Thursday, December 1, 2011

Leandra Stuckey's Reflection

The spirit of God is in the wind, blowing where it pleases, and it chooses to blow around Rockhurst. As I walk to class and see the leaves falling gently from the trees guided by the wind, I know God is there. He is everywhere around me. In the simplest action of breathing in the chilly fall air, He is there giving me the breath to continue living. He is there in the breeze that caresses my face when I step outside of Sedgewick. I don’t have to witness a miracle to know the goodness of God. When I was walking around campus one day, I noticed a leaf being blown across my path. It didn’t stay in front of me for more than a few seconds before the wind picked it up and carried it a little farther from me. This kept happening until the leaf landed on one of the cement benches. Again it didn’t stay there for long because another gust of wind came and blew it up again. The leaf had no control over where it was blown, it was determined by the wind. The same is true for me. The wind has led me to Rockhurst for a reason. This is where I will let the spirit guide me in my adventures here.
Good luck on finals!
-         Reflection by Leandra Stuckey

Leandra Stuckey, a junior transfer student, is double majoring in Political Science and Exercise and Sports Science.  She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the University’s service fraternity, and is a cheerleader.  Go Hawks!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gabe Jones' Reflection

Finding perfection within imperfection can sometimes be a challenging task.  As students, the imperfection often becomes burdensome and can be nearly overwhelming.  The tough classes, our problems with friends or family, or even running out of points in the Cafe remind us that the world is rarely a perfect place.  Yet, when we try to find God in all things we try to do just that: find some measure of perfection in an otherwise fallen world.  That perfection could be a beautiful flower growing through the sidewalk, a perfect sunset, or even a rainy day.  But all the disorder and disappointment in our lives can make finding God a very difficult objective.  I often remind myself of the phrase “every cloud has a silver lining.”  For me, this captures the essence of finding God in all things.  No matter the situation, good or bad, I try to remind myself that God is here and in control.  When things go well, I find God by being thankful for what He has given me; when things are not so great, I try to find that “silver lining” that is God and thank Him for even the smallest graces.  Regardless of how things are going, God has a plan and will not let the imperfections completely “cloud” our search for His perfection.  God is there: we just have to be courageous enough to look through the fog and find Him.
-         Reflection by Gabe Jones

Gabe Jones is currently an MBA student and members of the men’s basketball team.  He graduated in May 2011 with a BA in Political Science and Economics and minors in business administration and philosophy.  During his undergraduate years, Gabe was a member of Alpha Delta Gamma, Hawks for Life and the Social Mentors Steering Committee.

Danny Duggan's Reflection

Although seemingly simple, the way in which I have found God so far this year becomes a complex experience for which I am forever grateful. With help and inspiration from those around me, I have truly begun to cherish the rising and setting of the sun and the beauty of this event on as many occasions as I can. Although I find myself having some late nights of studying, there are those special days when I am able to be disciplined enough, wake up from my sleep and have an early to start to my day by jogging around campus. The peace that encompasses the campus at this time is the same that’s in my heart realizing the good works I have been able to accomplish at this University and those I will be challenged to in the future. As the sun is rising from the east, I thoughtlessly direct my attention towards the Town Houses feeling a quick chill of happiness thinking of all the memories my friends and I have created throughout this school year. Shifting my focus to see Corcoran Hall, as I continue my run, I appreciate the moments of growth I experienced while living there my first year here and in campus life this year as well. The silence of Rockhurst is awakened as the sun rises, promising a day of beauty and continual serenity.  I find God when I walk through the quad as I stop to peer into the trees to experience the full-fledged sun shining through reminding me He is staying by my side each day. The hustle and bustle of the academic and social life is always in full gear only to slow down as the sun begins to drop off to into the west. The Bell Tower and pergola offer a place for my friends and I to rest our heads as the sky begins to turn into a cotton-candy-looking clouded swirl of beauty and the sun quickly displays its splendor. I can’t help but see the sun splashing off of the academic buildings allowing Him to remind me of my appreciation for the life of college-ruled notebooks, folders, binders and the other necessities surrounding the classroom. With the rising and the setting of the sun, I am graced with the feeling of gratitude for this environment of learning, leadership and service, and most importantly for each person that the Son has warmed the heart of and allowed to change my life, without fail, each and every day.

-         Reflection by Danny Duggan

Danny, a Rockhurst sophomore, is a proud resident of St. Louis, a Rockhurst Student Ambassador and a CLC coordinator hoping to enjoy each moment at Rockhurst until he graduates!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Samantha Gormley's Reflection

How do I find God?  Well, that’s the question of the hour, isn’t it?  After much consideration and thought, I’ve come to realize that my encounters with God come not so much from me searching for Him, but rather His determination to pursue me.  Whether these experiences arise from a friend who wants to talk at the most inopportune time and ends up saying some of the most beautiful and loving things I could have needed to hear at that moment, or simply a perfect wind that flows through the Quad when my frustrations are running high, it is the moments I have no control over that I find God.  It is the moments I delight in the wonders around me and realize how thoroughly and completely my Creator has cared and provided for me.  God is in the professor that works with me to create a service learning option.  God is in the Sodexo employee who offers me my much appreciated chicken nuggets with a smile, even when the hours are long.  God is in the perfect song that comes on the radio or in the Pub.  He is in the challenges that bring out the best in me, even when it is most difficult, but rewarding, creating me anew and creating me as I was meant to be. 
-                                 -   Reflection by Samantha Gormley

