Tag Archives: Faith

Why We Minister: Fr. Pete McCormick, C.S.C.

Fr. Pete McCormick, C.S.C., Director, Campus Ministry

Out into the Deep

As Faith began to wade out into the water, I attached her skis and taught her the basics of what to do when the boat began to pull.  Confident that she had a good enough sense of the mechanics, I told her to sit down in the water and close her eyes.  After a quizzical look, she settled into the water, closed her eyes and at that moment I cupped my hands and splashed her in the face with enough water to get a quick “What did you do that for?”  I looked at her and said, “Most water skiers your age fail not because they can’t pull themselves out of the water, but because the water hits them in the face and they start to panic.” 

Fr. Pete on the water!

With water dripping from her face, she smiled and settled in for her first attempt.  It wasn’t until the fourth try that we hit pay dirt.  Faith made almost an entire loop around the truncated path that my uncle carved out on her maiden voyage.  About 100 yards from shore Faith encountered a set of waves that looked fierce, and in fact they were fierce.  I watched her go up and down, up and down, and then just down. 

Splash!  After my uncle circled back and began bringing Faith to shore I could see her standing on the boat like George Washington on his way across the Delaware.  When she finally made it back, Faith looked over and said, “Now that was a lot of water.”

The key to our spiritual faith is to be equally expressive.  Jesus asks his disciples in St. Matthew’s Gospel to clarify who people think he is.  They respond by saying: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.  However, St. Peter filled with faith replies, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” 

St. Peter, the fisherman by trade, the one who had a documented temper from time to time, who would go on to deny Christ three times, recognizes that Jesus is the Messiah.  Jesus’ response was clear and direct:  “… you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church…”. 

Was St. Peter fully ready for Jesus’ invitation?  Debatable.  Yet, the compelling fact about faith is that it never leaves us where we started and rarely offers a complete road map for how to get there.  When Jesus first encountered St. Peter on the Sea of Galilee he didn’t unfurl a ten-point plan on the benefits of following Him.  Jesus simply said, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  That same invitation to follow is extended to us today.  How do we respond? 

First, we can stay near the shore and play it safe.  The waves will pose a minimal threat and we’ll have no fear of the water hitting our face.  This lifestyle tends to be more predictable, minimal risk, less stress and a greater reliance on our own abilities. 

Or, we can let Jesus pull us into the deeper water where the waves are bigger, trust and belief are essential and we are reminded that the answers we seek are sometimes too big to solve in a lifetime.   

When answering the question of “Why I Minister?”, I hope that it is because I’m willing to let literal and figurative water hit me in the face.  To be out a little deeper than I’d prefer, but always trust that the one who called and even tugged me here will also see me through.  As St. Paul so beautifully points out in his letter to the Romans, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!  For from him and through him and for him are all things.” 

I cannot promise that a life lived with faith will be perfect.  You will fall and fail.  Further, I cannot guarantee that everything will go according to plan: majors will change, relationships will change, priorities will change, and you will change. 

I can promise that lives dedicated to faith will ultimately transform relationships, improve communities and bring us all a step closer to the Kingdom of Heaven.   

Why We Minister: Tami Schmitz

Tami Schmitz, Associate Director of Student Ministry

     “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From second grade until I entered the collegiate world at age 18, the answer to this question was “a teacher or a social worker.”  I come from a family of teachers and have always loved school, so teaching seemed like a natural fit. I also had a heart for the poor and wondered if working for a service agency was my calling.  Of course, God had a bit of a different plan which took shape most intensely and beautifully during my college years.

    “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From second grade until I entered the collegiate world at age 18, the answer to this question was “a teacher or a social worker.”  I come from a family of teachers and have always loved school, so teaching seemed like a natural fit. I also had a heart for the poor and wondered if working for a service agency was my calling.  Of course, God had a bit of a different plan which took shape most intensely and beautifully during my college years.

     My four years as an undergraduate at St. Norbert College were some of the best years of my life.  I formed friendships that continue to be some of the most important in my life to this day. I loved my professors and my classes (well, most of them…Statistics is another story!). By sophomore year, I claimed “Sociology” as my major.  I was very involved in extra-curricular’s ranging from Hall Government to intramural sports to community service.

