listen to God. It was then that I did indeed, according to this prayer, ask the Lord to heal a dear friend with a serious disease, to grant salvation to our children and all our descendants, to reveal to me what his will was for me.

But here’s a wonderful thing: Because I had been, with everyone else, in a spirit of praise, my petitions to the Lord were confident, open, willing to hear him and accept his will. It was not demanding; nor was it filled with anxiety or doubt.

This morning at prayer, I reflected on our XLT experience, on what the Lord had revealed to me in prayer, namely, that I have to surrender to him,finally and totally, and let him work in my life. The result is this prayer:

Lord, it’s just me. I am at your disposal.

(But Lord, how long will this last?)


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