Catholicism in College

In youth group, a major concern was how to keep us Catholic in college.  We were read terrifying numbers of how many people leave the Church in their college years, we were given talks and books to prepare us for the college experience, and we were encouraged to deepen our relationship with God.  I was given great advice, but I would like to share with you a reflection on the first two years of my college life.  By finding God in each day, I not only stayed Catholic, but grew in my faith!  He is everywhere if you look for Him!

I turned the time between classes into a time to raise my thoughts, contemplate on the beauty of creation, and give thanks to God.  I was blessed to be on a beautiful campus my first two years.  Every time I walked from class to class all of the flowers, trees, and other creation pointed directly to the Creator.  It is rejuvenating to take a deep breath of fresh air, look around at the beautiful sky and earth and thank God.  But nature is not the only type of creation that points to God.

Everyone we pass by each day is a beloved child of the Father.  It is amazing how uniquely complex people are.  Everyone has hopes, dreams, fears, passions, etc.  We’re all amazing creatures that can interact with each other in complex ways, have the ability to be rational, and have the vocation to love.  Most amazing is that everyone has a soul, an immortal soul made in the image and likeness of God.  Everyone has the image of the Divine in them.  Nothing on earth can compare to the infinite beauty of our souls, not even the most breathtaking sunset, piece of art, or music.  We are surrounded by beautiful masterpieces everyday – human beings.  Yet people hardly acknowledge others.

“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.” – St. Augustine of Hippo

God can also be found in the classroom.  All of the subjects have the mark of the Lord in them because He is their source.  “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

In any of the sciences, we learn about how creation works and how our amazingly brilliant and wise Creator did it!  Everything is so complex and intricate that it is hard to picture anything at all coming about without a creator.

In English, we get to learn how to use language to eloquently and convincingly convey truths and the Gospel that were put in place by the Divine Author.

In history, we study those who have gone before us and witness how God worked in their lives, but also learn from their mistakes.

In government, we learn how humans should to interact to protect the rights and dignities of each other, especially the most vulnerable among us.

In philosophy, we seek truth and wisdom.  In Greek, philosophy literally means “love of wisdom.”

In psychology, we study the infinite complexities of the mind that God has given us.  In Greek, psychology means “study of the soul and mind.”

Though it was a challenge, I have even found God in math!  God brings order out of chaos.  In the beginning, He separated light from darkness, the sky from the waters, and the waters from the earth.  Just as God has brought order out of chaos, we get to bring order by the logic and rationality of mathematics.

Finding God in my studies and time in college has helped my faith grow.  He is present in the beautiful earth, the people that fill it, and the knowledge that He has blessed us with.  This mindset gives me greater perspective on what the purpose of an education is.  It is to learn and know more about God to be able to serve Him.

I think these practices of seeking God in each day is a powerful prayer that can be practiced by anyone, regardless of stage of life or vocation.  I pray that each day you will be blessed to see God’s presence in your life!

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” – St. Augustine of Hippo

by Sarah Pressman