Tami, right, and her St. Norbert College roommate Pam

      One of the largest influences during my time at St. Norbert was something called “Campus Ministry.” This was something I never heard of as I was a product of the public school system and tended to my faith through my home parish on Sundays and in weekly CCD classes.  I had never heard of a person called a “Campus Minister.”  My dear Aunt Lois played the organ at my parish every Sunday morning, so that was about the closest thing to a professional lay minister I had encountered up to that point in my life and she was a volunteer!  Slowly, but surely, I became more involved in this thing called “Campus Ministry” and developed wonderful relationships with members of the team which included both lay men and women and Norbertine priests.  The Masses, retreats, Bible Study, the First Communion Class I taught, and the community service I participated in all helped shape me in ways I never intended or expected. I had some wonderful Theology classes, too!

     I share this part of my journey because those four years were the most transformative years of my life (so far!).  By the time I reached senior year, my answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” became clear. I answered, “a Campus Minister!”  My faith had grown in ways I never imagined. I realized I actually had a “vocation” and was hearing God invite me to a life of ministry within the Church.  I was being called to integrate my faith into my entire lifestyle, including my job.  I had wonderful spiritual directors and friends along the way who helped me sort through this experience.  I encountered Jesus in a profound way through the people, classes, and experiences I had during those years. I could not deny the discipleship I was being invited into by God.

     Since 1986 (the year I launched into the workforce as a college graduate), I’ve always served as a full-time minister. I dabbled in parish and high school ministry for a few years, but truly found my calling in college Campus Ministry and have been serving in that role for the past 25 years.  It’s no huge secret why I may have landed here since my own college years were so transformative for my journey of faith.  I simply love college students! I love the stage of life between 18-22 years of age because college students are asking some of the most important life questions: What are my core beliefs? Who is God and what difference does faith make? What should be my major? What’s my vocation? What are the most important relationships in my life? What does our world need from me to make it better? What are my gifts and passions?”

Tami and ND students walking the Camino in Spain

     Walking with students as they wrestle with, ponder, and embrace some of these most important questions of their lives is the greatest joy of my life.  I look to Jesus and see how he “walked” with a variety of people on their journey of faith such as the woman at the well, the man born blind, the paralytic, and the disciples and I feel called to do the same, particularly with college students.  There are many things that can easily distract students from paying attention to their faith lives. There are many “things” that seemingly satisfy us in life. However, I found that there is nothing better, or more meaningful, than following Jesus, who is “living water,” the “bread of life,” and our “Good Shepherd.” I simply want to share that message and help students encounter Jesus along the way. As students grapple with important life questions, as a minister, I love the opportunity to remind them to not forget about Jesus and their faith lives during their time of discernment. In fact, I suggest that one’s faith and values is a great place to START when considering the “BIG” questions.

        When a ND student is asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I hope the answer has something to do with their passion, their gifts, and most importantly, their faith in Jesus which will inspire them to be the “good news” wherever God is sending them into the world.

Jesus, I Trust in You

Bridgid Smith, Anchor Senior Intern

As an Arts and Letters major I take great delight in reading hundreds of pages by multiple authors that cover a variety of topics, finding the common threads in all of them, synthesizing the most important points and finally focusing in on crucial themes. Though it can be a somewhat taxing process – one that a person might be tempted to skirt by seeking summaries – it does involve an element of excitement and discovery when that “light bulb” moment comes and things just begin to make sense and fit together.

Carrying over this practice of finding common themes over to my life in relationship with Christ I’ve noticed that trust has been coming up over and over again. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’m a second semester senior and really have no idea what I’m doing next year.  It’s comforting, I guess, to say “I trust that something will work out,” but stopping there would be selling trust much too short. The simple prayer, the mere five words Jesus, I trust in you have kept me rooted in faith despite all of the heartache, uncertainty, restlessness, and doubt that comes in college. Though sometimes I believed it and other times I struggled to do so, I’m learning more and more that cultivating trust in Jesus has impacted my time at Notre Dame more than I will probably ever know.

When I felt lonely and isolated and absolutely overwhelmed as a freshman who didn’t know anyone, I prayed Jesus, I trust in you. I trust that you have brought me to this place and you will not abandon me.

