by Mark Kurowski
Did you pack everything? What did you forget? Did you have to run to the store when you got here? I usually forget shampoo. Maybe it is because I have short hair, but I usually forget the shampoo.
So, as you find your classes for the fall semester and get to know your new roommate, or move into your apartment, or drive a new way to campus, or log into D2L, go through your checklist and see if you forgot something. According to popular attitudes, college is a time when you forget your faith. Let me give you a few good reasons why you should not leave your faith behind.
First, you will be missing a chance to find out about other faiths. You are going to school at a Catholic university in the Benedictine tradition. Many people you see are going to be Catholic (57%), Muslim (24%), Protestant Christian (15%), Hindu (3%) and other (1%). Because you are going to a school that welcomes people of other faiths, you will miss out on an opportunity to get to know other people of other faiths by being able to articulate your own. If you are a Catholic, your faith is the platform upon which the openness to other religions is built on this campus. We are welcoming of other religions because we are Catholic.
Second, you will be denying an entire form of knowledge which is kind of stupid if you are going to college. Religion is not just an option or a preference. Religion is a form of knowledge. Every culture in the world recognizes spirituality/religion. Religion is a recognition that there is an ability for us to know things beyond ourselves and be connected to the Infinite.
Third, you can meet people without the pressure of sex and sexuality. There is always this uncomfortable thing in the air when you meet someone when you are single. When you meet someone in the context of spirituality, you are encouraged to meet with getting to know the person, not their dimensions, in mind.
Fourth, having faith makes you more attractive. Whereas keeping your faith gives you the message to think of others differently, being deeply spiritual has an allure to it. People who are faithful can have an attractive pull to them that there is something mysterious and unknowable about them, just like God. God is not a strict “Church Lady” in the sky. God is a spiritual being who gets to know us the most intimately without taking anything away from us. Being plugged in to this can make you worth knowing and deeper than most.
So, don’t forget to pack your faith. It is more than just a set of rules, it is a way of life. You can renew your faith on campus weekly at Mass on Sundays at 9 p.m. in Saint Ben Chapel, Krasa Lower Level or weekdays at 12 noon. If you are Muslim, the Muslim Prayer Room is in the Founders Woods clubhouse and the prayer is on Fridays at 1:30 p.m. If you are Hindu, you may want to attend Aarti on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. in Kindlon 164.