Thursday, May 10, 2012

Elizabeth Reid's Post

My favorite image of God comes to me through the words of Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, in his book Tattoos on the Heart, where he describes a God who is always too busy loving who we are to spend any time being disappointed in us. Fr. Boyle reflects that the sacred place toward which God has been nudging us all our lives is not be arrived at, but simply discovered. What a freedom it is to know that we are exactly what God had in mind when God created us—right now, this day!

As my time left as a Hawk wanes with each passing exam and campus event, I’ve come to recognize that one area of my life in which God is present is my mourning. It’s taken me four years to realize it, but God has been finding me all along, working through each and every one of my experiences at Rockhurst—the intense joys, the doubts, the challenges that pushed me further than I ever could have imagined, the transformations, the frustrations that inspired me to strive for more, and especially, the beloved friendships. All of these have led me to exactly where I need to be right now, gracias a Dios. How rich that this is the life God desires for all of us: to stand on the edge of something that has been so wonderful, knowing that it fills us with great sadness to leave, while simultaneously looking ahead with excitement toward each new day, because the same God who journeyed with us up to this point will continue to accompany us through every step of the way. ¡QuĂ© rico! God in all things.

-         Reflection by Elizabeth Reid

Elizabeth Reid is a senior graduating with majors in Spanish and Psychology and minors in Biology and Theology. She spent her four years as a Hawk involved in Executive Board of VOICES for JUSTICE, leading a Christian Life Community (CLC), Student Ambassadors, and Orientation. She moves on from the Nest to serve as a Jesuit Volunteer in Belize City, Belize, where she will work as a social worker for Hand in Hand Ministries.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lynsey Riemann's Reflection

As a freshman here at Rockhurst, I have found God in the daily blessings God gives me, whether it be meeting a new friend or chatting with old friends on the Quad. God has been in my life to reach out to people who maybe are not following Him 100%. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and this is exactly what my goal is at Rockhurst - for everyone to hear the Good News of the Gospel.  Throughout the year, I have dived into His word and have newly found my life verse, Romans 2:12 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will." God has called us to be like Him, not of this world and its desires. I believe that if we reach to be more like Him, we will see God in all aspects of our life each and every day.

-         Reflection by Lynsey Riemann

A native of O’Fallon, Missouri, Lynsey is a freshman CSD and psychology major with a minor in theology.  She is an active member of a Christian Life Community (CLC), Student Activities Board (SAB), and Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority (ASA). 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Frank Kane's Reflection

Over the years, through activities at Regis High School, ski racing, service on the board of Children’s Hospital, and various organizations here on campus (i.e. Knights of Columbus and Social Mentors), I have retained a passion for helping others embrace as unique what sets them apart as individuals.  Merely in striving to help them accomplish this, I realize I have invited them to find God in their differences and handicaps and, thus, in all things.  I have always believed that wherever good can be found, so too can God, and vice versa. This belief continually compels  me to encounter God’s hand in an area of my life where many overlook it: my gait. Though the way in which I move is easily my most distinctive feature and does not come without certain setbacks, it remains something for which I give daily thanks to God and everyone around me. My gait more often than not allows me to bring out the best in those I love and in those whom I meet on campus each day.  In bringing out the best in those I love and encounter, I am hopefully better able find God in those people whom I often find it more difficult to love and to embrace.

-      Reflection by Frank Kane

Frank Kane is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and Philosophy.  Hailing from Denver, he is involved in the Knights of Columbus, Social Mentors, CLC, and the Kansas City branch of the National Sports Center for the Disabled. He maintains an unending passion for writing and politics and, before graduating, hopes to jumpstart the University’s College Democrats student organization.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Meaghan Fanning's Post

The poet Hafiz writes, “Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’  Look what happens with a love like that—it lights up the whole sky.”  We hear the phrase “unconditional love” on a regular basis.  How often do we pause to ask what this really means?  To love without conditions, without limits.  How could we ever do this?  I take comfort in the fact that knowing and truly believing that we are made in the likeness of God and that means that we are created to love.  It is God’s joy to love us, and it should be our joy to love one another.  I find God in the pleasantries and drudgeries of everyday life – the life that sometimes feels like paradise and sometimes feels like we are walking against a hard, freezing wind.  But within that life, every day, is the opportunity to show people around us how much we love them. Anne Lamott shares her reflections on simple love and friendship: “All you can do is show up for someone.  But when you do, it can radically change everything.  Your there-ness can be life giving.  So you come to keep them company, even when it feels like the whole world is falling apart, and your being there says for just this moment, this one tiny piece of the world is okay.”  To love is to show others God, to allow them to feel beloved on this earth. 

