Agape

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
John 4:18-19

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to go on a retreat with the Newman Club. The theme of this retreat was Agape, or unconditional love that is always giving, the love of God. We stayed at a beautiful camp on Shelter Island, NY. The house was big and beautiful. It was full of little quirks of old world charm. I fell in love. I kind of wish I could live there full time. But, I had to come back to the real world. Either way, I am incredibly grateful for the time I was able to spend pondering God’s love for me along with some wonderful people.

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Photo by Bridget McCormack
Above is a picture of those who attended the Newman Retreat. For those of you who don’t know, the Newman Club is a Catholic Club that is present on most campuses that are not affiliated with a particular religion. To date, there are 31,806 Newman Centers. We were blessed to have 23 people attend our annual Fall Retreat. These are student run retreats that are centered on a particular topic of faith. As I mentioned ours was Agape. The retreat had five different topics relating to Agape where an e-board member would witness to Agape in their life. These included things like: obstacles of love, creative love, and loving others. Then we would discuss in a smaller group on how these parts of Agape related to our own faith lives.
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And of course, our lovely Campus Minister was ever-present. Her love and Joy is something to be admired.
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God’s beauty was also ever present. Present in those who attended and in the beautiful setting that surrounded us. I mean, check out the colors of the rocks and sea shells on the shore! The funny part is that I realized how much I need God in my own life and I need to take the time to recognize him (more) in my daily life.
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Photo by Bridget McCormack
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Photo by Bridget McCormack
I feel like the entire senior class enjoyed the retreat. I know that I did.
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Camp Quinipet was the perfect place for my last Newman Retreat. Contemplating God’s unconditional love was something that was needed.

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

Love and prayers,
Mary

The End of a Week

fall retreat agape

So I’m apologizing for being M.I.A. for the past week or so. Last week I had midterms, but I was able to end my week with a retreat. I travelled to Shelter Island, NY with the Newman Club for a weekend centered around Agape. More to come on that later. I just wanted to let you all know why I had been quiet. I’ll be around again soon.

Love and prayers,
Mary

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 10

Sunday October 5, 2014

Mass

Monday October 6, 2014

Began planning for Random Acts of Kindness Day at Newman Club. Here is the link to last years success.

Tuesday October 7, 2014

Went to a talk given by Kerry Weber, an editor at America Magazine, about her book Mercy in the City.

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Wednesday October 8, 2014

I spoke in both of my classes. Thank you Lord.

Thursday October 9, 2014

Messy Games Night with the Middle Schoolers. They are crazy.

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Friday October 10, 2014

Went to the Diner for dinner :)

Saturday October 11, 2014

Got a lot of work done and then was able to go out for my sister’s birthday.

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

Oh, the humanities!

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I know, I get it all of the time. So what are you going to do with your degree? It’s constant. Since I finished my junior year, weekly, I am asked this question about my imminent graduation. Besides the fact that I graduate in may, and that is still months and months away, there are people who insist that I know what I am doing right now. I don’t know what I’m going to be doing a year from now, but most people don’t. Things may be unclear, but I am ever-grateful that I was lead to this particular major. My education has benefited greatly and here are some reasons why:

1. a new sense of perception

I don’t think that it comes as a surprise that anyone who majors in the humanities ends up reading for a living. This is not a bad thing. Aren’t we in college to broaden our horizons and to become knowledgeable of the world? This is where the whole reading thing comes in, one can no longer look at things and take them as they are. Pulling from a book of essays on Lyric Poetry, Victor Shklovsky is quoted:
“The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of                      perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end to itself and must be prolonged” (Townsend, 231).
Shklovsky is on point (he is published after all), the purpose of art is to make things unfamiliar so that one may take the time to perceive it in the way that it was meant. This also is true for the study of art.

2. the development of an analytical mind

Knowing how to think, how to write, and how to argue those thoughts on paper is an incredibly valuable skill. I met someone the other night who is now an editor but she was an english literature major in college. She told me exactly what I had been thinking, and what I had been told by my professors, that the skills of an english major are valuable. Anyone who studies the humanities is forced to think critically on a daily basis. There is no clear cut answer for most things, but I can defend my opinion because of x,y,and z.

3. a greater understanding of the culture that surrounds me

Reading Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in its original middle-english may have been an acute form of torture, but it was beneficial (even if some may not think so). Now, Chaucer is just one example, but reading the works of people who came earlier allows young people to better understand the culture that we live in today. Reading these works allows students to enter another world and understand it. And on a side note, people like Chaucer and Shakespeare are responsible for many words that we use on a regular basis today.

