The First Day

Hey all,

Thanks for being patient in waiting for the next official blog update to be published. Things have been busy in light of the missionary endeavor we know as Love Begins Here, as Core Team members are being recruited, registration materials are officially published, and more.

Before we get to the big announcement and reflection on our theme for the LBH2011, there is a prayer request to note. Lindsay, along with support and help from the good people over at our Diocesan Offices, have submitted the FIRST Love Begins Here grant proposal to the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities. With the help of this grant, LBH would be able to grow in many new and exciting ways. Please pray for the meeting of the board which will decide on whether or not our grant gets funded, which will be happening on May 14th.

The First Day
This summer, we are going to explore what it means to live like every day is the first day of the rest of our lives. Living life knowing that we have been made a new creation through the Incarnation, continually restored through the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession means that our lives can be full of hope.

When we have been filled with hope, we will then be able to share it with our neighbors. And, that is the mission of love begins here.

The theme for this summer comes from a song by Catholic Musical Rockstar Matt Maher in his song Hold Us Together. Some of the lyrics from this song have not only helped in creating the theme for this summer, but they have also been able to provide hope and light in the midst of the toughest kind of news that has been delivered to the LBH family this past month.

Many of you have been united in prayer with the us as we have prayed for Madi, who was diagnosed with leukemia this past summer during her week on LBH. Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and support for this amazing young woman. A few weeks ago, Madi and her family learned that her body stopped responding to the treatments and she has not gone into remission.

As her mom wrote on her blog while delivering the news, “What I want for my girl, as does she, is for all who come in contact with her to CELEBRATE HER. Her life now. Live with her in this moment. Please do not grieve with her. She doesn’t want to waste another second in tears. Just be present. Just enjoy. Do not ask her or us, how much time we have. We only know that we have NOW. Do not dwell in a place of sorrow with her.”

And, by the grace of God and love of family and friends, they are doing just that. During a visit of some LBH friends with Madi, we saw her full of smiles, funny stories and hope of the life to come with Our Lord. She is living like today is the first day, an opportunity to be alive, love and change the lives of those around us. As Matt sings in our theme song…

This is the first, day of the rest of your life
‘Cause even in the dark you can still see the light
It’s gonna be alright, s’gonna be alright

Love, will, hold us together
Make us a shelter
to weather the storm

And I’ll, be, my brothers keeper
So the whole world will know
That we’re not alone

Madi, your LBH family loves you very much, and we are all continuing to offer up prayers for you every day.

Madi (left) with her favorite car group members, Slade, Jeff and Gina. Circa LBH2009.

Thanks for staying up with the latest greatest from the Love Begins Here world. Look forward to more regular updates as the summer draws near!