S.E.E.K. 2019 Changed The Way I Look At My Life Forever

S.E.E.K. 2019 Changed The Way I Look At My Life Forever

"Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire."-St Catherine of Siena

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Have you ever experienced something that made you look at life in a new way? Where you examined your life and your eyes were opened to the fact that something in your life needs to change? Well, SEEK 2019 has had this impact on my life. It has made me realize that something indeed must change in my life.

What is SEEK2019 you might ask. Well, let me tell you. SEEK is a five-day long retreat where college students from all over the U.S, and many even from other countries come together to experience the Lord in a new way. Many are Catholics who are super into their faith, while others come seeking to discover what the truth is.

All come seeking more than what this world provides for us. The world offers us pleasures and comforts of this life, but God offers the opportunity to spend eternity with him in paradise. Eternity is far longer than the time here on earth, and between you and me, sounds like a much better deal than the one the world gives us.

Imagine 17,000 young people gathering together because they want more than what the world has to offer, and you'll get a glimpse of what seek was like. So, what was the impact it had on my life? Well, as most young people, I had my struggles going into the retreat. Between the battle I fight with anxiety and depression, work being draining, and the financial stress of college, life just felt like it was piling higher than I could see.

Going into the week I felt like I was able to get away from my struggles and learn what it truly means to have peace and a stronger relationship with the Lord again. Coming to college, I often had found myself too busy for prayer, confession, daily Mass, adoration. I really found myself using excuses for why I wasn't spending much time with God. Sure I didn't lose my faith by going to college, but I sure didn't do a great job at taking care of it.

Going to a few Catholics On Campus events and showing up to Sunday Mass, isn't really much of a faith life. What it is, is keeping up a face of having a faith life. During the week I was at SEEK, through the influence of the speakers, people I encountered and the moments I spent in deep prayer, God showed me that I still had the ability to change the mess of a life I had.

That I needed to come back to Him. He reminded me of His great and unconditional love for me which is greater than any amount of love a human person could give me. He reminded me that I am not alone. That I am more than the sum of my problems.

He also showed me that I am apart of some bigger plan and that He does not want the world to go on without me. That I can make a difference in the world if I do my little part. My eyes were opened to the fact that I need to be who God made me to be. St. Catherine of Siena once said, "Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire." There is only one you in the world, make it count.

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5 Things To Do When Your Professors Challenge Your Beliefs As A Christian

As long as you know God is FOR you, it doesn't matter who is AGAINST you.

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Being a Christian in our world today is very, very challenging. There are many misconceptions about our beliefs and our morals, as well as people who believe we don't practice what we preach.

As a college student, I've come across many professors who enjoy challenging my beliefs due to the "lack of evidence" or the "impossibility" of the circumstances. While it frustrates me to no end, I've had to learn that arguing and debating with people who don't believe in God is pointless. They aren't going to change their mind and there's no way a college student is going to change that.

Arguing will get you nowhere, people are going to believe what they want to believe and we can't change that. Instead of trying to debate with your professors, do these five things instead. I assure you, you'll get much more out of them than an argument.

1. Pray

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Pray to God to help you and your belief remain strong, but also pray that the Holy Spirit finds them and touches their heart. A heart that isn't filled with God is an awfully sad one.

2. Acknowledge that people don't always agree with your beliefs

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If someone tried to convince you that God isn't real, you're not going to listen to their points or anything else that they have to say. Acknowledge that people think differently and sometimes you can't change that. Only God can.

3. Drop the class

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This is really a last resort, but it's also understandable. I would hate to have to sit in a class where I felt personally attacked for over an hour each day. If you find yourself in this position, get OUT.

4. When things get too difficult-- bathroom break

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Sometimes all you really need is a breather. When the lecture gets too tough, ask to go to the bathroom, get some water, and say a prayer.

5. Read your Bible

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This is the most important one. Your bible has all of the answers, no matter the circumstance. If you find yourself unable to cope with the challenges the professor presents to you, open the bible and start reading. God will fill your heart and put your mind at ease.

It's hard enough feeling out of place in today's society, just because of your beliefs. Then to have someone constantly challenging everything you base your life off of? That's even more difficult!

But instead of arguing, choose one of these five things to do. It will be a much better use of your time and you'll feel much better about it than you would by arguing with someone.

Who knows, maybe one day God will touch their heart and things will be different. God's pretty powerful and can change things in an instant. Trust him.

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Dear Christians, Think Twice Before You Invite A Non-Christian To Your Church

It's important to be sensitive to the many faiths people around you adhere to.

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Christians,

I understand you sharing verses from the Bible comes from good intentions.

I understand you explaining to me the teachings of Jesus comes from good intentions.

I understand you inviting me to your church comes from good intentions.

The issue is that not everybody is as tolerant of your evangelical mission. In fact, many may see it as outright offensive.

"How dare you try to push your religious beliefs on me?"

"I don't appreciate your attempts to convert me."

"I'm satisfied with my own religion, thanks."

The above are just some responses you might unfortunately get, but it is important to understand why that's the case.

Christianity is, by all means, the most popular religion on the planet with followers from all corners of the globe.

With your faith having such a large following, people may see your mission to spread God's word as rather selfish — an attack, even, to not consider their faith.

Receiving this kind of response from someone when you meant only the best for them can occur with even the simplest actions — you can try inviting someone to your church and still end up making them uncomfortable.

I can admit there was one point in time I was in such a situation where my neighbor asked me to attend her church for Easter when she knew I was a Hindu. I was taken aback by her invitation. Religion was not something I considered to be a "show and tell" where you share it with others without them asking. I am glad to educate people about Hinduism, but only if they ask and are genuinely interested, otherwise I don't try and bring it up and teach it to others in case they become uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong, Hinduism is one of the most liberal and tolerant religions out there. Hindus are allowed to visit other houses of worship, accept beliefs from other religions, and accept the fact that there are multiple supreme beings; there is no limit to how Hindus reach salvation.

I wasn't offended by her Christianity, but rather her disregard of how someone from a different faith may interpret her invitation.

I politely declined her invitation because at the time it did make me uncomfortable and I didn't understand her intentions. I have had moments in my life where I was encouraged to convert to Christianity, even offered money, which made me wary of the intentions of Christians around me who were very open about their religion.

Today, as a Hindu attending a private Christian university, I have had the opportunity to interact with Christians and understand why they like to promote their faith. It took quite some time and experience to educate myself about this, and I better understand where Christians come from when they talk about religion, but not everybody is so accommodating.

It is very important to understand that your beliefs are just that — beliefs. Beliefs are subjective and not everybody is going to agree with them or respect them.

You may have been taught to "go make disciples of all the nations," and you don't get to pick and choose which teachings of Jesus to follow, but understand that you assuming you're helping someone follow "the right path" may actually be pushing them away.

We appreciate your genuine care for us and your good intentions behind promoting your faith, but please be sensitive to how you talk about religion — even if it is inviting someone to your church.

Sincerely,

Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Atheists, and other non-Christian belief systems.

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