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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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

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