For our students, so much happens during this crazy game we call “college”. Between all the “likes”, “tweets”, basketball games, crushes, relationships, friendships, emails, club meetings, coffee dates, service projects, intramurals, and of course, school, students in college are constantly navigating the game of busy, busy, busy, busy. As I write this article, I look down at my own desk and notice how my elbows are resting on a pile of retreat manuals, program advertising materials, liturgical music and a stack of post-it notes that help me know what I need to get done by the end of the day. As many of you can relate, the game of life piles up, and rest seems so distant.
In every game there are moments of pause. A chance to rest, recoup, and re-evaluate how it is we are spending our time. Now don’t get me wrong, there is not fault in being busy. Martin Luther King was busy. Dorothy Day, Ghandi, even Jesus were all busy people! But from time to time, it helps to step back and take a long view. A time set apart to clear out the clutter of our desks, turn off our phones, rid ourselves of distraction and search for the desire that animates our busyness. In others words, time set apart to spend with God.
Retreats are like these long pauses; a chance for our students to catch their breath, find again what has been lost and discover what they need to continue on their journey. An opportunity to give themselves permission to ask the tough questions that get ignored amidst the clutter. This is how Jesuit education is different from other institutions. At University Ministry, we invite students to that time to pause. Whether your students is trying to discover new friendships, discerning life after college, or somewhere in between, our hope is that they take some time away from the busyness and enter back on their journey just a bit more whole hearted than before .
If you want more information about our retreats please visit us on our website at http://www.gonzaga.edu/About/Mission/University-Ministry/retreats/default.asp
Your children are our constant prayer. We look forward to seeing them in our office.
Christian Santa Maria