By Kim Shelden Padan
Recently, ten young people from our parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation during a Sunday morning Mass. I was blessed to be a part of the choir, singing praise to God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As the choir intoned the Taize chant, “Veni Sancte Spiritus,” I sang the solo verses, at times lifting my hands – just a little bit. This girl definitely has some Charismatic juices flowing through her veins!
I haven’t always been like this; in fact, for years I was quite timid. Shy in school, shy with friends, shy with those nice church ladies I watched when I was a child. Perhaps I was soaking it all in.
Once Confirmed, I felt I’d blossomed in confidence as a person and in my faith, but still lacked my own voice. I knew God loved me but didn’t know what that truly meant for my day to day life. My senior year, I attended a Teens Encounter Christ retreat, where I first felt a personal love for Jesus, and a personal connection to the workings of the Holy Spirit. This retreat set my heart on fire for the Lord!
My zeal has grown over the years; I am now nearly 54! I am far from perfect in living out this beautiful Catholic faith, but the Holy Spirit still guides me, as He offers to guide each of us. We can seek wisdom in decision making, ask for discernment when sharing our faith with friends and family, and lean on the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, for intercession in our time of need.
In Anah’s story found in Chapter 6 of Walk in Her Sandals, we see that she is trying to find her voice and her role as a believer in Christ. Her joy is bursting at the seams! She is open to the workings of the Spirit. It is that openness, an openness we should all seek, that encourages her to approach a group of women. May her words become our own.
Peace be with you, my sisters, I am Kim. I can tell you about Jesus. Oh, how my heart is burning to tell you!
Who are you burning to tell about the love of Christ? How do you see the Holy Spirit empowering you to follow through on that desire?
Kim is a self-professed charismatic-pentecostal-evangelical Catholic who uses far too many exclamation points! She loves travel (!), stamping greeting cards (!), reading (!), and the Chicago Cubs!! Her pro-life upbringing was put to the test when she was encouraged to abort her son Gabriel. Kim rejected the idea of abortion, and after losing her son at birth, she felt compelled to get involved in the movement. Kim served on the board of the local pregnancy help ministry for seven years, then as Executive Director for eleven years. Since stepping down, she has begun her formation as a Lay Dominican, and uses her charism for preaching as a writer and speaker wherever God permits. She has a periodic column, “Called to Witness,” in the Peoria Diocesan paper, The Catholic Post, and currently serves as the President of the Peoria Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Kim has been married to Bruce, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, since 1993. Together they fostered 41 children, ages 4-18, over eight years. They now enjoy the blessings of non-traditional grand-parenthood! Kim blogs at http://gabrielsmom.com