College is the perfect time to explore religion, faith

By Christopher Blake
April 3, 2008

Jillian Smith/Perspectives editor

As I walked up the steps to the chapel, I pondered my decision to attend Mass.

Should I turn back towards my dorm or should I continue on through the chapel doors?

I decided to walk in but then I immediately regretted my choice as my entire religious life flashed before my eyes.

Receiving my first Holy Communion in second grade, serving as an altar boy during my teen years, to receiving the sacrament of confirmation prior to high school.

Memory after memory of my Catholic background filled my head. I have attended a Catholic institution of learning my entire scholastic career.

However, my times at Cabrini not only as a Catholic but as an individual have been far different than my previous experiences.

My life has drastically changed in the last two years.

College is not only an important time in our lives for academic and social growth but it is a time for individuals to think outside the box, learning what others have said in the past and allowing each person to form their own unique opinions in the present.

Our decisions made during the age span of 18-21 will have considerable effect on us for the rest of our lives.

Although I am happy with my current position in life, my mind is still filled with doubt and uncertainty of where am I going, who am I going to be and will that person be good enough not only for my family and friends but for me?

Will I be good enough for God?

Is there a God?

I live my life day by day allowing myself to enjoy each moment of life in a fun yet responsible light.

I do not always make the most ethical decisions. But who can judge me besides God? For we all are only human.

As I grew up, teacher after teacher and priest after priest preached the importance of religion to me.

I was young and I accepted their teachings because they were my elders and respect is what they deserved.

Not until high school did I begin to question my Catholic faith.

I took a world religions course and saw the value of respecting and taking lessons from all the major world religions across the board.

I studied everything from primal religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism and Islam, and I learned each of the traditions has something incredible to offer us. Each is unique but at the same time they all share common beliefs. Each religion stresses the importance of people becoming fully alive or fully awakened while acknowledging a higher presence.

My faith has traveled from my youth when I accepted my Catholic background without question to my high school years of questioning Catholic values. Now that I am in college my faith is almost non-existent, or at least it feels that way.

I do not attend church on a regular basis. I do not pray often. I sin.

Does my lack of church attendance make me a bad person?

Is it not true that a sinner can attend church?

You may read this and feel that I am following the wrong path in my life but I am comfortable with where I am. I feel it is important to question our faith. Even if one’s decision is to entirely take a break from religion.

Joining a certain religious denomination is not what makes us a good person but acting kindly towards others while spreading love and peace.

College has taught me the importance of being at ease with oneself first. Then once one finds their own inner peace and awakening they can help other people.

Life really isn’t about what religious background you are, but about how you treat other people. We live on this earth for a very small amount of time. I want to live my life to the fullest, and learn as much as I can along the way.

My initial feelings of panic and insecurity that I felt when walking into the chapel began to disappear as Father Michael spoke and the choir sang.

I even began to enjoy Mass as the strong sense of community and the loving atmosphere made me feel right at home.

My trip to Mass made me really think about my faith. Although I did enjoy attending Mass, in the end I do not feel I am ready to attend each week.

At this point in my life I need to concentrate on myself and learn what kind of person I want to be.

This may seem selfish but without a strong sense of inner peace I have found it difficult to help others.

Cabrini community: take your time with your faith. Explore life. Find your true passion. Love one another and work to become fully alive. Work to reach total enlightenment.

Christopher Blake

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