Samantha Gormley is a junior Psychology major from Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  She is involved with CLC, Social Mentors, RAKERS, the Honors Program, Greek Life, and serves as an Orientation Coordinator and a Eucharistic Minister.  Her big goal for the near future is to study abroad, but she says, “We’ll see where God takes me.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steven Bokel's Reflection

I oftentimes find myself reciting the words of Father Kolvenbach, SJ, “. . . to discern what is really happening in your life and in the lives of others, to find God there and to discover where he is calling you.” Where is God and how does he fit into the equation of my life? Making the decision to study abroad was not one made lightly. In choosing to leave, I had to sacrifice many of the things I loved most in this life and, what's worse, I was asking my friends and family to do the same. Finding God has not always been easy but there have been key moments in life where I have felt God's call to action, this semester abroad has certainly been one of them. I have found God in the splendor of Florence, the antiquity of Rome, and the faith of Warsaw. Most importantly, I have found God in the generosity of the people I encounter and all those back how who won't let me waste my time here. In my travels, I have learned that all people, not just Americans or Europeans, but all people are basically good. We all have that urge to help someone in need- to be empathetic. We are all the children of God.  I have found God in our willingness to give, to help, and have faith that the light will overcome the darkness.

-         Reflection by Steven Bokel

Steven Bokel is a junior currently studying at The John Felice Rome Center in Rome, Italy. He is a Business Accounting and Philosophy major and a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi (business fraternity) and Christian Life Community (CLC). 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hero Balani's Reflection

One day, I look outside the window from the Xavier Loyola Residence Hall. There is silence all around and my eyes rest upon a pile of leaves that had fallen from the trees. They were stationary, dry, dead, cold: then suddenly, they start moving! Twisting and twirling as if dancing on the ground in joy that they were alive. I then took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and felt God’s magnificent presence there and then, all around me. Through his powerful forces: he keeps the entire universe moving, he keeps the earth spinning day to day, he brings new life to each and every one of us through his guiding hand. I see God in the motions of the daily life at Rockhurst. In the students that go from class to class, in the professors that instruct with vigor and confidence, in the administrators that move from meeting to meeting ensuring the success of Rockhurst, in the Sodexo staff who rush to give students their meals, in the hands of students who provide service (Joplin Retreat) and even from the simplest motion in the environment such as the little squirrels that run across the commons: God is present! Give it some thought and reflect on it. What makes you wake up in the mornings and get out of bed and do what you do best in your day? He is there. He is moving all of us, and you can feel him and will find him in all things around you, even in your daily activities. Just stop for a minute, close your eyes and take a deep breath, you’ll see.

-          Reflection by Hero Balani

Hero Balani is an International Transfer Student from Belize City, Belize in Central America. He has just joined the Rockhurst family and is majoring in International Business at the Helzberg School of Management (Rockhurst). Hero is currently working for the Rockhurst Fund as well as Sodexo. He is also a member of P.E.E.R.S, a prospective member of Delta Sigma Pi (the Business Fraternity) and is looking into further student leadership organizations in his semesters to come at Rockhurst. This will be his first winter here in Kansas City, Missouri.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Emily Mazzoni's Reflection

I find God in watching others experience small joys that make Rockhurst the unique University that it is.  I see the joy people get from feeling the mist of the fountains, squishing the warm sand between their toes during a game of sand volleyball, and hearing Jane yell out the newest twister order.  People smile as they walk by the seemingly random blue cow and they laugh as they are engulfed in the bubbles of the foam dance party.  It is in watching people during these instances - some daily, others rarer – that I see God.  All of these events turn our ordinary moments into an extraordinary experience.  It is through the smiles and laughter of my fellow students, the faculty, and the staff that I encounter God here at Rockhurst, for which I am truly blessed.  In such simple joy there is such great power.  God gives us the opportunity to be joyful each day, and I constantly witness the members of the Rockhurst community expressing that joy which reminds me that God is present in all things.

                  - Reflection by Emily Mazzoni

Emily Mazzoni, a St. Louis native, is in her second year at Rockhurst University.  She is majoring in Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Mathematics, and Spanish. Additionally, Emily is an R.A., VP of Student Senate, Orientation Leader, Social Mentor, SI for Spanish, Ambassador, P.E.E.R.S. Executive member, a member of CLC and involved with numerous other clubs and activities on campus [and, as she says, “No, I never sleep :)” ].

