At the opening Mass at UMD last weekend, Fr. Rob gave an amazing homily about being back on campus while maintaining faith and persevering in our journey with Christ.
Last year (specifically first semester) was very rough for me. I wouldn’t say I completely fell away from the faith but I put no genuine effort in my relationship with Christ. All I really did was follow through with the motions: went to Sunday Mass, fall retreat, and a couple events at the Catholic Student Center (CSC). I was also not in the best environment. I felt like I couldn’t talk about my faith or Catholicism at all with my friends and when I did, I constantly felt like I was being judged or that other people thought I was judging them.
One specific thing that actually came up multiple times in conversations with non-Catholic people was that they felt like it was like a “cult”. The reason I mentioned Fr. Rob’s homily previously was because he brought up the exact same point. He talked about how cults are centered around one human person thinking they should be worshipped. Catholicism, on the other hand, is centered on the one true God and true son of God, Jesus Christ.
A quote that I memorized during his homily that I then wrote down was: “The only person I follow is Jesus Christ. And I follow Him crucified.”
Jesus LITERALLY died for me. He died for you. He died for every single person that lived, lives, and will live on this planet. He knows each of our hearts so deeply and loves us regardless of if we love Him back. Although we go through ups and downs in our relationship with Him, He is ALWAYS there and ALWAYS ready to welcome each of us back with a loving smile and embrace.
Honestly, it’s hard being on campus and continuing to live out the faith without a strong community or group of friends to travel along with. Even if you go through all of college without glancing at Him, He is ready for you to turn around at any and every second to love you more than you’ve ever been loved.