Big Picture Questions

As much as I love when all of the students are on campus, I so enjoy these months when the campus slows down a bit.  Sure, there are students on campus:  grad students; student researchers, student athletes; students taking summer courses.  But the pace is certainly different and I look forward to it in part for the opportunity to take a breath, but also to get some time to get into some deeper reflection on our ministry here at the Duke Catholic Center.

It’s not as if I don’t think deep thoughts all year long – in fact some of my best insights on life come in the midst of frenetic engagement with students on campus.  But we all need to take time to step back and ask “What are we really doing here?”  At a Staff Day last week we wrestled with some of these questions and fine-tuned these thoughts as a response to the simple question:  How are we engaging Catholic Dukies?  Here is our response:

We create environments and facilitate experiences that help students now and for life:

Walk w/ Jesus:  To encounter Him in everyone and sharing him with others
Aspire to Jesus:  To seek Him in all areas of your life and strive to follow Him
Love Jesus:  To foster a relationship w/ Jesus thru Prayer and Praise
Know Jesus:  To learn more about him and our faith
Serve Jesus:  To build the Kingdom always with an eye on those in need

So much of what we do every day has to meet one of these criteria in a real way, and if not, we’ve got to get rid of it.  It is at times such as these that challenging questions can give rise to powerful answers.  We are blessed that the liturgical year gives us an assist in these deeper questions.

The Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi – it’s a Big 4 of major feasts all one after another, begging us to look at deeper questions that if responded to properly, will impact the way in which we live our lives.  Take some time in these days to ask yourself tough questions about what you believe, how you live, what is your purpose.  But more importantly, don’t be afraid to let the answers drive the way you live your life, and maybe cut out some of the things that aren’t really in tune with what you really believe you are here on this earth to do.

Peace,

Fr. Mike
fr.mike@duke.edu  c. 919-316-8763 / w. 919-684-1882
Follow me on Twitter @TheDukePriest