Remain in His Love — By Fr. Reginald, O.P.

FrReginaldThis week, I would like to use this space to offer some encouragement to our students (though others may find something helpful here too):

Dear students, as you prepare for exams, graduation perhaps, and whatever the summer and beyond might bring, I can think of no better advice than our Lord’s beautiful words in today’s Gospel, “Remain in my love.” Jesus brings an extraordinary, mysterious, and unimaginable love into the world — the very love of God himself, the eternal exchange of love between the Father and the Son, issuing forth in the Holy Spirit. As amazing as it sounds, that’s the love that Jesus is asking you to remain in. It’s the love that led him to embrace the cross for you. So if you feel stressed or overwhelmed over the next week or so, repeat these words to yourself: “Remain in my love.” If you have that deep conviction of being absolutely loved by Jesus, everything else falls into its proper place. Study hard this week, and do your best. I pray for your success, but if anything in your life is not going the way you want, remember that everything else is secondary to the love of Christ. As Jesus says, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Remain in his love as you pursue your summer activities. Use this time for whatever summer work or travels you might have planned, for rest and fun, and for spending time with family and friends. Remember also to let God and His love into all these activities. Has your faith been awakened here at Newman? Maybe you have gotten involved in Bible studies, daily Mass, holy hours, regular confession, and opportunities for service. Praise God for these blessings! But you might find (you might have already found) that it’s harder to keep up such practices when you’re away. Maybe you don’t have a group of faith-filled friends at home; maybe your summer schedule will make it hard to participate in many church activities. Well I challenge you to think and pray about what you can resolve to do over the summer to keep up your faith life. Can you get to Mass once or twice a week (in addition to Sunday, of course)? Does a church in your area offer adoration of the Blessed Sacrament? Find out the confession times at your church; and if you need confession and can’t get to the scheduled times, call your church and ask to arrange a time. Can you resolve to give 20 minutes a day to Scripture reading or praying your Rosary? Remember, you won’t be at Newman forever. Whether it’s this year, or some years down the road, someday Jesus may ask you to find ways to remain in his love, even if it’s not as easy to get to church activities as it is here.

Finally, remember to pray for your school, for your professors, administrators, and all who make your university experience possible. Last week I had the privilege of attending the Chancellor’s lunch and discussion with leaders of religious ministries on campus. They shared that many at the university have gone through painful times over some of the events and uncertainties here in recent years. They care for you and your future, and they sincerely ask for your prayers.

I know I can speak for Fr. Rich and the whole staff of Newman when I say that we love you and will be praying for you. Pray for us, too, and remain in his love.