“But Sterling, I don’t have the time or the money to go to conferences and retreats!”  I know, I’ll address that below but first, let me tell you why you REALLY need to add these two events into your life every year.  Here are five reasons you should go to religious conferences and retreats.

  • Give God the Opportunity to Speak to You
    The wonderful God of the Universe can speak to you anytime He wants.  But there are times when we make it much easier for Him to do so.  One of the great benefits of a religious conference or retreat is that we create a wide open space for Him to speak to us.  He has a very special message for each one of us and He will use the opportunity to put something in your heart.  It’s always amazing to me to hear what women say after the Catholic Women Rejoice  They are each touched in such different way!  It helps me to see the great power of God and how He loves each one of us uniquely and Has a different plan for each one of us.
  • Build Up A Defense Against Worldly Slime
    I really believe as we live in this world, we are in a constant state of being covered in slime and then we have to de-slime ourselves. This slime can come from negative advertisements, negative comments, overhearing other people’s negative comments, the anxiousness of being late or unorganized, knowing that we chose poorly and reaching the end of the day and realizing we didn’t really connect with anyone in a genuine way. We must remember that there is no way to avoid this.  We were not meant for this world and so we will never be comfortable in it. This is why we need to pray everyday. In addition to prayer though, when we attend these powerful religious events, it’s like we build up a protection against the slime.  We come out strong and resilient able to resist more of the world’s ugliness and lies.
  • Remember You’re Not Alone
    Being Catholic can feel very lonely in today’s world.  Many of us are afraid to say we’re Catholic.  We’re kind of embarrassed by our faith.  I completely understand this even though I know it’s not how we should be.  We should have a great pride for our faith but it has a very bad reputation right now.  We need to remember that we are not alone and that it is only the lies that are ugly about Catholicism.  The truth of Catholicism is beautiful and warm. There is a great Catholic community out there even if you don’t see them everyday.  By spending time in a room filled with Catholics, you will find renewed pride in your faith and great joy being in your own community. We need each other to celebrate the great joys and to carry the great crosses we all face.
  • Help You Come Back to Center
    Our priorities get messed up all the time.  Sometimes we’re up, sometimes we’re down.  We have weeks we’re really focused on work and weeks we have to be really focused on major events (i.e. weddings, anniversaries, holidays, work deadlines, soccer tournaments etc.) But we need Catholic events to help re-calibrate our spiritual compass and bring us back to center.  That means making God the center of our lives from which all other things flow.  Conference and retreats are great for helping us align ourselves with the one and true top priority that we should all share, honoring Him.
  • Get You Off The Fence
    Many of us are constantly chewing on major decisions. Should we move?  Should I look for another job?  What should I study?  What am I going to do about schooling my children?  Where can I meet my husband?  These questions rattle around our brains and it seems like nothing will help us to nail them down and give them a true and lasting answer.  But in Jesus we find peace and He can help give us that peace at Catholic events.  It’s often at major events that I suddenly have great clarity about a decision I’ve been struggling with.  It may be something that I’ve known all along was the right decision but perhaps I was scared.  Jesus helps melt away my fear and give me the courage I need to tackle my new plans.  You too can find hope and clarity at Catholic events.

“Now Sterling, are you just saying this because the Catholic Women Rejoice conference is coming up on August 29th and you want me to go?”  Absolutely!  I would love it if every Catholic women in Oregon and Washington could come to this conference.  I know that it has the power to change your life.  I know that it has the healing you’re searching for.  I know there is love and friendship to be found at this conference.  But even if you can’t come to the CWR conference, I urge you to find another conference or another retreat to put on your calendar.

Find a Catholic speaker or a conference that works with your schedule and make it a priority to go.  You may miss out on some other fun events that weekend but I promise it will be worth it.  Your soul wants the healing and the strength that you receive at these Catholic events.  If you don’t have the money, call and ask if there are scholarships.  Most of these events are run, not to make money, but as ministries and so they usually have a scholarship program available.  Transportation and childcare can be barriers to coming.  And you may be in a season of life when you really cannot make it.

But if the reason you can’t make it is because you haven’t asked for help, don’t let that stop you.  As for a ride or for childcare, you may be surprised at the results.  The best way to make yourself a priority, is to make God a priority first.  Reach out for Him and He will give you what you need. We find true beauty in our beliefs and one of the best places to find that is at Catholic events.

Don’t wait, just pick one and sign up for it!