Paul began his talk with a story about his first honest prayer to God. It happened at a Steubenville Conference when the host invited the teens to pray. At first he didn’t want to. He was used to being the jokester, not the serious guy. But when he saw his friends around him praying, he eventually offered up his own awkward prayer. He joked about how different girls are from guys when it comes to crying. Like most guys, he did not want to cry. But the tears flowed that day, after saying his first honest prayer to God.

Paul read the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. He talked about he related to Peter who didn’t want to come down from the mountain. He wanted to set up tents for Jesus, Elijah and Moses. Paul said this was like his own experience. He was on fire after Steubenville and was ready to evangelize the world. But it all died a week and a half later because he went to college and “wanted to major in partying.” He said, “I was miserable. I was empty. I felt lost.” But he kept one habit; he regularly prayed the Rosary. He even had one graced moment of smelling roses while praying the Rosary. God led him back to the Sacraments and he started attending a young adult group. His mountaintop experience at Steubenville came back to him and his faith was renewed.

Paul challenged the teens, “Do you want the same life? You may have just experience this wonderful weekend, but nothing will change if you don’t change.” He asked, “What have you learned this weekend? How have you been convicted? Don’t let this weekend go to waste. Don’t let what God has done for you go to waste!”

Paul encouraged the teens to keep God close by participating in the sacraments regularly, praying daily, reading Scripture, and praying the Rosary. He stressed the importance of community and finding a mentor who can help you in your faith journey. “God does not want us to do this alone. If we hold onto God, we have the victory. God has a magnificent plan, a magnificent story for your life.”

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Written by Missy Naumann
Missy Naumann lives in St. Charles, MO with her husband, Ted and their four kids; Sam, Abby, Ben and Mary. She loves camping with her family, photography, digital scrapbooking, playing guitar and singing. She is the Program Compliance Coordinator at Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, a Social Service agency in St. Charles. When life slows down from it's sprinting pace, she finds time to read the writings of her favorite author, Fr. Jacques Philippe.