Raffa shares her experience of the MN Beginning Day
The Minnesota and Iowa communities held their Beginning Day in Stillwater, MN. Filled with the desire to spend time together, we gathered for a very simple, yet very beautiful, day. For me, personally, the Beginning Day was a moment filled with recognition and gratitude.
It was a gesture that I would describe as a family celebration in its simplicity. This was true from the very preparation of our day together. Planning for this day with friends was a beautiful experience in itself. I found we wanted to do our best in the arrangements not for the sake of some good performance, but with the same desire that comes when you prepare a feast at home, awaiting someone you love: you come together with your loved ones and, collectively, you think about what you need or what they might like. And that was also our Beginning Day: someone took care of booking the space, someone else took care of technology, someone took care of songs, of the celebration of Mass, of the dinner together, and of setting the beautifully-decorated tables. Our eldest kids even assisted a few adults in taking care of the little ones!
During that half day in community, we were able to experience familiarity, mutual aid, joy, and gratitude for being together. But this gratitude was not, and is not, generated by the fleeting sentimentality of feeling comfortable or having a good time. It is instead generated by the awareness that the Lord has given us a home where we belong because He is there. He lives in that home, and belonging there gives me the possibility to learn to know Him and love Him more and more. We have been given a home, and being faithful to this judgment, in time, bears fruit. This was clear and moving for me to witness that day in Stillwater among the friends that the Lord has given me.
Raffa, Rochester, MN