Meaghan Fanning is a senior Hawk and loving the last month of Rockhurst! She is majoring in Nonprofit Leadership Studies and Theology and Religious Studies and minoring in Philosophy.  She was deeply formed by her years spent on the Executive Board of VOICES for JUSTICE and leading her beloved CLC.  Meaghan is continuing on to get her Masters in Social Work next year.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Charli Bultmann's Reflection

It is difficult for me to pinpoint a specific moment in which I have found God, especially during this past year at Rockhurst. This year has been more of a journey on the path of creating a beautiful relationship with God for me.  I have seen God while walking to classes when I see the sun shining so brightly and the sky hovering above me in its rich blue color.  I have especially become aware of God lately in the budding of new life in the trees and flowers all over campus.  But God is not only present in these things; this year, more than ever, I have seen God in the people in my life. My family, close friends, and even acquaintances have been compassionate and thoughtful in ways I never realized before.  It is every person around me that makes me see God.  He is in all of us in one way or another.  I believe that it is our experiences with others that truly help us to find God.  These experiences unite us not only as a Rockhurst community but also as a community of God.

Charli Bultmann is a sophomore Biology major at Rockhurst.  Hailing from Carrollton, Missouri, she is a Student Ambassador, member of Phi Delta Epsilon, Zeta Tau Alpha, and CLC.  At this year’s Easter Vigil, Charli received her first communion and was confirmed into the Catholic Church.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Katherine Hoffman's Reflection

I have found God in an array of expected and unexpected moments that have been knit together to create a unique tapestry of memories.  Sometimes, God appears in obvious ways like enjoying the beautiful blooming tulips and other gifts of spring in nature as I walk through campus to class each day. At times, I feel as though the warm rays of sunshine are simply God’s emanating love flowing down from above. Other times, I find God in life’s sweetest moments, for example exchanging a much-needed hug with a good Rockhurst pal after a trying day. These moments remind me not only of God’s goodness but how if I look for him I can find him in others’ actions.
However, finding God doesn’t always happen in the obvious or sweet instances in life.  At times, I have found God in bitter, unexpected experiences that I don’t understand.  For example, I have uncovered God during service immersion trips in glimpsing the poverty of the individuals living in the place I was visiting, whether that was domestically in West Virginia or abroad in Guatemala. In these moments, I have found it important to hold the experience not trying to change it but accepting the experience for what it is and acknowledging God’s presence. It requires trust in Him and openness to his greatness to accept these moments and to add them to the diverse and beautiful  tapestry  of life that God is creating for me.
My hope for each of you is that you embrace all of the opportunities in your life to find God. May you be open to the impact those memories can have in your life as pieces knitted into the tapestry of life that God is creating for and with you.

-         Reflection by Katherine Hoffman

A native of Trenton, Missouri, Katherine graduated from Rockhurst with her bachelor’s degree in 2012 and is currently in her first-year of the doctorate in Physical Therapy program.  As an undergraduate, Katherine was involved in CLC as both a leader and member, ASA and APO.  She also participated in two spring break service trips: one to Guatemala and one to West Virginia.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Theresa Kiblinger's Reflection

If we do not expect to find God in all things and look for Him in our daily lives, we can miss wonderful opportunities for help, healing, and happiness.  It seems the most unexpected and unusual times, when I am not outwardly searching for God, are the times when He becomes the most present in my life.  Recently, I have learned to find God when I stumble off of His path or fall into sin.  It is through my failings that I turn to God even more for acceptance, grace, and mercy.  I have quickly realized that when I begin straying off of God’s path, He enters right into the mess I have created and picks me up again.  These times of sin and failing, where God once again renews my life, often leave me in awe of His goodness, His powerfulness, and His relentless and unconditional love.  Even though I may cause God pain and suffering, He is always there when I call on Him to pick me up, love me completely, and set me on the right path.  Time and time again, that is when I find God and feel His abundant love.  So I encourage you to open your hearts to the possibilities of finding God in the most unexpected places whether it is in a smile on the quad, a conversation with a friend, or even in our sins and failings because God is constantly surrounding each one of us.

-         Reflection by Theresa Kiblinger

Theresa Kiblinger is a junior from Cape Girardeau, MO.  A nursing student with a minor in French, she has been involved with CLC, Ambassadors, Alpha Sigma Nu and French Club during her years at Rockhurst. Theresa spent this past Christmas break serving in Uganda and plans to spend the summer serving in both Uganda and Kenya.   

