Finding God on Gannon’s Campus

It was somewhere around the point of the “Alleluia” that everything went dark.

Standing next to my friends in Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel Sunday for 9 p.m. Mass, I thought the power outage might have been planned.

We sort of chuckled to each other and then realized after a few minutes that the lights were definitely not coming back on.

Later on that night, we would come to find out that an underground fire had caused a mass power outage that spanned a couple of blocks in the city.

Yet, in that moment, we only questioned how Mass could possibly continue without any lights.

The small set of candles at the altar gleamed across the pews, our pupils slowly adjusting to accommodate for the darkness.

And even though this was not planned in any sense, this was one of the most blessed and faith-filled services I have been to.

Director of Campus Minstry, Brent Heckman wandered around with an acolyte stick, lighting candles on the walls as students pulled out cell phones to use flashlights for the hymnal.

Eucharist was provided in the darkness as we took our time following the movements of those around us.

The beauty of this moment really came to light when we sat down to hear the sermon.

As the Rev. Michael Kesicki spoke about our call to forgive others and release our grudges, I know that I felt a light within myself.

The quaintness of that darkness provided an intimate space of worship where we all were able to find God.

Our eyes did not wander around the room, but rather we sat with open ears and open hearts to hear the message being given to us.

As cliché as this whole ordeal may sound, it truly did represent how we must sometimes forget our surrounding world and look toward the light of Christ, the brightest light in our lives.

My previous article spoke about the pain our nation has felt with the recent hurricanes and the devastation it has caused.

On Sunday, as we sat there in silence to listen for God’s voice, we sat in solidarity with those impacted by this natural disaster.

One of my favorite Bible passages reads about Elijah going to a mountain to find God’s presence.

He stands there and listens through the roaring wind, a powerful earthquake and a great fire, but God is not there.

Rather, Elijah finds that after all of this has disappeared, God is present in a quiet, gentle whisper.

It is in the unplanned moments that we find God. For many of us who were in Mass this night, we truly did have an encounter with him.

Maybe God was not in the powerful music or the intricate beauty of the stained glass — not that we could see it very well.

Rather, I have faith that he waited in the small flame of a candle.

A candle lit for all to finally see.


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