On Saturday, February 29, three students from Dickinson Catholic Campus Ministry (seen in the picture above) attended the Diocese of Harrisburg Encounter Retreat for Catholic Campus Ministries. This was a great opportunity for us to meet students and ministers from other Catholic Campus Ministries. Moreover, it allowed us to take time to reflect on how we can more worthily and spiritually enter into the season of Lent that we started on Ash Wednesday.
This week, we celebrate the first full week of Lent, and so we enter into this great liturgical season once again hearing about Jesus’ forty days days and forty nights in the desert in this Sunday’s gospel. We too enter into a period of forty days and forty nights in the desert. Though it is not physically a desert, we look at the altar and see it much more barren as normal. During this season, we take more time to focus on the internal appearances, particularly the appearance of our soul and our relationship to God. Perhaps our soul does not reflect the external beauty of an altar filled with candles and other decorations at other times of the year. Perhaps we have not taken the time to invest in a strong prayer life, which is our communication with God. Perhaps, as a desert lacks water, we may be lacking God and turning away from him.
We are bound by the faults of our human nature to choose sin and wrong as Adam and Eve do in Sunday’s first reading from Genesis. God gave us free will, but he did not give it for us to misuse, but rather so that we can experience feeling and desire, including all that is so good in this world. However, we sometimes misuse our free will, and choose to go against God, thus resulting in our souls not reflecting the external beauty of the church building or altar that we are so accustomed to. Or perhaps we are just finding ourselves too busy or too preoccupied to choose goodness and to choose God. However, Jesus took the time to not just invest in relationships with other humans, but he took the time to invest in the greatest sign of any relationship, his sacrifice on the cross, through which this “gracious gift overflows for the many” (Rom. 5:15). And there are ways we can invest in a relationship with Jesus Christ in return, particularly during this season of Lent:
- Lent is a great time to go to confession. DCCM offers confession from 2:30 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. while Dickinson is in session. Appointments can also be set up with the priests at Saint Patrick’s in Carlisle to hear confessions.
- The Saint Patrick’s Parish Mission is from Sunday, March 1 to Tuesday, March 3 at Saint Patrick’s on Marsh Drive. Though there are midterms this week, this is a great way to take an hour-and-a-half out of one’s day to relax and focus on the presence of God and the message we hear from the presenter that will aid us in focusing on the presence of God.
- Come to Mass. We have a page called “Mass Times & Prayers” on our website that has a list of all our Masses as well as Saint Patrick’s Masses. Perhaps it takes sacrificing an hour of our time, but it is worth it, especially if we accept the gift that Jesus has offered us on the cross and through the Eucharist, the redemption and salvation that he offers.
We will not have Mass on campus the next two Sundays (March 8 and 15), but we can still take the time for confession and Mass, even when we are away from college. I, along with Fr. Raja and the rest of the DCCM Executive Board, pray for safe travels and a peaceful and restful Spring Break.
If there are any questions, please email email@example.com.
Sincerely in Christ,
Aidan Birth ’21
President, Dickinson Catholic Campus Ministry (DCCM)