Nightfever. What comes to mind when you read that?
A night club? Yeah, that's what I thought of. Then I thought of Saturday Night Live and the cowbell sketch. Others thought of being awake in the middle of the night, clammy and puking (you're welcome for the visual). Only one person told me he thought of John Travolta, which I think might be where the name technically comes from although I'm still not sure.
Whatever you thought of, my guess is that it wasn't "a night of adoration and evangelization during which hearts are touched by Christ in the Eucharist and the volunteers are transformed as much as those invited in from the street."
Or maybe it was, I don't know. But I'm guessing not.
I meant to write this update immediately after the event, but I couldn't figure out just how to put everything I was processing into a blog post. But it's been about 2 weeks so it's about time. I couldn't possibly do it justice, but I'll try to give you a taste of what Nightfever is about.
Approximately a month and a half ago, we started seriously planning for this thing called Nightfever to take place at the Cathedral on October 5th. At the time, I had no idea what we were doing. And I'll be real, my heart really was not in it for a long time. I was sort of doing it because I had the time, needed things to do, and had somehow ended up partly in charge of it (still not entirely sure how that happened).
The night of the event, I didn't have very high expectations. I was mostly concerned that if it flopped, I would look and feel like a failure. In fact, before it started, I was so nervous about the whole thing that I thought I probably really DID have a fever, and not the good kind that we were apparently trying to spread that night.
Of course I wanted to reach people and save souls and all of that, but I wasn't setting the bar very high. I just wasn't sure it would work, you know? Adoration, priests for confession, music, candles - your typical Catholic population would be all over that, but was that really going to be enough to bring in the masses? If I'm being perfectly honest, I had my doubts.
But God quickly showed me that what was about to happen was not about me at all; that His version of success was much better and more complete than my version of success; and once again that His love and mercy are extravagant, beyond measure, and far exceeding any expectations I could ever dream of having.
In short, He was about to blow my mind.
Person after person came into the Cathedral that night, to light a candle and pray. Some spoke with priests - some of them were Catholic and went to confession, some were not and just needed someone to talk with them and pray with them. I saw all of them come in - from those dressed in evening gowns to tourists to possible gangs and prostitutes. The stories are endless - I wish I could tell all of them, and I don't even know half of them.
One of the most profound experiences I had that night was when I spent a few moments singing to give the music team a break. I couldn't see the Blessed Sacrament anymore but I could see the faces of those praying in front of Him - and it blew my mind and utterly overwhelmed my heart.
Christ was meeting each of these people exactly where they were at. He knew their hearts, and His love and mercy touched each one of them - I could see it in their faces when they prayed. Their heads may not have been able to explain transubstantiation to me, but their souls recognized God in the Eucharist - and they were moved. I was watching people encounter Love.
My fear at the beginning of the night had been that the event wouldn't be enough to bring people in, to touch their hearts. Underneath all of that was really a fear that the Eucharist wasn't enough.
And perhaps that fear extended into my own life; to quote a friend, it was a prayer I didn't really even know I had.
But I watched the Holy Spirit take over that night, and God answered my unknown prayer in ways I couldn't have imagined. I watched my friends, all the volunteers, being instruments of Christ's love; I felt my own self be used by the Holy Spirit; and I watched people praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, encountering God and finding themselves deeply and truly loved by Him. And I saw clearly that He is more than enough.
So...I caught the fever.
The Eucharist is more than enough. Christ's love is more than enough. His mercy is more than enough. His grace is more than enough. He is more than enough. Let Him show you how.
If you want to know more about Nightfever, check out www.nightfever.org.