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Josh Goralski's Reflection

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” Fr. Pedro Arrupe S.J.
In my two years at Rockhurst, I have felt the warmth of God’s presence and love in countless ways. I felt this as I entered Rockhurst with our entire class giving up a few hours to do service before embarking on our journey here. Additionally, I have continued to find God and fall in love with him through the retreats offered by Campus Ministry, conversations with friends, and speakers on campus like Fr. Boyle.
When I traveled to Haiti with a group of Rockhurst students over winter break, I experienced falling in love with God once again. I not only found God in the people we met, but I found God in each person in our group. I remember constantly thinking over the week our group was truly in love with helping to empower others. The group had agreed to take on a multi-year project to help the people of Duchity, Haiti. I think to myself that truly we all felt the love of God leading us to go on this trip. Throughout the whole trip, I just felt like God was there, blessing us with safe travels, productive meetings, memorable experiences that will not soon be forgotten, good weather and great conservation. There is something special when you are with a group of people that are called by a common love and are all on the journey to find God.
So, I encourage you in the spirit of Pedro Arrupe to let yourself fall in love with God.
-         Reflection by Josh Goralski

Josh Goralski is a Sophomore from Naperville, IL studying Nonprofit Leadership Studies and Accounting and trying to fit in something with Economics. He is involved in with Student Senate, various Campus Ministry Activities, Desk Manager in Corcoran, and involved with the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative.  

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Christiana Troupe's Reflection

In the past few months, God has been teaching me how to find Him in my weakness. Weakness. Not exactly a word with a positive connotation, but let me explain. My entire life, I have found it incredibly difficult to accept the idea that God loves me APART from what I do for Him, that His love is completely free. For this reason, I have only ever known striving – striving to earn God’s love and approval that I already have. No matter how irrational, I’ve operated from the belief that if I could perform well enough, I could somehow earn what I knew I could never deserve. And I would continually fall flat on my face, feeling ever more distant from Him with each stride to “be enough.”

A few months ago, I was confronted with the reality that all along I had been striving to do instead of be.  What I had lost sight of is that “Jesus lived the life we could not live and died the death we should have died.” Not only do I not have to earn His love, but I couldn’t even if I wanted to - HE has made me worthy. Because I accept this truth, He calls me His daughter and that is who I am, regardless of whether I feel it. It is TRUTH.

Since then, God has been taking me on a journey of learning how to stop the striving and just receive His free love. I have been learning to live out of the truth of who He says that I am, to be loosed of unnecessary expectations. I am being set free to love Him, not as a burden, but as a joy. I am finally free to delight in my Father as He delights over me. I am enough solely because He loves me.

-         Reflection by Christiana Troupe

Hailing from Lees Summit, Christiana Troupe is a health nut in her junior year at Rockhurst pursuing a degree in finance and economics. In her college career, she has served as an ambassador, resident assistant, orientation leader, social mentor, and frosh get-a-way leader. In her future career, she has a heart to one day bring justice to victims of human trafficking and participate in global development initiatives. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Veronica Immethun's Reflection

At first, the task of writing an entry for this seemed daunting. To this day, I still struggle with the concept of God and even believing in God (scandalous, I know). As I got to thinking, I found that this is not about discussing my devotedness to everything God and Christian; it’s about finding the small things on campus that bring me, and other students, peace of mind and heart.  Location is the first thing that came to mind. From on campus, Rockhurst feels safe and secluded (for me at least). If you were dropped from the sky onto campus, you would not know that you were in the middle of the city. But, Rockhurst is a haven – safe and welcoming. That definitely brings me peace. I then started to think about the people. Being a small college lends to this, but everyone makes things personal. The people here take their time to listen, understand, and help those around them, whether or not they are a student; they genuinely care about others. I found this comforting as well. So even though I am not the firmest of believers, I believe God can be found everywhere at Rockhurst through the peace of mind and kindness this university provides.
-         Reflection by Veronica Immethun

Veronica Immethun, a native “Kansas City-an”, is a junior transfer student. She is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and hopes to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

John Rios' Reflection

Before coming to Rockhurst, I had no concept of the Jesuit core values or even what a Jesuit school was for that matter. Upon stepping on campus, something felt different. I didn’t know how to explain it or even how to describe it. However, in my two and a half years here I know what makes Rockhurst so distinct! It is the people. Although it is a simple and short answer, this is also where I find God at Rockhurst University. He is present in the genuine caring relationships that exist between students and staff alike. He is visible to me when Jane in the Pub greets me with a smile, when Bill Kriege asks me how I’m doing, or when I see Fr. Curran spending time with students in the cafe. Although these things are small and simple, they remind of why I came here and serve as a constant reminder that God is present here at Rockhurst. Like my response, I like to keep things simple. For, one it eliminates confusion, plus it makes it harder for the little stuff like these simple actions to go unnoticed. So maybe this is not how you find God - that is up for you to decide as this is defined by each individual. These reflections just serve as reminders that He is always present in every situation in different ways, and it is your job to find Him. I wish you good luck on your search!

