Easy Ways For College Students To Live Out The 4 Jesuit Values

Easy Ways For College Students To Live Out The 4 Jesuit Values

"Go set the world on fire."
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When I first told people I would be attending Fairfield University back in May 2016, I got the response, "Wow, a Jesuit education!" and I didn't really know what they were talking about.

Being a student here now for almost two years, I have come to learn and appreciate the Jesuit way of life, and even adapt their four special values into my everyday life. I have come to learn that being a student at a Jesuit institution, there can be a certain "image" that people associate with you, as the Jesuits are known to be excellent educators and their institutions are known to be second to none.

The Jesuits earn their image by putting four simple values into practice not only in their schools around the world, but also in their everyday lives. These values may seem daunting at first and you may think that there is no possible way to put all four of these into action and be the "perfect Jesuit student."

However, there are easy things that you are already doing in your everyday life that embody the Jesuit values and you don’t even know it yet.

These values will not only enhance your personal life, but will make campus a better place to be for everyone. Here are some simple ways you can start to live out the Jesuit values today.

1. Magis

Magis is the Latin word for “more.” Magis is putting 110 percent into everything you do and always going the extra mile. It is never taking "no" for an answer and putting everything you have into everything you want to achieve.

Some ways that you can do “more” in your own life include:

  • Actually trying on your schoolwork and not being lazy or doing the bare minimum to pass a class.
  • Going to a professor’s office hours.
  • Being an active participant in lecture by raising your hand to give an answer or pose a question.
  • Taking charge on a group project to ensure everything gets done and everyone works well together.
  • Making time for that club or activity on campus that you never thought you could fit into your schedule, and devoting as much time as possible to it.
  • Going outside of your comfort zone.

2. Men and Women for Others

As humans, we are called to serve each other. Being a man or woman for others does not mean just helping the poor and going into the community to do service. “Others” can mean the person that sits alone in the dining hall, the person that lives in the dorm next to you in your residential hall, your roommate or even your best friend. Being a man or woman for others means always being a helping hand, a listening ear, a smiling face or even a shoulder to cry on.

You can be a man or woman for others by:

  • Helping that person that sits next to you in class, whether you answer a question they had on the material, explain the material to them when they are confused or send them your notes to help them out. You are a man or woman for them.
  • Getting involved in service on or off-campus doing something that you love.
  • Holding the door for someone as you enter an academic building or residential hall.
  • Giving someone you know a friendly smile and saying hello to them when you walk past them on campus instead of looking at your phone to avoid social interaction.
  • Asking a friend how their day went and actually listening to them instead of nodding your head up and down in agreement and adding simple commentary like, "Yeah" or "No way!"

3. Cura Personalis

Care of the whole person and every aspect of a person. Cura Personalis doesn’t only mean pay attention to your physical health, the kind the doctor checks out, but also to the health of your soul, including your mental health and spiritual health.

You can care for your whole person by:

  • Taking a well-deserved nap.
  • Shutting your book or laptop to spend time just hanging out with friends.
  • Going to the gym or attending that fitness class instead of going back to bed.
  • Joining a club on campus you have always wanted to join, but have never had the energy to put the effort into being an active member.
  • Going to Mass on Sunday with some friends in the chapel or going to Campus Ministry to pray in one of the designated prayer rooms (Fairfield has something and someone in Campus Ministry for all religions).
  • Binge-watching that show you have always wanted to watch, but have never had the time.

4. Contemplatives in Action

St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, loved reflection as his type of prayer. It lead him to introduce the examen, a daily reflection that does not have to take long and looks upon where God came into one’s life on that day. After a reflection is completed, St. Ignatius said that you should take what you reflected and put it into action in your daily life to show others the face of God.

You can put what you reflect on into action by:

  • Telling someone that they had an effect on your day.
  • Keeping your eyes more open to seeing God in your day-to-day activities.
  • Taking what you reflected on as a negative part of your day and finding a way to turn it into a positive next time.
  • Starting a journal and writing in it when you have time, if not every day.
  • Looking at the world around you and seeing how you can make it a better place. Begin by taking small steps and eventually work your way up to where you desire to be.

As St. Ignatius would say, "Go set the world on fire."

