By Joyce Gan
SINGAPORE - Some 35 young adults underwent an "X-treme Makeover" over four weekends in July. While the term "X-treme Makeover" has been popularized by a television programme that puts people under the knife to transform how they look, these youths sought to transform their relationship with God.
These youths underwent an "X-treme Makeover" in their spiritual lives, renewing their passion for their relationship with God through this Life in the Spirit Seminar.
This Life in the Spirit Seminar (LISS) helped the youths nurture a life- hanging relationship with God with sessions held at the Church of St. Bernadette and a stay-in retreat held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Centre.
Participants were exposed to a wide range of witnesses of God's love with both religious and laypeople presenting teachings on different aspects of Christian life The youths learnt the importance of healing and repentance, prayer, Scripture and how the Christian community and service to God can help one to grow spiritually.
Different participants were touched differently. Gabriel Cher, 20, who is currently serving his National Service, testified, "I used to pray using a more or less memorized formula. But after praise and worship, I've learnt to pray more spontaneously. It has definitely made my prayer life much more enriching."
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The sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist were introduced as necessity to a life in the spirit. Fathers Gerard Weerakoon, Kenny Tan, Frederick Quek and Joseph Jeannequin administered reconciliation while Mass was celebrated by Father Tom Curran, OCD at the retreat. Prayers for healing were said individually for each participant and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit was prayed for.
Marc Khoo, 22, student at the National University of Singapore Business School, explained his new-found confidence to share about his relationship with God, "Prior to the seminar, I always felt it was best to avoid discussing these issues so openly for fear of alienating others who might not be similarly touched.
"Now, I feel that those inhibitions don't matter anymore. When you really let God use you as a canvas for his good work and embrace him with an open heart, it is such a beautiful and immeasurably joyous experience that you would want to testify with conviction about how great it is. I testify because I want others to experience the same."
Yet another participant, Theresa Yeo, 22, Engineering student at the Imperial College of London, found her rejuvenation through the sacrament of reconciliation.
The Life in the Spirit Seminar is one of the activities under the Leaders for Christ Programme of Living Stones Campus Outreach.
Living Stones is a young adult Catholic group whose purpose is to form Leaders for Christ in Singapore's universities and polytechnics.
(Information source: Living Stones Campus Outreach)