A Place to Belong

Uniting Your Suffering with Christ’s this Holy Week

By Mary Greggila

A very wise friend recently shared an idea with me that completely changed my outlook on a situation that I think many of us are in. Throughout this experience, I know that the Lord was truly speaking to me, and I felt called to share it with all of you. He wants to speak to you, too.

            I had been thinking about all that I have to complete and get done in these last couple of weeks before the end of the semester, and I was very seriously starting to freak out. Sadly, I don’t think I’m the only one who has been in that situation full of fear, anxiety, and worry. On top of these usual college stresses, I was getting especially upset that it was aligning with Holy Week. I was mad because, in my head, Holy Week deserves to be spent in restful and quiet prayer and contemplation of Our Lord’s Passion. How am I supposed to do that with multiple presentations, an Honors’ research paper, and a handful of other random assignments and tests before me?

            I had reached out to my friend to ask for prayers for the week in general. I didn’t want to share details, and I basically just said, “Could you pray for me for the start of this week?” Then the first God-moment happened: she asked me what was going on.

            So I told her that I was tired of looking ahead to every week or month and saying “I just have to get through this”, or “Once I’m past that, I’ll be okay”. I told her my list of things I needed to complete before graduation. And I told her that these next two weeks are honestly the ones I’ve been dreading the most for a while because so much is going on, and that I wish I would have prepared more because I’m bummed that it lines up with Holy Week… I think you understand.

           But after this venting text full of fear and doubt, this good friend spoke truth to my heart. So much truth, that it brought tears to my eyes. She acknowledged how much was going on, and sympathized with me, saying, “I know it stinks.” But then God spoke to me through her again. She told me, “If you can unite the work you are doing with Jesus, it will actually be such agift that it is during Holy Week.” Let that sink in for a minute.

            We know that Jesus didn’t want to go through the Passion. He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42). Jesus knew for a long time leading up to that week what was going to happen and the horrors he would have to endure. Yet, in the midst of his fear and all that was looming over him, he was intimately close with the Father. The Father knew his pain and his fear and sent help to him in response to his prayer. “And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.” (V. 43).

           My friend helped me realize that maybe I am tired just “getting through” because Jesus is inviting me into a new time. I think the same goes for all of us. Maybe Jesus wants us all to justbe in His presence in the present moment, regardless of the circumstances that lie before us. He is inviting us to be with Him in the garden, to unite our overwhelming feelings of dread and fear with His. And the beautiful thing is that our Lord loves us so much, that even amid His suffering, He still wants to shield us from our suffering. If we place ourselves at His feet, Jesus will protect us. God will send angels to our aid if only we ask. He just wants us to be honest with Him and say what we are feeling, no matter how messed up or ugly it may seem.

            I encourage you to look at this Holy Week in a different light. I invite you to join me in the garden with Jesus. Join me in uniting your sufferings with His. Walk with Our Lord as He carries His cross to Calvary, and imagine your responsibilities and assignments as the cross you must carry alongside Him. I encourage you to take a well-deserved break from all of your work to give our Lord even just five minutes reflecting on His Passion. Place yourself in the Gospels, and truly imagine that you are there with Him. You’ll be amazed of the grace and peace He will share with you.

            Our God is so Good. He knows what you are going through. He knows what you are afraid of. And He has “plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Draw near to Jesus in these last few weeks, and He will give you the strength you need to do things far beyond your imagination. Know of my prayers for each of you!

‘Tis the Season

By Katie Allensworth

It’s that time of year again. The snow has started to fall, churches are decorated in pink and purple, Christmas lights line the houses, and hot chocolate is all we drink. But we of course can’t forget it’s also the season of stress, testing anxiety, and cranky professors. All the papers and projects are due and tests seem to last for days. This is the season of life for any college student that is entirely too intense. It seems like an entire semester’s worth of work has come down to one test. I hope I haven’t put more fear in you than you already have at this moment. What can we do? How do we escape the cycle of stress and anxiety that finals bring?

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By Amanda O’Reilly

Hi Lord,

You’ve done it again – baffled me! This world You created – it’s unmatchable! How did You do it? The diversity, the creativity, the details… once again I experience Your creation and I am awestruck!

