Fr. Hauser is one of those Jesuits who everybody loves, right? The ringleader of Candlelight Mass at St. John’s at 10pm on Sunday nights, he leads an enthusiastic group of students through liturgy each week in a way that many students have come to cherish. When the doors open, floods of people swarm out from the 9pm mass, and the lights in the church go off, many students file in for what may be their only relaxing time of rest and fellowship with God all week. Sound familiar?
This past Sunday, however, Fr. Hauser excited the candlelight congregation to think of God’s power to be more encompassing than one hour per week. He commented on the reading of Philippians 4:5-9 that we should strive to have no anxiety at all, but make our requests known to God. “Then, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Well, to that I say “sounds good – but yeah…easier said than done.”
How am I supposed to have “no anxiety at all” when I, along with 4,205 of my undergraduate peers at Creighton when we are balancing school, work, practice, volunteering, family life, and then having…what’s it called again? Oh right, free time.
But Fr. Hauser presents a great point! We who attend Catholic mass hear it each week during the Eucharistic Prayer: “in Your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from ALL ANXIETY as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We literally ask God to protect us from all anxiety. Essentially, it is like saying “Hey God – protect us from ourselves because we are involved in so much and have so little time to appreciate all you do that we get over stressed all the time!!” The way in which we handle what comes our way is the source of our needless anxiety, and the idea that we can just give it all to God and rest the burden on his shoulders is a comforting thought. All we need to do is “make our requests known to God.” And then, just because we have answered his invitation, basically RSVP’ing “yes,” or at least an “I need your help,” we can rest assured that God will provide us peace that surpasses all understanding. This is powerful.
Fr. Hauser explained how this should apply to our lives, especially as Creighton students. He said that all we need to do is make an effort to include God in our life by inviting Him to our activities each day, and let Him bear some of our burden. If we open ourselves up to his friendship and his aid, then we will experience that incomprehensible peace of God.
I think that regardless of one’s faith life, this passage can be applied. The thought that there is someone who loves you enough that He wants to take all of your stress away and leave you only with the good is amazing. Creighton is a special place that provides us students with ample resources to find this peace which is only found in God. As Fr. Hauser said, “it’s easier at a place like Creighton where there is a huge church in the middle of campus – you can’t forget about God as easily here.” Really though; not only are we given a beautiful, welcoming place of worship, but there are a plethora of men who have devoted their lives to the Society of Jesus and are on campus to (among many other tasks) serve as a resource to us. How lucky are we! Not to mention the scads of professors, staff members, and faculty members who are more than eager to join us on our journey and form meaningful relationships with the students they mentor.
Think of it this way. When you leave Creighton and enter the “real world” (scary, I know!), don’t you want to have a strong character enriched by the Spirit of Creighton in all its forms? Don’t you want to have been able to find God and to make a place for Him in your heart where He can dwell forever? Don’t you want to have made a difference? Don’t you want to have taken advantage of the resources we are so generously provided with? More than anything, do you realize that if you use these resources, you will find the peace of God which surpasses all understanding? I don’t know about you, reader, but I want to be a sponge, soaking up the wisdom and love and Godliness of everyone I come into contact with. God, Fr. Hauser, Debra from Becker, Mandi Hulme, Kate Linden, Lisa Chipps, Fr. Roc – you all know these people: they are fantastic beyond words and have the light of Christ shining bright within them! These people will bend over backwards for you, because they are here to help. They are here to foster your growth. They are here to add to this community, embrace you, challenge you, and lead you to the meaningful parts of life. They are the true examples of those who have invited God into their lives and reaped the benefits. They have found that peace which surpasses all understanding. You want to know why? Because God is alive in them. Not convinced? Meet them. And then get back to me.