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Alan Ratermann's Reflection

I like to relate my search for God in all things to a seek-and-find puzzle. I know He is in my life and experiences, but at times I need to look harder or look at the puzzle in a different way. Sometimes I may not find the words I am looking for in the order I had originally planned; similarly, I may not discover things about God and myself until I give up my preconceived plans. Reflecting on the recent Frosh Get-A-Way, I went in looking for God with a specific plan of action. I would look for Him in the people I talked to and in my own thoughts. Well, needless to say that isn’t how it worked. Although I found God in talking to people, I also saw Him in their actions and encouragement towards one another. I thought I knew what I needed. During the retreat weekend, I felt as if God was searching for me, not the other way around. The realization that He wants to be a part of my life is an incredible revelation. Being open to experiencing God in all aspects of life reminds me to never let my own plans or ideas get in the way of knowing God.     
-          Reflection by Alan Ratermann

Alan Ratermann is a freshman from St. Louis, MO and is currently undecided in his major. He is involved on campus with Rockstars, Student Senate, Running Club, and CLC.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Joe Evans' Reflection

I have been very fortunate during my time at Rockhurst to participate in two different spring break service trips. These service trips allowed me to encounter God sometimes in ways that I typically would not expect. During these experiences I have found God in both the people I served and also those who I served with. By allowing myself to be fully present with the people I served felt I was able to find God. I often encountered God in their positive outlook on life and in their sense of humor, despite their struggles. Although sometimes it seems that the people I served were very different from me, I have found that despite these differences you probably share more similarities than you think. It’s these commonalities that allowed me to open up to them and allowed me to see God in them. Returning from these trips has also made me realize that God is not just found in service in a place far from home, but can also be found right in our own backyards. Although we can often get caught up in our own problems in our lives, I have realized that by taking the time to serve others can open your heart and mind to God.
-          Reflection by Joe Evans

Joe Evans is a senior from Omaha, Nebraska majoring in Spanish.  He is an active member of a CLC, has participated in domestic and international service trips, and has cut, split and stacked plenty of firewood on several Lumberjack Service retreats.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Amanda Schumacher's Reflection

I have felt God at Rockhurst in the people that surround me day in and day out because they exemplify His presence to me. I think God shines through the faculty and staff as they use their gifts and talents to inspire and lead students. He is in the athletes, as they pursue excellence on the field and on the court. God makes himself known to me through my residents and their joy, energy and generosity to each other and our floor. He is there in the Sodexo employees and the maintenance and custodial staff as they willingly and graciously perform their jobs with respect, discipline, and enthusiasm. He is in all students as they encourage one another and take on the challenge of becoming a better version of themselves to discover their passions and make their contribution in the world. God is truly present at Rockhurst University and I consider myself incredibly blessed to be a part of such an enriching place. It is through the people of this community and their compassion and charity that I have seen the face of God and learned more about my faith, the world and myself.
- Reflection by Amanda Schumacher

Amanda Schumacher is a  sophomore pre-med student majoring  in Biochemistry and Spanish. Amanda is an  Ambassador, Resident Assistant, member of ASA and CLC, and a Frosh Get A-Way  retreat leader. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Anna Alfonsin's Reflection

In a perfect world, finding God in all things would be a simple task every day.  I grew up in a family that encouraged finding God in everything around us.   As I grew older I began to hear the question, “If God is everywhere then why is there tragedy in our world?”  Tragedy is an obstacle that can make our search for God a little more difficult, but with our faith, we can definitely overcome this obstacle.  I have seen, especially in the past few years that our community response to tragedy is God reaching out to those in need.  Natural disasters, family disputes or tragedies,  and war have all plagued our world.  I am always so inspired by the aid sent to victims and the support that can arise from our society today.  It is in those moments that I have seen my favorite image of God in all things.  One of my favorite quotes that  I’ve learned to use in times of crisis is, “If God brings you to it, God will bring you through it.” He’s always around, but sometimes we may have to look past what is right in front of us in order to find Him.   
- Reflection by Anna Alfonsin

Anna Alfonsin is a senior Nursing major from Overland Park, KS.  She is a member of the women’s soccer team and CLC. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

David Wallisch's Reflection

Finding God in all things is a Jesuit core value that can be interpreted in many different ways.  When I think about this core value, I am reminded of the Gospel of Matthew when the Lord says to his disciples, "As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."  To me, Finding God in all Things is a way of explaining the need for service to others in our daily lives.  During a recent service opportunity, I had someone who was down on his luck come to receive dinner.  Despite his physical disabilities, he stayed to help me finish cleaning.  He then told me that he "tries to do a little bit of good everywhere he goes."  This was a great reminder to me of our ability to Find God in all Things every day by doing a little bit of good for those around us; whether it is holding the door for the person behind us, flashing a smile at someone having a bad day, or volunteering in the community.    
- Reflection by David Wallisch

David Wallisch is a senior Accounting major from Loveland, Colorado.  He is on the Executive Board of SAB, serves as the Homecoming Committee Co-Chair, is a member of Alpha Delta Gamma and is a Sodexo employee. Throughout his years at Rockhurst, David has truly exemplified the Jesuit ideal of being a man for and with others, something evidenced in his commitment to weekly service at St. James soup kitchen.