by Jayden Jones, Opinion Editor
Think back to your first tour of Aquinas as a prospective student: Led by a student ambassador, you strolled around the glorious campus, learning about everything the school had to offer. Eventually, you passed Our Lady Seat of Wisdom chapel. Whether you went inside or only paused for a brief moment outside, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on how you felt. Maybe you were excited at the prospect of stopping to pray on your way to class. Maybe you felt worried that the presence of the Catholic religion on campus would mean that your ideals or identity wouldn’t be accepted or embraced. Maybe you felt nothing at all.
Regardless of your relationship with the Catholic faith, as Aquinas students we are participating in what our Provost, Dr. Germic calls, “a rich, Catholic tradition” that is “core to how the institution operates.” This tradition, as aptly stated by one of our chaplains, Fr. Bob Keller, “is open to curiosity and willing to dialogue.” Because this tradition influences the structure of the institution that facilitates our learning and development as human beings, it is more relevant to our daily lives than we often realize.
If you’ve never spent time reflecting on what this Catholic tradition means to you, or what it means to be a student at a Catholic university, here are some quotes to facilitate your reflection:
“There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”
-St. Oscar Roméro
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.“
-St. Teresa of Calcutta
“You’re bored? That’s because you keep your senses awake and your soul asleep.”
-St. Josemaría Escríva
“The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
-Pope Benedict XVI
“Life itself is a haphazard, untidy, messy affair.”
The next time you pass the chapel, I invite you to see it as a symbol of your belonging, of your worth. As students at a Catholic, Dominican university, we are united in our love for truth, our desire to make something wonderful out of our lives, our passion for justice. We are united in the fact that, as we go on with our daily lives, we are all doing the best we can. In a time of unprecedented division, perhaps we can find common ground in our devotion to those things.