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?
For me this finals season is one of the most intense of any I have ever had. Whether I pass the only class I’m in will be decided by a one 70 question test. You may be thinking how in the world am I stressed about only one class. Well passing this class determines if I will graduate this May or not, so there is a lot riding on this one test. I know that I am not alone in this though. For many of us this finals week is a breaking point in the semester.
You want to know a secret though? We have a weapon against fear that not all students have this time of the year. We have Mary our Mother!
In this season of advent we have Mary to intercede for us in a special way. She is pregnant with our Savior Jesus right now. As we prepare our hearts for His arrival and our minds for finals, Mary is with us every step of the way. Think about it, she knows exactly what kind of preparation we are going through. She is preparing to give birth to the Savior of the world. She is preparing with the same intensity we have to in order to pass our finals. Who better to ask for their intercession this season of the year?
How does Mary intercede for me when I take a test you may be wondering? When we pray to her and offer up the time we spend studying this finals season, Mary will bless us with the strength to keep studying even when we don’t feel like it and she will help us during the test to remember all the information we have studied. Mary is the Mother of our Savior and that is not to be taken lightly. She has such an intimate relationship with Our Lord that nothing we ask of her will be overlooked. All we ask for will be taken to Jesus for Him to bless us.
So if you are already overwhelmed by the stress of finals take a cleansing breath. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Pray to Mary and ask her to help you in your preparation for finals. Say a Hail Mary or a Memorare (as many times as you need to). Stay calm and know your Mom is here to help. You can do it:)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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….
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.
Well, here we are. It’s mid-November. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many of us are already looking forward (prematurely) to Christmas. Over the next month or two, most of us are going to get to spend a lot of time with our families. It’s a chance to catch up with each other, telling stories and cracking jokes. Whether we’re with our biological family or our family of close friends, it is a great way to reflect on the many blessings God has given to us and get excited about His plans for next year…