Showing God’s Face on the Campus
Welcome to this annual communication from the chaplaincy. Blessed are you who reflect upon it and masticate it. Our aim as chaplaincy team is that we are regularly less leaders of students than those who are led by students to be more attentive to our charge as servants of those in need of sacraments, spiritual support, and conversion to a particular faith, and other forms of guidance. Our most critical task in a multicultural and multi-religious environment is the invitation to be catalysts that help in minimizing marginalization of others due to religious affiliation, and lend a hand in minimizing the defamation or disparaging of others because of their beliefs, identities or practices. What we do basically accentuates the essence of religion which is concisely stated by Jesus in Luke 10:27 as love for God and others.
Manifesting the essence of religion in word and deed is equally very fundamental in any community of believers without excluding our campus. The chaplaincy team would encourage you to incessantly love God with your head, your heart, and your hands. We love God with our head by knowledge and critical thinking about scripture, tradition and magisterium. We love God with our heart by private acts of devotion such as scripture reading and prayer and by public worship in the chapel or the parish church. We love God with our hands by service to others involving acts of compassion and social justice. To go against this grain is tantamount to personal suicide.
I would like to deepen this sharing by borrowing a leaf from Matthew Kelly’s book entitled “The four signs of a dynamic Catholic”. Kelly states that the highly engaged Catholics have four things in common—-the four signs of a dynamic catholic:
1.Prayer: Dynamic Catholics have a daily commitment to prayer since God is not a distant force to these people but rather a personal friend and adviser. They are trying to listen to the voice of God in their lives, and believe doing God’s will is the only path that leads to lasting happiness in this changing world (and beyond). Though other Catholics pray in a spontaneous and inconsistent way, yet dynamics Catholics have a daily commitment to prayer, a routine. Prayer is not only a priority for them but they also tend to have a structured way of praying (in terms of time and space) and they tend to abide by a structure [Kelly, 2012:18-19].
2.Study: Dynamic Catholics are continuous learners since they devote some moments each day to learn more about the faith. They see themselves as students of Jesus and his Church, and proactively make an effort to allow his teaching to form them [Kelly, 2012:20].
3.Generosity: Dynamic Catholics are generous, not just with money and time, but with their love, appreciation, praise, virtue, and encouragement. They see generosity as the heart of Christianity and the proof that the teachings of Christ have taken root in their lives [Kelly, 2012:21].
4.Evangelization: Dynamic Catholics invite others to grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with them. Since they are convinced that a vibrant spiritual life has transformed them and every aspect of their lives, they want others to experience the joy that flows from having a dynamic relationship with God. They regularly do and say things to share a Catholic perspective with the people who cross their paths [Kelly, 2012:22-23].
The above message inflames the following questions: Are we dynamic believers on our campus? If not, are we ready to start the journey of spiritual renewal to consolidate the missing links?
Even though God’s plan for the world is to transform people gradually on their spiritual journey, yet we acknowledge that no one stumbles into great and worthy things unless one resolutely and intentionally endeavours to seek them. Thus, let us make an effort to integrate our intellectual pursuit and our spiritual journey of witnessing quietly to the pre-eminence of Christ, to serve him, to be open to his salvation, and to live for others in the way we manifest those four signs of a Dynamic Catholic. Our constant dynamic relationship with God and others will make our university community unique.
Take care for now and may God bless you!