While most teenage girls were on a date with their boyfriend or having a rom-com marathon with their girlfriends on Valentine's day, I was hanging out with the best Valentine you could ask for: Jesus.
This weekend I had the amazing opportunity to go on an Ancora retreat. Ancora is an international Catholic girls' group that focuses on helping girls pray for vocations, their own and others', and pray for the pope.
The theme of this retreat was Get Connected: get connected with God, get connected with others, and get connected with yourself. I can honestly say that I now have a connection with God that I didn't have before this retreat. And not only do I have a connection with Him, but I am so inspired to help others get connected with Him too.
One thing that really struck me during this retreat was that creating a connection with God takes time. Though sometimes we might think that, by going to confession or adoration or mass, we will automatically become a saint. That we will automatically be able to hear God's voice in our hearts. But for most people, this is not how it happens.
Think of becoming friends with a real person. Usually, this is how it works: a friend or family member introduces you to the person. You tell them your name, and some basic things about yourself. You might exchange phone numbers or emails. Then you'll talk a little bit more. You'll hang out a few times. Gradually you start to become friends. You'll talk to each other about your problems and fears, the things you wouldn't want most people the know. You have a connection. It is exactly the same with God. You are introduced by your family or friends. You think He's pretty cool. So you decide to start talking a little bit. You tell Him about yourself, but only the good things. Not the things you're ashamed of. But gradually as you talk more and learn more about Him, you will realize how much He loves you; you won't care about trying to hide anything. You'll talk to Him about your problems and fears, and if you listen really closely, He will talk back to you. You will have a connection.
Dear God, please help me to have a stronger connection with You. Help me to pray. Help me to be honest with You, and to not be too ashamed to hold anything back. Help me to quiet my heart and mind, so that I can hear Your voice. Amen.