When I was rejected or things didn’t go according to my plans, I surrendered and said, Jesus, I trust in you. I trust that your plans are greater than my own.

When I felt heartache and hurt I turned to Jesus and cried, Jesus, I trust in you. I trust that You will bring healing and peace in your perfect time.

In schoolwork, in summer experiences, in community, in friendships, Jesus has asked me to trust in Him, to trust in His plan, to trust that He is who He says He is and works all things for my good (Romans 8:28).

And He has shown me that this trust, this hope in Him does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). He has opened windows when doors closed. He has led me to friends that make me more of who He created me to be. He has healed brokenness I never thought possible. He has helped me find a community I feel so blessed to be part of. Cultivating trust has not meant my life is somehow magically easy and smooth: I still have lonely moments; I feel uncertain; I definitely haven’t learned to avoid hurt or heartache.  And yet cultivating trust has transformed these things from being mere obstacles in faith to occasions for my faith to grow stronger. Taking trust in Jesus seriously has been one of the most painful things I have ever opened myself up to but it has also given rise to a peace and joy and confidence in knowing that I am loved, protected, and never left alone.

The theme of trust in my life is very much a daily endeavor, a work in a progress.  I must constantly remind myself to trust in Jesus. The following prayer has helped me to nourish this trust, to make it more and more a part of my life. I pray that in some way it might do the same for you.

 

The Litany of Trust

From the belief that I have to earn your love

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear that I am unlovable

Deliver me, Jesus

From the false security that I have what it takes

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear that trusting You will leave me destitute

Deliver me, Jesus

From all suspicion of Your words and promises

Deliver me, Jesus

From the rebellion against childlike dependency on You

Deliver me, Jesus

From refusals and reluctances in accepting Your Will

Deliver me, Jesus

From anxiety about the future

Deliver me, Jesus

From resentment or excessive preoccupation with the past

Deliver me, Jesus

From restless self-seeking in the present moment

Deliver me, Jesus

From disbelief in Your love and presence

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of being asked to give more than I have

Deliver me, Jesus

From the belief that my life has no meaning or worth

Deliver me, Jesus

From the fear of what love demands

Deliver me, Jesus

From discouragement

Deliver me, Jesus

That You are continually holding me, sustaining me, loving me

Jesus, I trust in you

That Your love goes deeper than my sins and failings, and transforms me

Jesus, I trust in you

That not knowing what tomorrow brings is an invitation to lean on You

Jesus, I trust in you

That You are with me in my suffering

Jesus, I trust in you

That my suffering, united to Your own, will bear fruit in this life and the next

Jesus, I trust in you

That You will not leave me orphan, that You are present in Your Church

Jesus, I trust in you

That Your plan is better that anything else

Jesus, I trust in you

That You always hear me and in your goodness always respond to me

Jesus, I trust in you

That You give me the grace to accept forgiveness and to forgive others

Jesus, I trust in you

That You give me all the strength I need for what is asked

Jesus, I trust in you

That my life is a gift

Jesus, I trust in you

That You will teach me to trust You

Jesus, I trust in you

That You are my Lord and my God

Jesus, I trust in you

That I am Your beloved one

Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.

~ Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, SV

Come Holy Spirit

Kate Morgan, Associate Director of Communications, Office of Campus Ministry

On the seventh day of our nine-day pilgrimage to France, I had hit a wall. I was physically and emotionally drained and ready to make the journey home to my husband and my four-year-old son. I had nothing left to give. I was void of sympathy for anyone other than myself, including the students I was chaperoning, and unappreciative toward the beauty of the place we were visiting. I was done. Just done.

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The Holy Cross priest who was tasked with meeting us in LeMans had the flu and was unable to join us, and I, as a communications professional and first-time traveler to France, felt ill equipped to provide the guidance and pastoral care our students likely needed. With too many road blocks to navigate, I decided no longer to bother. There was no point. In my mind, it was time to go home.

