By guest blogger Madeleine Veith ’16
“The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31).
One of the hardest things I’ve learned at Providence College is that it is scary to want the good for ourselves, or rather, the very best. That the truth can sometimes hurt, but that it also sets us free. And one of the greatest challenges I am seeing in the Year of Mercy is my fear of pursuing my dreams or loving myself in the way I seek to love others. This Lent, I made the decision to refine practices of self care that I consistently fail in. I am bad at taking care of myself, because I worry that when things are going well, whatever goes wrong will be out of my control. Therefore, if I cause the things that go wrong, they can be calculated, predicted, and controlled. For 40+ days, I decided to follow a very strict diet, one that I committed to in July and have been terrible at adhering to since October. It is intimidating, frustrating, and can feel limiting, but there is power in the control of doing good for myself.
We are made in the image and likeness of God. This has been repeated to me for years now, and it consistently frustrates me. I fall into believing that others are great and that I am terrible, or vice versa. But it is an entirely new world when one recognizes the dignity in our neighbor and in ourselves. Recently, I came up with a rule that if I wouldn’t let friends say certain negative things about themselves, I couldn’t say those things about myself. Learning to love myself, in the good and the bad, is uncharted territory.
I struggle to love myself in the way that I want to love others. I love to serve difficult populations; some of my favorite groups have been inmates, the homeless, refugees, and middle schoolers. It is easy to love the joyful, happy, and faithful, but love necessitates giving and receiving love when it is hard or requires vulnerability. We all need love, but I’ve only just begun to understand that I need to let love in before I can adequately, charitably love anyone else. So this Lent, I’m working on self care, a task that seems intimidating in a culture of less sleep, lots of coffee, and living ‘carefree.’ By no means have I accomplished much, but I am learning what it means to be gentle with myself. But I could never do this alone. I am incorporating prayer into this diet, fasting, whatever you want to call it. The Examen Prayer, which was established by St. Ignatius, gives me the avenue to recognize what I’m grateful for, and what went well and poorly in my day. By the grace of God, it is giving me an opportunity to explore my emotions, the movements of my heart, and to recognize virtues and vices within myself.
I am so far from perfect. I am struggling to love myself, others, and God. But I am learning, ever so slowly, that if I am able to love myself like I love others, I can take on this campus, graduation, and this world with a great Advocate by my side.
By guest blogger Madeleine Veith ’16 “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no... MORE
Guest Blogger: Nicole Rossi
The website states that, “SEEK is a gathering of college students on a journey. It’s a place where we can come together to take on some of life’s BIGGER questions and, like guides along the way, learn from one another where wisdom and experience lead. Life is meant to be lived and in order to live it to the fullest, we need to heed the wisdom that calls us to ‘ask, seek and knock’ to discover who we are, where we’re going and what motivates us. Presented by FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, SEEK2015 is an adventurous five-day event in Nashville from January 1st – 5th. With unexpected twists and turns, you will be challenged, inspired and left wanting more. Don’t go it alone, let’s seek together.”
That is simply not enough to describe the powerful experience.
“Come and see.” Well that is exactly what we did. 18 of us travelled from our hometowns right after Christmas to Nashville, TN, to spend a week with over 9,500 other college students sharing our faith. Incredible is an understatement. Powerful is more fitting. After morning mass each day, the women and men were separated for a Women’s Talk and Men’s Talk, in which the speakers address specific gender issues in today’s society. The various speakers ranged from a nun who shared her faith journey to an atheist sharing her journey towards Catholicism. (I was not allowed at the men’s talks-even though I tried to sneak in a few times). After a brief break for lunch, there were opportunities for different topic “Impact Talks” to attend. There were about 10 options for each of the 2 Impact Sessions each day. This allowed you to follow what sincerely related to you or what you needed to hear. Most of the Impact Sessions, I attended with fellow classmates and we were able to discuss our reactions after. I found that being surrounded by those who believe in the same faith and who are struggling with similar cultural and societal pressures deepened my own relationship with God and those around me.
Vulnerable is the perfect word to encompass all that it feels to be open to one another and to God during this experience. The keynote speech that
ended each day was so moving sharing it with the 10,000 other students. Being together in a huge room just proved how important the role of community plays especially in faith.
This experience was not one of one sole purpose, but of personal growth and strength. There were 18 people from PC who attended the conference, meaning that there were 18 different lessons learned, lives impacted, and blessings given by God. It was not a week of “How to Be the Perfect Catholic,” but a week of accepting the love that God has for each and every one of His creations. Sure, we learned how to navigate through the obstacles society places on college kids who chose to practice their faith, but more importantly we learned that we are called to love unconditionally as God loves us. SEEK empowered me in ways that have truly impacted my life and have strengthened and solidified my faith as my foundation. Now I will always answer “yes” when asked to “come and see..”
Guest Blogger: Nicole Rossi The website states that, “SEEK is a gathering of college students on a journey. It’s a... MORE
Guest Blogger: Brendan Kelly
On Saturday, November 22nd, the Knights of Columbus hosted Campus Ministry’s first ever Dinner Date Dance in the Campus Ministry Center. Over 80 people attended the event and, through ticket sales, over $700 was raised to help Christians in the Middle East.
The Campus Ministry Center was completely transformed from its typical set up, with flowers, black and white decorations, and candlelight along with a dance floor.
The evening started with an hour during which those in attendance, dressed in semi-formal attire, enjoyed conversation and delicious hors d’oeuvres. This was followed by a sit-down dinner with a three course menu prepared by Assistant Chaplain Father Justin Brophy featuring pasta in vodka sauce, chicken stuffed with couscous and asparagus, and an array of freshly baked desserts. After dinner, students headed to the dance floor, which was full for the rest of the evening.
This event was a complete success and was better than I could have imagined. A huge thanks to Father Justin, Community Life, and everyone who helped put this event together. Everyone had an amazing time and it was a great alternative to spending a Saturday night in the library or off campus and provided a fun environment where everyone could get dressed up and have fun.
Guest Blogger: Brendan Kelly On Saturday, November 22nd, the Knights of Columbus hosted Campus Ministry’s first ever Dinner Date Dance in... MORE
Campus Ministry is sponsoring a Dinner Date Dance November 22nd at 7 pm in the Campus Ministry Center! There will be a cocktail hour followed by a sit-down dinner and dancing. Attire is semi-formal.
Tickets are $10 for individuals and $15 for couples. Tickets are on sale this week in the Campus Ministry Center. All proceeds go to help Christians in the Middle East.
Campus Ministry is sponsoring a Dinner Date Dance November 22nd at 7 pm in the Campus Ministry Center! There will... MORE