Crites: Seeing Pope Francis in America
Here at Franciscan University there are so many opportunities for the human person to thrive and grow. The campus faith life is unmatched, with over 600 students going to daily mass, an active household faith life, and over 25 Friars on campus to serve us students. The friendships formed here are amazing relationships with like-minded people that challenge you to grow everyday closer to the Lord. The academics here offer a well-rounded Catholic education and the courses prepare anyone for their future field of work. On top of all of fantastic aspects of life at Franciscan, one can also grow physically so as to strengthen the whole person.
Recently I have become more devoted to growing in body alongside mind and spirit. I have been shooting hoops during open gym, lifting weights in our brand new facilities, playing flag football intramurals and being active all around in my daily routine. This has not only affected my physical well-being but has also given me clarity of mind and a greater drive to be productive and effective throughout the day. Franciscan’s intramural programs and their workout facilities have given me the tools to grow physically alongside my mind and spirit and I am extremely thankful for that.
But that’s not it! The special thing about growing in body at Franciscan is that my intellectual journey, my spiritual journey and my physical journey are not separated in the least. When I am working out, I am able to offer up the workout and the physical strain as a prayer to the Lord and offer it up as a prayer for others and their well-being. There is an intentions board posted in the gym that everyone writes their intentions on and this a great motivator to continue to grow and push myself in my workout. There is a crucifix posted in the gym in front of the treadmills and there is a huge San Damiano cross in the main gym to remind everyone what the workout is really all about.
What we learn in the chapel and in our classes – that our body is a temple and a gift from the Lord meant to be respected and treated well – carries into the gym as well. Intramural sports teams will pray together before any game and then after the game both teams pray together praising the Lord for the ability to be competitive. Overall, Christ is present in everything we do here at Franciscan, and that includes athletics and physical fitness. I am glad that I have been hitting the gym and taking my health seriously, but it’s not just about looking good or merely getting stronger, it’s about developing myself as a person: mind, body, and spirit.