Finding God on Gannon’s campus: Nathan Demarest expresses the world’s need for love

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.

Have you ever seen the TV show “Friends?” I must confess that I hadn’t, until very recently, when I saw it pop up on my Netflix account in the Trending Now section. I remember singing the theme song, “I’ll Be There for You” with my eighth grade class for our spring concert, and back then, I had no idea it was even connected with “Friends.”
Anyways, the scene is set for six, well, friends, to spend time together in a coffee shop or at an apartment that one of them lives at. They laugh, cry and support each other through good times and bad, and they know that they have each other’s back.
All right, so, you might be asking yourself, “Nathan, why are you talking about this TV show in the ‘Finding God on Gannon’s Campus’ column?”
My answer is: relationships are important. Not just romantic relationships, but friendships are too; where love can be grown and reciprocated between both members of the friendship. Again, I’m not talking about love in the romantic sense, but rather in the sense of phileo and agape love.
What do the words ‘phileo’ and ‘agape’ mean? Now before you say, “it’s all Greek to me” (yes, you guessed it, they are both Greek words) read on.
Phileo translates to “brotherly love”— that’s why Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love, if you were to literally translate it from Greek.
Agape means “sacrificial love.” According to the trusty-dusty Google search engine, agape love is understood to be “the highest form of love.” In the New Testament, agape is used many times to describe God’s love for us.
Now for the million-dollar question. How can we express brotherly love and agape love in our lives today, with the people that we consider friends?
I’m going to phone a friend on the answer to this question, that friend being St. Therésè of Lisieux, the Little Flower. One of my favorite quotes that she said is, “Do small things with great love.”
In our world today, which is a world that is hurting and desperately needing peace, hope and love more and more, we can’t make world peace happen right away. We can’t solve world hunger or stop human trafficking.
However, we can do kind little gestures to our friends and random acts of kindness to others to change the world, one step at a time. Spreading love in one way can be a catalyst for a chain reaction, in which a small act of love is passed on from person to person. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going,” as it says in one of my favorite songs.
Is there someone in your life who needs that extra attention or love?
Your roommate, one of your fellow classmates, or a teammate may come to mind. But if you can’t think of anyone, I guarantee you that if you walk from Palumbo to Waldron in between classes you will pass someone who, at the very least, needs a smile.
Let’s spread the love, encourage each other and build each other up so that we bring the best out of everyone. Let’s have each other’s back, just like on “Friends.” By the way, don’t tell me what happens to Ross and Rachel! I’d like to find out myself.

NATHAN DEMAREST
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