By guest blogger Danielle Sardone ’16
My hope for this Lent is to grow closer to God through reflection, prayer, and my relationships with others. In past years, I have chosen to give up a single food or a particular habit during the season of Lent. Although this type of fasting allowed me to feel connected to my faithfulness, I do not feel like this alone was enough to truly strengthen my relationship with God. Therefore, this Lent I am wholeheartedly striving to let the presence of God shine through all aspects of my life. Even through the busyness that the semester will bring, it is my goal to always put God above all things.
One way that I hope accomplish this is through morning prayer. I have decided to set aside enough time each morning to reflect, thank God, and begin each day with God. Sometimes, I might find it helpful to set a particular intention for my day. This could be an area that I am having difficulty with, or possibly something that has little to do with me at all. Either way, it is most important to me that I become more reflective about the types of prayers that I have with God. I want to thank God more, rather than always asking Him for things. I want to pray for others more, rather than remaining concentrated on myself. Most importantly, I want to seek God’s guidance at all times so that I am able to base all of my decisions and actions around His love.
Last year during Lent I encountered things that made it difficult for me to be fully open to God’s plan for me. However, I now realize how much I would have gained from being less set on what I pictured in my mind and more willing to trust in God’s plan for me. One quote that I continue to reflect upon states, “God sometimes takes us into troubled waters not to drown us but to cleanse us.” Therefore, I hope that I am able to trust in God’s plan for me even in the darkest of times. I know that some days it will be more difficult to feel God’s love than others, yet I must always be reminded of its presence.
This Lent, I hope to not only deepen my relationship with God, but to also act as a symbol of God’s love in the process. I hope to reflect this love through all of the relationships in my life, and to all people that I encounter each day during Lent. Ultimately, I hope that this Lent will enable me to reshape my life so that God is at the center and that all other things mold around His love.
By guest blogger Danielle Sardone ’16 My hope for this Lent is to grow closer to God through reflection, prayer,... MORE
By guest blogger Keith Lee ’18
I often take going to a Catholic and Dominican school for granted. It is not until I speak with friends from other colleges that I remember how lucky I am to have so many opportunities to grow in faith offered each day—Mass, adoration, confession. The simple presence of the chapel on campus serves as a calming influence and reminds me to keep God first. One of my favorite services offered on campus is Lauds with the Dominican community. Before coming to Providence, I had never participated in prayer with any religious order. I remember the first time I went early on during my freshman year. One of the Friars got up and welcomed the group of students I was with and assured us that we would always be welcome to pray alongside the Dominicans at any time. He further reminded us that the Friars are always praying for the students. Despite the initial confusion of altering between sides in chants, bowing, and sitting, I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to Lauds and felt welcomed by the Friars.
Amidst the business of college life, there have sadly only been a few times when I returned to the Priory for prayer. Knowing what a blessed opportunity I have to pray with such a faithfully devoted community, I really want to try and deepen my prayer life by attending Lauds more regularly. This Lenten season, one of my promises is to attend morning prayer and Mass at the Priory a few times each week. Getting out of bed a few hours earlier is never an easy feat, but starting my day off in a peaceful and contemplative state has been a much-needed improvement in my life. I find that spending time in silence followed by the prayer recitals has given me a fresh outlook each day. When I do not go the Priory, my morning prayers are usually said in my dorm while I am getting ready or while I am walking to breakfast. In these cases, my mind becomes easily distracted and is drawn away from the Lord. However, in the small chapel alongside the Friars, I can more deeply concentrate and reflect. Throughout the rest of the day, the short time spent in deep prayer helps me to keep God at the center of my activities and interactions. I feel reenergized in my faith and am better able to be merciful and compassionate in my actions. I hope that being diligent in my attendance of morning prayer will lead to refined habit that I can continue throughout the rest of my time at Providence.
By guest blogger Keith Lee ’18 I often take going to a Catholic and Dominican school for granted. It is... MORE