By Rachel Cantrell (Rachel is a freshman theater major from Houston, TX and a new member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.)

This past Saturday the Catholic Daughters of the Americas had the outstanding opportunity to take a step back from the world and spend the day on a girl’s retreat, focusing on what it means to be daughters of the King. It was an outstanding day of fellowship and spiritual growth.

For me, being a first time college student, as well as a first time non-Catholic-school student, the retreat was a super charge of strength. As women, the world is constantly telling us that we are too much and not enough at the same time. The day, carefully planned by Mama Kristen (definitely going to call her that now…), reminded us that we are perfect just as we are, because we are the beloved daughters of the King. We are princesses, and the whole retreat made us feel that way, from the tiara’s on the tables, to the talks given by Mama K, and to the time spent in prayer and reflection. It was a great day that made me feel very loved.

One thing that really stuck out to me is the role women have in today’s world. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said:

“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

Wow… talk about pressure! This means that, if we, as sisters in Christ, started to expect more from our brothers, change could happen. We have a special ability, different than our men, to lead people back to the Lord. There is a well known saying that a girl should be “…so lost in the Lord that a man will need to find the Lord to find her.”  If we stopped focusing on the world, and focused only on the King, others would be inspired to do the same.

My favorite part of the retreat was definitely Adoration. After spending the morning talking about the unconditional love shown to us by our Father, and the passionate love shown to us by Jesus, it was spectacular to spend some time in front of Christ loving Him right back. While there are only a few instances in Adoration that I’ve actually cried, and wasn’t really expecting to this time, when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, my eyes welled up and tears started to fall. Yet unlike my other experiences, these tears were tears of happiness. I felt the most overwhelming sense of peace and love right there looking at the Lord. Time didn’t seem to move as I sat there in front of Him, and I was able to say thank you for all of the ways He loves us.

We ended our day with Mass, and left St. Peter’s with a new resolve to be lights for the world. Overall, the retreat was a wonderful experience and I am so very pleased that I went. I challenge all girls to learn about our roles in this world, and to shine on others the way princesses are called to.

“The King is enthralled with your beauty. Honor Him, for He is your Lord.” ~ Psalm 45:11

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future.” ~ Proverbs 31:25

“God is with her, she will not fall.” ~ Psalm 45:6a

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