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Kairos 2011

February 18, 2011

February 18. 2011 – Kairos 2011

I’d tell you about Kairos, but then I’d have to kill you… it’s full of secrets such as the Naked Mass and human sacrifice……

Lies, I tell you.  Don’t listen to the Kairos lies.  Kairos is not about secrecy and fear; in fact the rumored Kairos rituals sound more like first century heretical groups than a twenty first century college retreat.  Kairos is actually about love.  Yes, love.  And no, it’s not touchy-feely, ooey-gooey, let’s-cry-over-a-movie love.  This is about real love between friends, God, and ourselves.

I had the privilege of leading a Kairos retreat in high school, so I went into the DU Kairos with a bit of an “I know the secrets already” mindset.  That was overturned soon, though, because this Kairos was different.  Retreats in college are mature, for they are very respectful of personal space and allow one to go at one’s own pace.  Sure there are still icebreakers, but hey, who doesn’t like the occasional game of “Simon Says”?  No one is forced to get into the fun, but most people do once they realize just how wonderful it can be.  The power of Kairos is what you learn:  realizations that you are not alone, you are heard by God, and you are loved.

My favorite moments were the tearful and joyful ones, and yes, they often occurred at the same time.  I’ve heard it said that tears can be a gift of the Holy Spirit, so certainly I was given the gift of peaceful, relieving, cathartic tears.  Nothing can make you cry like realizing that who you are is who you are meant to be.  The challenges this presents can be difficult, but as I’ve also heard it said, overcoming them is what gives life meaning.  Change what you must and accept what you can’t, but never give up loving yourself.

Sometimes retreats can end in a thud, with everyone returning to school and returning to their normal lives.  Kairos prevents the post-retreat thud by building relationships within the community.  Honestly, I can walk down the hallways and see a friend from Kairos who I might not have noticed before.  Because of Kairos I have new friends—yeah “Team Taupe”!

Whether you don’t acknowledge a god or are really involved in your religion, Kairos will make your faith stronger, even if it’s your faith in yourself.  I would encourage you to go on a Kairos or to talk to someone who went.  While they might not tell you everything that happened, their bright eyes and smile will give you an idea of what Kairos can do for someone, and that’s no secret.

P.S.  I’m the one in the middle with the pink sweater on my nose 🙂

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