Cover Image Credit: College of the Holy Cross

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What Easter Is Like As A Wiccan

For the majority of people, Easter is the celebration of Christ rising from the dead. But for witches, it's about something very different.
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One thing that can be quite irksome about being a part of the American school/college system is the fact that, for the most part, we are only given time off for holidays recognized by one religion, that being Christianity. I'm not saying these holidays are bad or that Christianity is overrated; far from it. But when you think about the holidays celebrated by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or, in this case, Pagans, it makes you wonder how everyone else chooses to celebrate their own holidays in the midst of the all-mighty Hallmark-centric holidays.

Before I converted to Wicca, I never quite understood why the majority of Americans chose to celebrate the gory death and alleged resurrection of someone during the spring, much like how we choose to celebrate Christmas in December even though many historians believe Jesus Christ was born around June. Although anyone can celebrate their own holidays for their own reasons, I think its also important to understand where these holidays may have really come from and how other religious holidays can be represented during this Easter weekend.

Instead of celebrating Easter, myself and millions of other people who identify as Pagans celebrate the holiday Ostara. This holiday is mostly celebrated around March 21, but fell on March 20 this year. During this time, Pagans celebrate the Spring Equinox, when winter ends and the bright colors of spring are allowed to come forward for the year -- when "Night and day stand equal, The Sun grows in power and the land begins to bloom and the powers of the gathering year are equal to the darkness of winter and death."

Ostara is one of the eight Pagan Sabbats marked by the Wheel of the Year. Each Sabbat marks a new season, equinox or solstice, which are used to signify the cycle of life, love, death and rebirth between the Mother Goddess (Gaia) and the Father God (also known as the Horned God). With Ostara in particular, it represents a new age of fertility, as the cycle of life and death of the Horned God starts up again.

There are many ways witches and warlocks from the multiple branches of Paganism choose to celebrate Ostara, but the majority of them choose to celebrate the Sabbat of rebirth by basking in the fresh spring flowers. For many, they can choose to have a ritual in their hard garden or simply enjoy the world around them.

You may be wondering, well what does some holiday about spring have to do with Easter? I'm glad you asked! As it turns out, like many other pagan traditions, the Christian religion got a few inspirations from the Pagans, one of them being the beloved Easter Egg.

What the rabbit represents for Ostara is fertility, magic and sexual energy, seeing as the main theme in the Spring Equinox is fertility and sowing seeds. Many believe that both of the holidays' names come from the goddess Eostre, who is sometimes associated with fertility and is loosely connected to both eggs and rabbits. There are also many sources, such as Jacob Grimm (one half of the Brothers Grimm), who believe that the egg is one of the symbols of early Paganism.

So how exactly do Pagans celebrate Easter, considering it's usually a week after Ostara? Well, for many, they just use the holiday to reconnect with family and celebrate some much-needed time off. For me, I just celebrate with food.

Lots and lots of food.

Happy Easter and Merry Ostara everyone!

Cover Image Credit: Lucid Source

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The Notre Dame Cathedral–Such A Loss Of History And Beauty, But What A Gift It Was To Experience It

Reid shares her story as she is saddened for Paris and the church.

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After the massive fire that devastated large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the 850-year-old cathedral's spire fell. French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to share in the nation's sorrow but gave hope for the future. This includes the rebuilding of the cathedral together and making it more beautiful than ever. "The fire of Notre Dame reminds us that our story never ends. And that we will always have challenges to overcome. What we believe to be indestructible can also be touched," Macron said.

Tyler Reid

Among many others, Tyler Reid is saddened for Paris and the church. Although, she counts herself blessed to have seen it such a short time before it was destroyed. Reid, who was lucky enough to visit the amazing structure this past spring break, remarked:

My trip was filled with so many wonderful sites. Although, because Notre Dame carries the title of most-visited monument in Europe, my expectations were high. When I first walked up, there isn't one specific feeling I got; instead, it was more of a million thoughts running though my head. Once inside, looking at the massive stained glass windows combined with all the details in every crevice, it was hard for me to imagine people actually building this without the technology we have today. This hand crafted masterpiece really is so influential considering people still went there to worship, even after so much time has past and so many other cathedrals had been built. This proves how special the Notre Dame Cathedral really is. Due to my experience here, hearing about the fire hurt my heart, especially thinking about how some of the irreplaceable artworks and all of this history may be gone. This place truly influenced people, including me, and for it to be gone is a true tragedy.

Like Macron, Reid shares in the sorrow; although, for her, it was just from one visit. This proves the amazing impact the Notre Dame Cathedral had and hopefully will continue to have even after this devastation.

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