I lagged behind the first part of the day, fussing and willing it to end. I slept on the bus on the way to Ahuille, the hometown of Fr. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., and sulked into the church, built on the site where our University’s founder had been baptized. Since our priest was ill and unable to join us, we were forced to cancel Mass. In an effort to make our time as prayerful as possible, our seminarian, Cathal Kelleher, C.S.C., asked each of us to share a prayer, hymn, song or other reflection that we used in our own lives to better connect with God. I went first and read from the book of James:

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food? If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”

I love this passage. In fact, I keep a copy of it on the bulletin board in my office above my computer. In my day-to-day life as a Campus Ministry communications specialist, I’m not as interruptible as I should be, so I like to look up and read it when I’m working and someone comes in my office to chat. It reminds me to put down what I’m doing and make time for the people who need me.

Reading James aloud to my fellow pilgrims reminded me that I was not in fact living out my faith through my deeds. I was doing the day all wrong.

I sat in the pew and thought about what I could do to make the day right. In that moment, it was to listen to the students; it was to give them my time.

One by one, each of the 20 students walked to the front of the church to share their prayers. They sang, they talked, they rapped, they read, they shared intimate stories and they brought with them the Holy Spirit. It was palpable. So infectious, in fact, that three French parishioners who were in the church (who didn’t speak any English), asked if they could sing their own song to give thanks to Our Lady.

Since then, I’ve tried to imagine a time when I felt as full with the Holy Spirit as I had in that moment. I cannot. Not when my son was baptized. Not at any Mass. Not in Rome. Not at the Grotto. Not even in Dublin on Palm Sunday when a church full of Irish children read the Passion of Christ. Not any time. Not anywhere.

Tears streamed down my face then just as they do now as I attempt to recount this moment. It was then I understood the true purpose of a pilgrimage: to encounter God during our most difficult, uncomfortable, unfamiliar times. It’s to see him through the things that go wrong. It’s to feel him when we feel hopeless and alone. It’s to rely upon one another for support, courage and strength. It’s to be together in prayer, and to share what makes our inner love lights shine.

I saw God in myself that day, as well as in my colleagues and in our bold, brave, beautiful students. I understood what it means to let go and let the Holy Spirit carry you through, and I witnessed what it means to have and to SHOW faith.

God is with us when it’s ugly; when WE’RE ugly. He manifests himself inside us and inside those who give us strength. The students didn’t need me nearly as much as I needed them that day and God knew it. They broke down my wall and showed me their faith through their deeds. I’m forever grateful to them for their openness and their willingness to share themselves with me. The Holy Spirit was with us all that day just as he’s with us every day. And through him, we all became true pilgrims, and I became a better version of myself.

paris-2

Finding Peace in Uncertainty

Brianna Casey, Senior

One Sunday evening early this semester, after a particularly demanding week, I stepped into the Lewis chapel to join my community for mass. I felt emotionally and spiritually drained, which was probably much of the reason I felt that my heart wasn’t fully “with” what was happening in front of me. Over the past several days, I had been struggling with intensified feelings of uncertainty regarding my faith. As I listened to the scripture passages, I began to feel the all-too familiar pangs of doubt. What if we’re wrong? How can I be certain what I believe is actually true? I was frustrated—somehow, the reasons and experiences I had previously used to give rationale to my faith seemed suddenly insufficient, and at that moment I didn’t know what I believed. Still, I dropped to my knees during the Preparation hymn, and I prayed—not to be given the answers, but for God to free me from my anxiety and reaffirm my trust in Him. Instantly, I felt a wave of peace wash over me like cleansing water. In that moment, I was reminded of the awesome power of God to transform hearts and release those who turn to Him from the crushing weight of uncertainty. My questions still remained, but I was able to perceive them with new eyes, without the paralyzing anxiety that had accompanied them only a few moments prior.

brianna
Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame

Doubt, of course, is not something confined to our understanding of the nature of God. We can experience uncertainty when discerning our vocation, career, or any decision that affects our lives. Although as I’ve journeyed through my four years at Notre Dame I’ve become increasingly certain that my calling lies in a career in medicine, I must admit that I still have doubts, as terrifying as that can be. Yet, what keeps me moving forward is trust in the notion that what matters is not so much what we do but the person we become, and I believe that by remaining receptive to Christ we can allow Him to work through our lives in amazing ways, regardless of our particular profession.

