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Real Recognize Real

             One of the best parts about Santa Clara is the walk between classes. Sunshine bathing the cobblestoned walkways, the 18th century Spanish mission architecture set against a perfectly blue sky, and the palm trees swaying slightly in the breeze all make for a nice break between accounting and Spanish. But it's the personal touch that really makes it. Our school is big enough so that we meet more new people than we could ever remember the names of, and small enough so that we see them every day. We rarely wear headphones because an average walk from Kenna to Lucas will often include hearing ten different variations of "Howzitgoin?" Though the constant interaction is uplifting and positive, with approximately four seconds allotted for each one, they never exactly breach the surface. I would not be the first to suggest that when we reply that we are "Pretty good," this is not always the most accurate answer. Even if we are at Santa Clara.

            This begs the question, then why do we always say it? It's because we either know or believe we know that the other person does not want to hear anything else. "Just awful" would certainly be an uncomfortable note to end a four second conversation with, and even "Amazing!" begs further questioning, which certainly requires far too much effort when Casa is still a long walk away. The forced nature of greetings sometimes goes so far that we do not actually listen to what the other person is saying, instead inserting our expectations into the blank, eliminating the need to process their words. I know I am not the only one who was replied to "How are you?" with "Not much."

            While this may seem a mere social construct built around pleasantry and manners, the same practice applies to other aspects of our lives. We can easily put up the same convenient wall of "Pretty good" when it comes to faith as well. Not with passersby, but with ourselves. I have found it far too easy to gloss over the truth for the sake of convenience and comfort.

            Faith can become a mere ritual just as easily as saying hi to a friend can become an automated exchange of words. We can read the Bible and learn, but no more than if it were a textbook. We can go to church and be uplifted by the sermon, but remain unmoved. We can volunteer at a food kitchen, but the sense of humility passes as soon as we have fed ourselves.

            We lose this sense of purpose not because of what we do, but why we do it. When the world offers so many options for fulfillment: whether it be professional, academic, or social success, material possessions, or your favorite team winning a championship, these worldly desires crowd up our heart. They harden it with extra layers until we can no longer be vulnerable to an experience with God. This issue is a difficult one to deal with because it cannot be recognized solely from one's action, but only by looking at the heart.

            Faith is a daily act of remembering what really matters. So much of our worldly lives are occupied by maintaining our appearance, having superficial conversations, completing mindless rituals, walking or driving from one place to another, or purposefully distracting ourselves for a few minutes with television or Trivia Crack. We do these things because the world often rewards us for jumping through hoops. Naturally, our spirit becomes weary and our hearts hard.

            But when we pray, really pray, we cut through all the facades. For me, when I remember that God's kingdom is what is permanent and true and my worldly goals are temporary and ultimately hollow, it gives me hope. Each person I see may be trapped in routines and superficial goals, but we all have a soul that yearns for something more as well. And that's usually enough to give someone a genuine "Hello" on my walk to class.

Sin, Guilt and Forgiveness
Sin, Guilt and Forgiveness

We're always making mistakes. What do we do with ourselves if we keep making the same ones? How do we forgive the hardest person to forgive?

Is it Even in English?
Is it Even in English?

Junior Gus Hardy explains how an overlooked theological concept may help shed a new perspective as we begin lent this season

Lessons from Abroad and from Within

Junior Kendra Clark examines the ways in which she learned about herself and about God through her study abroad experience, and what it is like readjusting to college life at Santa Clara. In addition, she offers insights on the Ignatian tradition of finding God in all things.

Admiring God's Creation

It's a gift to be able to acknowledge the beauty of God's Creation surrounding us every single day.

The Next Level to Service
The Next Level to Service

Santa Clara University upholds the Jesuit value of "being a man for others." But Father Boyle, a Jesuit and author of Tattoos on the Heart, challenges whether service is the ultimate goal, or merely the means to an end.

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving

How can we be thankful in the world we live in? How can we think about Thanksgiving in its idealistic and realistic context? What does a Christian have to say about this?

The Houses That Eight Bullets Built
The Houses That Eight Bullets Built

When it comes to commemorating the UCA martyrs, their legacy can have global implications. Gus Hardy reflects on how the murder of the Jesuits has affected his study abroad experience in the Philippines.

Lay Your Burden
Lay Your Burden

As we struggle to find peace in the challenges we face in our daily lives at college, let us turn to One who is bigger than our circumstances.

Check your privilege, y'all
Check your privilege, y'all

Marissa recently had an impassioned interaction with friends on Facebook about privilege. Her blog entry here is a response she posted to the thread on hr profile, which was prompted by the following article: http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740/+Jessica

Breaking Routine
Breaking Routine

Aidan's back to consider how to live as a Christian on a daily basis. How do we orient ourselves? How do we find God in all things, even the most mundane tasks? Enjoy reading it and feel free to make comments and ask questions in the provided section.

Lenten Lessons
Lenten Lessons

Kendra Clark challenges popular views of Lent and invites us to consider other ways of acting during the Lenten season. What has your Lenten practice been? What do Kendra's words invite you to consider?

Compassion and Trust: Lessons from His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Compassion and Trust: Lessons from His Holiness the Dalai Lama

After Marissa Minnick's disappointment at not getting a ticket for the Dalai Lama, she was invited to blog for the university and be at the event. Here she talks about the experience and what it meant to her.

God's Grace and the Power of Words
God's Grace and the Power of Words

Campus Ministry blogger, Marissa Minnick, recently wrote about her journey from disappointment to peace at not getting a ticket to the Dalai Lama. Last week she received some news, which she writes about here.

Passive or Passion
Passive or Passion

First year student and Campus Ministry blogger Aidan O'Neill introduces a new verb and wonders what it means to actually live your faith.

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