I hope all of you had a wonderful St. Valentine’s Day. As I sit here in the Grotto writing this blog to all of you, I can’t help but notice the many roses adorning the rocks of this Marian sanctuary. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, the Sacrifice of Love household was selling roses for the young men on campus to purchase for their “special someone.” And although I was happy to see women holding these roses as they walked around campus that day, unable to hold back that special ear-to-ear smile, I was more touched by the fact that so many of these roses were given to our Blessed Mother, placed beautifully around her image in the Grotto. For me, these roses served as a reminder of the sweet fragrance and irresistible peace to be found when time is spent in her presence.
In light of this past week, I figured it would be fitting to share a little bit about my encounters with small acts of love in day-to-day living. Just as the Sacrifice of Love household attests, it is in our sacrifices for others that love is to be found. Christ, as Love incarnate, gave to us a penetrating insight into the nature of love. From a practical perspective, the living out of this virtue becomes explicitly manifest through even the smallest of sacrifices. Since my freshman year, I have been working in the Admissions Office here at Franciscan. Over the years, it has been such a privilege for me to hear testimonies of students who have visited the University. Recently, I was talking with some visitors who were simply astounded at the warm welcome they received. One of them said, “Wow, people here are so nice. They really seem to care.” Of course, I vouched for her and let her know that, from my experience, people here never miss an opportunity to extend themselves. Whether it is in a warm smile or a quick hello, you can’t help but experience love in these small acts.
Now that we’ve covered a little bit about love, I wanted to switch gears to let you know more about what is going on here at the University. This weekend, there were so many socials and events that it was hard to decide what to do. Although it would be nice to be in two places at once, I think we can all agree that bi-location is not a common gift. So, unfortunately, those decisions must be made! To kick the weekend off, the Soldiers household threw a poker tournament. Now, although I have tried to learn the art of this game, I can’t really seem to get a handle on it. I never know when to fold! Regardless, I’m sure the tournament turned out to be a solid competition. The Exc!te team also put on “Pajamarama.” It is just a great opportunity for you to get cozy, throw on some pajamas and hang out with friends. There was plenty of food for a late night breakfast and some good games to participate in. Now, as if all of that competition wasn’t enough, I also attended the boys’ intramural basketball game on Saturday. It is so funny to compare the ways in which the girls and boys play the game. Although the boys do love the game, they definitely play to win. Of course, once the game is over, they leave it all on the field and congratulate each other on a game well-played.
After everyone has given and received roses, played a little bit of basketball, and studied hard for classes, at the end of the day, we are brought back to our center. Many of the students here come together in night prayer to give back glory and thanksgiving to God. Without a recognition that it is in Him, through Him, and for Him that we do all things, we cannot make sense of the busyness of our lives. However, with Christ as the center, it all becomes purposeful, allowing us to encounter love in our day-to-day experiences.
Until next time,