I’ve known many people in my life who don’t adhere to any type of religion because of their doubts. They think there may be some validity to believing in God, but they aren’t quite sure, so they don’t want to fully open themselves to the possibility just yet. But I would argue the only way to combat this uncertainty is to take the initial step and enter into a relationship with God. If, when faced with any other decision in our lives we acted only when we were absolutely certain, it is unlikely we would accomplish much of anything or leave room for personal growth. Just as you can’t know if you truly want to be a doctor until you begin to follow the path of medicine and discern as you go, it is impossible to come to know God apart from God. We need to be willing to trust despite our uncertainties and at the same time present our doubts to God in prayer and allow Him to work through them.

I’ve encountered moments of uncertainty regarding both my faith and my vocational path time and time again. Yet I’ve come to see these periods not as failures but as an opportunity to grow. Consider this—each of us carries a unique personal philosophy and a particular representation of the world. When we have an experience that doesn’t fit neatly into our paradigm, we have the option to either reject it or alter our philosophy to accommodate it. This is the reason why we can be so sure of our beliefs at one point and be overcome with doubt later on. New experiences require us to reach a new equilibrium, and it is in this way that uncertainty allows us to break down our prior understanding of God and build a more perfect one. Thus, experiencing doubt doesn’t make our faith weak; rather, it can actually serve to strengthen our beliefs and challenge our faith to reach a new level.

Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame
Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

To all those reading this today who are experiencing doubt in any aspect of their lives: do not despair. But also, don’t try to overcome your uncertainty alone. I encourage you to take your fears and inhibitions to prayer, asking God to transform your heart and grant you clarity of mind. I won’t promise the answers will come all at once. But I do hope you will be able to find peace and deepen your understanding of what is True. It begins with trust, and trust strengthened by prayer.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Walking in Faith in the Dark

Erica Pereira, Senior

Last semester, I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile. A few of my friends and I had the opportunity to spend a few days backpacking in Patagonia, which is the wilderness in the southern-most part of Chile, at the end of the world. It truly felt like another planet in the great beauty we encountered there.

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The highlight of the trip and the pinnacle of beauty in Patagonia are the Torres del Paine. They are huge towers of rock that shoot up into the sky. The best time to see the Torres is at sunrise when the light from the sun rises and casts a bright orange color on the rocks. To see this once in a lifetime sight, we rolled out of our tents in the pitch black, snapped on our headlamps, and started the strenuous 45-minute hike up. No one could see particularity well, and next to us was a huge, black crevasse with depths we could only imagine in the dark. All we could see were the steps in front of us and the lights of the headlamps of the people behind us and ahead of us all in a line—all hiking to the same destination.

Our sleepiness quickly waned as the number of steps and rocks we were climbing increased. When we finally reached the top, the excitement was unbearable. It was still pitch black, but I could just barely make out the silhouette of the three giant towers. I had seen so many pictures of it before, and here it was! Right in front of me. I had never experienced such an atmosphere of exciting anticipation.

We sat down in the cold and windy weather and waited for the sun to rise. Each moment was more exciting than the next because in each passing minute we could see just a little bit more of the Torres. As more and more light came, we could see that there was a small lake in front of them—something we had no idea was there in the dark. And the true and glorious beauty of the Torres was revealed. We sat there (slightly shivering) in awe of its wonderful beauty. My friend Anna said to me that this moment was a lot like heaven. Right now on earth, we only have a glimpse of heaven like we only had a glimpse of the Torres before sunrise. But when heaven is fully revealed to us, the glory of it will be awe-inspiring. My experience at the Torres was truly a glimpse of that eternal peace and glory.

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On our hike back to the campsite, I was reminded of the saints and their headlamps walking in front of me, leading me to heaven. I could only see the present moment—the step right in front of me, but I was guided by their light. We are all walking in faith in the dark to something we cannot yet fully see. We are all headed to the same place, with the same goal.

The reality of heaven and the hope of what we cannot yet see are so present in our lives. Each day is a tiny glimpse of the eternal love that has been offered to us. It is a reality that we are called to be in awe of, and to bask in each day. Let us rest in the hope and awe of salvation in Christ.

“For this momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”-2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Patagonia

Faith Through Transitions

Emily David, Senior

Since the day I moved into South Hall at Holy Cross College in August 2013, I’ve lived in 6 cities, 4 states, 2 countries, and on 2 campuses. The past 3 years have been full of movement, transferring to ND with the first Gateway class, living in a different place every summer for an internship, spending a semester navigating the gem that is Rome, and going home to southern Indiana for the holidays and short breaks. As a senior reflecting back not just on all the places I’ve lived but also on the adventures and busyness packed in between, I can see why many of my friends and family have asked me, “Do you ever stop?”