-         Reflection by John Rios

John Rios is a junior from Dallas, Texas. He is majoring in Leadership Studies and Psychology and plans to pursue a graduate degree in High Education. He is a Resident Assistant, Member of the Social Mentor Steering Committee, Ambassador, and Vice President of Social Affairs in Alpha Delta Gamma.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Colleen Smyth's Reflection

Before you pass over this message, I invite you to take a second to just stop. Catch your breath. Let you mind rest for a second.

          “God is love and love is God.” 1 John 4:8.

In order for me to find God in all things, I remember that I must find LOVE in all things. When I think about love, I am brought back to Pedro Arrupe, SJ’s poem that begins, “Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute and final way.”  I believe that college is the time to discover what we are in love with from causes like Relay for Life or being more “green” to being in love with subjects like Western Civilization or Marketing to being in love with others through service or in community. However, Rockhurst is not just about learning what we are in love with but how to let that love shape our lives. As Arrupe says, “It will decide what will get you up in the morning…how you spend your weekends…what amazes you with joy and gratitude.”  Who doesn’t want a life filled with love, a love that Arrupe says will even “decide what breaks your heart”?  One thing that most breaks my heart is knowing that there are people on campus who doubt that they are loved or have trouble recognizing that love. In being called to act as women and men for and with others, not only do we, as a Rockhurst community,  have the responsibility to find His love in all things, but more importantly, we need to be committed to share that love. I am so blessed to call myself a Rockhurst student striving to live a life that beats for others in good times and in challenging times.  I pray that we always remember, “fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.“ By doing this, we will have found God in everything.  

-         Reflection by Colleen Smyth

Colleen Smyth is a sophomore from St. Louis, MO. She hopes major in an area of business and minor in Non-Profit Studies (maybe Theology too, if she can fit it in). Colleen is the service chair of VOICES for Justice, an active member in both Alpha Sigma Alpha and CLC, and also serves as an Ambassador.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rodolfo Gauto-Mariotti's Reflection

Every athlete at Rockhurst has sacrificed years of his or her life to training. They have worked on technique, conditioning, strategy and mental strength in order to excel and be selected for a position on a college team. This journey can be quite solitary, but when athletes join their new teams they become part of something so great that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. The team becomes their new family and with them they live and share every experience college has to offer. A tough win becomes an unforgettable moment when you can celebrate it with those who truly understand how much effort was put forth. A bad day is not the end of the world when you have teammates to count on to step in and get the job done for you. Teammates make long van rides and morning workouts bearable and even enjoyable. We might not know it or acknowledge it, but we find God everyday in the people who run next to us, those who wear the same uniform as us, and face our same opponents. We find God in the opportunity to get an education, travel to different cities and meet new people while playing the sport we love. Being a student athlete is a true privilege, an opportunity to grow and take care of the whole person. I did not know it at the time, but from the moment I became part of the Rockhurst Tennis team, I received a gift so great, it can only come from God.

-  Reflection by Rodolfo Gauto-Mariotti

Rodolfo Gauto-Mariotti is a junior from Asuncion, Paraguay. He is majoring in Economics and Marketing and is a student athlete on the men’s tennis team.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Byron Gilman's Reflection

Be Still!

Pause, if only briefly, from the world around you.

Be Awake!  You stand on holy ground.
Breathe in. That air in your lungs?
It is the Breath of God,
the same God who breathed His last,
of the same air, on the same earth,
in the same world where you stand now.

And God blessed the world then,
just as He did at Creation,
just as He does today.

And so the air you breathe,
the ground and all its bugs,
the squirrels in the trees,
the shoes on your feet,
the wool in your sweater,
every last hair on your head-
is just as touched by the presence of God.

Pause, if only briefly, from the world around you.

Be Still!

-         Reflection by Byron Gilman

Byron Gilman is an English and Theology undergrad from Omaha, Nebraska.  Byron is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, Sigma Tau Delta, and Theta Alpha Kappa.  He plans to graduate this semester and hopes to pursue a Masters in English.