4. organizing your thoughts into ideas becomes your specialty

This is directly related to the second point. Since an english major is constantly writing and thinking about what they have read, they become very good at organizing thoughts into ideas worth writing about. I’m sure that everyone has looked at a paper topic and been baffled, but this is a part of what a liberal arts education is supposed to do. Problem solving is just one of the many benefits.

5. because being able to write is important

It just is. It is so important to be able to write well. Whether it’s an email or a blog post, the skill of writing well comes in handy.

And although Sheldon Cooper may not think so, having an English Degree is valuable.

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 9

Sunday September 28, 2014

Mass.

Monday September 29, 2014

Came out of a class feeling like I should have defended the faith only to go to the Campus Ministry office and eat a fortune cookie. Said fortune cookie read, “A person is not wise simply because one talks a lot”. Thank you, Jesus. Made my whole day.

Tuesday September 30, 2014

Found out that a project (that was supposed to be due on thursday) is really not due until November.

Wednesday October 1, 2014

Feast of Saint Therese and the re-start of a Gilmore obsession.
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Thursday October 2, 2014

Had time to go to the Gym and had Moes for dinner. Thats a Win-Win in my book.

Friday October 3, 2014

Impressed one of my bosses with my school work and received an open invitation to talk about Latin poetry with him (this was a huge compliment). Babysat and received some wonderful compliments regarding my nature as a babysitter from a stranger. And last but not least, had a chaotic Middle School Night on finding God in your everyday life. Cough Cough, this exercise on finding love notes may have been the inspiration.
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Saturday October 4, 2014

Chilled out and did minimal homework. I spent the day relaxing with Chris, watching netflix and later having dinner with my good friend, Rebecca and her bundle of joy, Katie.

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

What’s in a name?

TODAY is the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux. I named this little blog after her legacy. As some of you may know, Therese is known as the little flower. She is known for her little way. I named this blog “A Lovely Little Flower”. You may ask, why does this saint have such resonance in my life? Therese was the first saint that I ever felt a personal connection with. I’m almost certain that she was the first saint that I learned about who was known for her life as a young person. I was introduced to her through my youth minister at the time. He, for some reason, thought that I would connect with her. His suspicion was right. He gave me her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, to read. Her autobiography can be read here and if you want to learn more about her, you can click here.

Since then, I have felt a great connection with her and the way she loved Christ.

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Happy Feast Day, St. Therese!

Love and prayers,
Mary

365 Days of Love Notes, Week 8 (A Day Late)

Sunday September 22, 2014

Mass.

Monday September 23, 2014

We wrote Love Notes at Newman Club and I blogged about it here.

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Tuesday September 24, 2014

Babysat in by the Beach and had my first Pastoral Council Meeting.

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Wednesday September 25, 2014

No School! Thank you Rosh Hashanah! I was able to go to Lectio Divina for the first time this semester.

Thursday September 26, 2014

Went to Evening Prayer for Liturgical Ministers. It was nice, there were candles.

Friday September 27, 2014

Babysat (again) and was able to relax.

Saturday September 28, 2014

Went to the outlets and had lunch in Greenport. We went to the same place that I went to here.

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose

“If we love, we will serve”

Originally posted on Dignitatem:

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If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve. Mother Teresa

This past monday, the newman club participated in a small service opportunity. Tomorrow morning the newman club will be serving at a soup kitchen near by. At our meeting on monday we were able to make cards that will be given to those who are fed. It’s so important for we, as christians, to serve. Experiences of past missions and service opportunities were shared. It was a nice reminder of how we are called to love others through service.

love and prayers,
MB

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365 Days of Love Notes, Week 7

Sunday September 15, 2014

Mass.

Monday September 16, 2014

Had a great time at Newman Club learning about John Henry Newman and how to live an active faith life in college.

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Blessed John Henry Newman

Tuesday September 17, 2014

Went to a talk given by a soon-to-be priest on being Catholic in the world. We also had coffee, tea and cider.

Wednesday September 18, 2014

Had dinner with my Dad.

Thursday September 19, 2014

Saw Audrey Assad perform at a local college…

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Audrey, praising our God

Friday September 20, 2014

Celebrated a good friend’s birthday, which was pinterest inspired…

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lovely, lovely, lovely

Saturday September 21, 2014

Took a walk with my best friend in the beautiful weather.

Find more Love Notes at Story of a Rose