View from the Top of Saint Peter's Basilica.

View from the top of Saint Peter’s Basilica. Rome, Italy.

The truth is, I do stop. I try to do so daily. Wherever I am. And this is part of the reason I’m able to (imperfectly) follow where the wind blows.

At Holy Cross, it was at daily Mass right before lunch. In DC, it was reflection on the metro or on the roof of my uncle’s apartment. In Texas, on walks during breaks at work, and at yoga. In Rome, at a new church almost every day. In Boston, at a chapel in the middle of a shopping-convention center. Or on a park bench. At Notre Dame, in any chapel, especially in Adoration at CoMo or kneeling in front of the tabernacle in Geddes. Or, in the Lyons chapel in the middle of late-night paper writing. And in all of these places, God answered my need for companionship with friends who accompany me in my faith.

It’s not easy: transitioning into college, into unfamiliar places and crowds in new cities, anticipating the transition into the working world, transitioning from one class to another, changing majors and adding and dropping minors, changes in relationships, living with new roommates, changes in health, and everything in between. “Do you ever stop?”

There are challenges with all of these movements, some easier than others, and I’ve learned there needs to be a constancy through it all, or else I find myself lost in the thoughts and worries I often create. A routine is helpful- for me, between Lyons, South, Debart, and CoMo- a checklist for the day’s major to-dos is helpful, a regular call home is helpful, and regular meals and honest conversations with friends about our struggles in addition to our joys are helpful to remind us that we aren’t alone.

Yet, even these things aren’t enough, especially when we’re thrown off balance, when plans fall through or are interrupted, when a 3 page paper takes 10 hours longer than expected, when we catch a cold, when it rains on game day, when we suddenly realize how unhappy we are with our major, when someone we love passes or moves away, or when family dynamics change.

Boston
Farmer’s market outside my workplace in Boston, summer 2016. Sunflowers are a reminder for me, especially in the hustle and bustle of the city, of the beauty that comes from growing toward God, just as sunflowers grow toward the sun.

I have a great need for a constant that is not of my own effort or creation, because, let’s face it- I, like most of you, am already exhausted keeping up with everything else.

My experience is illustrated by composer Chopin’s lovely “Raindrop Prelude.”

In the 6 minutes and 26 seconds of this beautiful melody, all of life is present: one moment you’re happy, then sad, some moments are more intense and uncertain, others are simpler and more peaceful. Chopin really tugs at our emotions as he expresses the human fragility and unstableness that we’ve all experienced.

If we change our focus a little bit as we listen to this piece, we can hear a single note repeated over and over again that underpins the larger melody. The most boring note in the background becomes the most interesting as we sense there is a strength that comes through the transitions. It is the heartbeat that guides the whole story.

Listening to this, I ask myself, what is my source of strength, joy and hope through my fleeting emotions and circumstances? What is the backbone and constancy through the ebb and flow, changing seasons, and all the transitions? What unifies everything in my life?

fall 2013

God, unified with the desires of the human heart, is always there.

Following where the wind blows, for me, is following the calming wind of the Holy Spirit. And I can only follow when I stop and pause to pray. To remind myself of this guidance, I integrate a simple yet powerful prayer into my days:

“My Lord and my God!”
From John 20:28- a recognition of God among us, as St. Thomas exclaimed when he put his hand into Jesus’ pierced side.

Notre Dame has further instilled in me that one’s “faith life” doesn’t have to be separate from the rest of life. I’ve discovered that my faith is the guiding backbone through every transition. I’ve discovered faith to be a relationship with God who is the heartbeat that is always there, giving meaning and deep joy -even through the difficulties- to everything.

It’s amazing how easy it is to forget this simple fact when the heaviness of life rolls in as it does in Chopin’s piece. In these moments, it takes just a brief pause to pray in order to bring my focus back to what unifies the greater picture. Little by little, I become more deeply rooted in the constant heartbeat of God that guides the melody of my life.

“My Lord and my God!”