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Lessons from Gettysburg, the Fighting Irish, and Memorial Day

By Sal Valeriano

This past St. Patrick’s Day, I did not partake in the typical revelry associated with the feast of Ireland’s (and engineering’s) patron, as the annual ROTC staff ride called me to the fields and farms of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in search of another Irishman. The Gettysburg battlefield is littered with cannons, monuments, statues, and plaques, marking one unit’s movement from this hill to that hill, interpreting the conflict and causes for modern visitors, and paying mute testimony to the sacrifice and suffering that took place here “four score” and seventy-five years ago. One marker here stands out from the rest— a priest, standing on a boulder, with his right hand outstretched in a sign of benediction. His name is Father William Corby, chaplain of the 88th New York Infantry, and on the afternoon of July 2, 1863, he and his men were in a placed in a dangerous spot. Disobeying orders, another Union general had moved his forces forward and out of the center of the Union line, creating a gaping hole that was now being filled with Confederates- a hole the 88th New York was being asked to close.

Fr. Corby where he gave his general absolution.

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You Can’t Earn What You Already Have

by Katie Allensworth

Have you ever thought about God’s love for you? How vast and everlasting it is? Sometimes when I think about God’s love I wonder what I have done to deserve it. Or why would God give a sinner like me His everlasting love. Sometimes it is hard to know or feel God’s love. Despite my sins and my lack of feeling sometimes, I always must remember that I can’t do anything to change God’s love for me. God is so generous in His love for us. I always like to go back to John 3:16 to remember I cannot earn God’s love, “God so loved the world that He gave His only son, Jesus Christ”.  God gave us His only Son, who died on the cross for us because He loved us so much. Notice, that no where in the verse is there mention of God’s love for us it’s something we earned. Jesus came and died for us to know God’s love.

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Could One Picture a Day Change your Perspective?

By Katie Brumbaugh

Over the summer I started taking one picture a day, every day.  I wanted to be able to capture moments during my senior year (and life) that I wouldn’t otherwise remember.   I never expected a 10 second trivial act to change my perspective so much.

First day of school!

At this point in any semester, we are all tired and slightly burned out.  It’s a push to finish the projects, papers, presentations, and prepare for finals.  We miss being home, miss doing hobbies, and miss spending time with friends without the guilt in the back of our minds that maybe we should be doing homework and not having fun.  One thing I always seem to struggle with this time every year is being lonely.  I work best on my own and have work to do, but spending hours in solidarity in the library is never enjoyable.

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The Disk Golfing Works of Mercy

By Andy Udovich


So I just did something I have never done before: I went disc golfing by myself.  Now that all of you are in a state of utter shock and terror, let me explain.  First, let’s take a mulligan and rewind … What the heck is disc golfing?  Well, it’s an outdoor sport where you throw specially made frisbees into cages and count your throws like in real golf.  A good friend introduced the game to some of us a few years ago, and now it has become a popular pastime among many of us here at RooCatholic.  Ok, now that we are all on the same page with what disc golfing actually is, let’s move on.  While I was going through my solitary round, my mind started to wander (in a good way). I started thinking of all the ways that our Christian spirituality has drifted into this sport.  I pondered how the Holy Spirit has been working through this simple game to drive us closer to Him.  How? You ask …  Well let’s take a look at the Disc Golfing Works of Mercy:

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By Ally Rellinger

Happy summer everyone! The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and no school! For college students this can mean going home, staying near school, working, traveling, and so many different possibilities. This summer I (reluctantly) decided to go home and work at the same place I did last summer. After being home for three days I can honestly say that I was ready to be back in Akron. My parents, a few extended family members, and a couple of close friends are the only appeals to being back home. My brother and many others who I hold close to my heart are within an hour of Akron for summer, and I have missed them more than I thought possible.

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Why should I apply (or consider applying) for leadership?

Image result for leadership meme

What a year it has been, can I get an amen?

And to think it isn’t even over yet…

It’s hard to believe the semester is slowly coming to a close especially with this weather. Honestly, I don’t even know how to dress myself properly when it’s 60 and sunny one day and the frigid arctic the next….

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New Year, New Me… How about New Year, True Me!

By Hannah Peterson

As every New Year roles around there is always a lot of peer pressure and media push to set a new years resolution. Unfortunately according to Statistics Brain, only 8 percent of people actually achieve their new years resolution. There is also this slogan that I see plastered all over media, “New Year, New Me.” Like, why would you want to change so much just because it is a new year? Growing up, I have always been told to stay true to myself and not change because of peer pressure. That is probably one of the reasons I do not like the phrase New Year, New Me. So this year I am going to change it, and encourage all of you to also. New Year, True Me. You don’t need to start the year as a different person; it is best to be yourself.

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