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Four Years at the Mount

Sophomore Year

Whatís it mean for your life

Samantha Strub

(Oct, 2010) We go to a Catholic university; we constantly see expressions of faith around campus everywhere you turn. There are numerous chapels, and you seem to pass them any time you walk to class, get food, or go over to the ARCC. Though we have these wonderful places, itís surprising that a lot of students donít take advantage of the opportunities they present.

I understand why itís difficult. I have problems each day using such opportunities to build my faith and a lot of times I fall. There are always so many other things to do around campus-- classes, homework, different sports and clubs, the ARCC, social outlets--that you seem to put religion in the back of your mind, thinking, "Oh, the chapel, Iíve got stuff to do; Iíll just get to that when Iím not busy." That is my attitude sometimes, and everyone has those days, but the beauty of it is that God understands and will be there to pick you up when youíre down. In reality, however, you have to bring on the mindset that God is in every aspect of your life from when youíre at church on Sunday night, to classes, to hanging out with friends, and even at that party on Friday night.

The hardest part of life is letting someone else control itóto be there through the good and the bad. Thatís what faith is really about, having "The serenity to accept the things that you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference." God doesnít let you go through anything in life alone, even though honestly it sometimes seems as if He does. He is carrying you along on this roller coaster ride. He gives you challenges in life to help you prepare for the future. These difficulties help you become the person that God has designed you to be from the very beginning. People will hate you for being who you are, and you will lose friends along the way, but the one friend who will always be by your side no matter where you go and how often you fall is God.

Itís hard to live out your faith anywhere, but I believe itís hardest when youíre in college. There are always so many other things to do, places to go, and people to see that itís very easy to just let your faith go. If you push it back to where people wonít see it, you can be a different person than you were in high school. But sooner or later you will come back because, at the end of the day, youíre normally the person you have always been.

The close-knit community at Mount St. Maryís helps you on your journey with Christ whether you are Catholic or not. The community provides the tools you need to advance wherever you are on your journey. The community is there all around campus, through the Focus leaders, Campus Ministry, Bible study, retreats and Masses. The leaders of all these organizations help you daily on that rough journey. Like angels sent down from heaven, they can lift you up when you are having a rough time, and they can goof around with you so you can just be yourself. I have found that they embody that little voice in your head that guides you through life, and they are also friends you can rely on. Some of my closest friends have come from my Bible study sessions. Always there through thick and thin, these people will someday be at my wedding.

Our chaplain, Fr. Brian, reinforces the guidance that we receive from the Focus leaders as he moves you in Sunday homilies, preaching about things that hit you in ways that you would never expect. It seems lately that every time I walk into church I walk out with a life lesson about Godís point of view about things that happen in everyday life. I learn not to hold grudges, how Godís love is the perfect kind of love, and how God will never betray you even if others will. Fr. Brian has the gift of relating to college students. He gives you Godís perspective on lifeís joys, pains, and sorrows. He guides us in confessions and conversations. Just randomly seeing him around campus reminds me of Godís power in our lives.

Having the option of talking to Jesus in a chapel just minutes away is overwhelming if you think about it. You feel guilty when you realize how much He loves you and how often you let Him down. The beauty of Godís love is that itís endless: no matter what you do He always wants to show you how much He loves you. Now itís up to you to realize how that knowledge is going to affect your life.

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount