Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Nathan Demarest discusses serendipity – Holy Spirit Power

Gannon asked students about religous perspective and worldviews in a recent online survey.

Gannon asked students about religous perspective and worldviews in a recent online survey.

For this week’s column, I’d like to reflect on my experience at the 9 p.m. Sunday Mass at the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel. I was talking with one of my good friends, Cody Feikles, before Mass started and after a bit of small talk we chatted about how often we go to an event or obligation because it is expected of us.

Well, we’re college students and university staff. Just like a GEICO advertisement, “It’s what you do.” As upstanding, religious-minded young adults, we may feel like we are required to go to Mass. I mean, it’s a Commandment – right?

It’s what we do. Anyways, Cody and I started talking about how cool it can be that something awesome can come out of an experience that we may have originally perceived to be mundane or run-of-the-mill.

The word that especially comes to mind is “serendipity,” which is also one of my favorite words to say. According to the definition Google provided, serendipity means, “The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.”

In layman’s terms or in the words I use to describe serendipity, it’s Holy Spirit Power or HSP. I attribute blessings and incredible moments of joy to the Holy Spirit because I believe that they come from God.

I ended up experiencing one of the most emotionally fulfilling Masses I ever participated in this past Sunday, without having any expectations that it would be.

Sure, I was there partially because I had to be and partially because I wanted to be, but all in all I felt nourished, inspired and full of God’s grace. It could have been the music, the people that I was sitting with or just knowing and believing that Jesus was with me during the celebration of the Mass.

Regardless, I still think about HSP and how it was flowing the other night.

As I continue to ponder and reflect on my conversation with Cody and as I write this column, I can’t help but think of other instances where serendipity has occurred in my life on a daily basis. I’m convinced that it does, but I don’t think that I notice it all the time.

I believe that our perspective on life, as well as our connection to ourselves and the world around us, influences how much we notice God’s grace in our lives.

How many times are we required to go to a meeting or another shindig because a professor or boss expects us to be there and all we do is complain about how much of our time will be wasted? Does that happen with church?

The message that I hope you will take away from this week is that if you want to grow in your personal relationship with God, you need to be open to communication with Him everywhere. If you want to add more dimensions to your spiritual life, be attentive to the Holy Spirit and deepen your communion with others and also with the beautiful mysteries of life.

You never know; the next time you go to an obligatory event, you might just walk away feeling like you’re on top of the world.

 

NATHAN DEMAREST

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