Overcoming Roadblocks

Upon reflecting on this year’s Regional Youth Conference’s name, Journey, I came to an arguably simple conclusion: a journey is not like a road trip or vacation.  It is not a temporary endeavour but an ongoing adventure.  For us Catholics, it is the ultimate pilgrimage to our homeland: heaven.  As someone who has always had a deep love for travel, I think I can relate the aspects of a road trip to the features of a journey:

  1. For both, there are many joyful and profound checkpoints to reach and expect
  2. There are conversely just as much suffering and miles of bleak, dull asphalt roads to endure

On my journey to Conference, I’ve experienced my fair share of roadblocks and moments of discouragement. After North 2 chapter’s Camp Immaculate, I became incredibly ill and physically exhausted. On top of that, the stress of final exams seemed to hover over my shoulders like a cartoon anvil. The spiritual momentum from that weekend began to die down and eventually flat-lined into a mechanical prayer routine.  Part of me begged myself to rest and hibernate in my room for a few weeks, but I know this is where the Lord was asking me to persevere in my slothfulness.

For this year’s RYC, I am expecting my heart and mind to be stretched to better love, know, and serve my Lord.  I am excited to encounter Christ through the Eucharist and through the people I meet. Simply put, I am expecting an abundance of joy. As such, I should be equipping myself mentally, spiritually, and even physically for a weekend of blessings. I am currently challenging myself to grow in virtue, increase the quality of my prayer life, receive the sacraments, and be accountable for my household.  

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).  

I see this verse is an invitation to surrender to the Holy Spirit.  I am comforted in knowing that my true rest lies in the Lord and not in my own definition of comfort (aka Netflix).  And lastly, it serves as a powerful reminder that God will be with me through the stressful weeks leading up to RYC.

Loving Father, I ask that You equip and prepare us for this Regional Youth Conference. Dispel any stress of fears that may hinder us from trusting in Your will and plan for us.  Shower us with the courage and prudence to persevere through our struggles, so that we may glorify You this RYC.  In Jesus’ name,


Mona Bawagan – North 2 Chapter Head | CFC-Youth Pacific Region