All posts tagged: undergraduate

Stories of Grace: Episode 13

“I think that, if we’re lucky in this life, we’ll get to come across perhaps three or four really really good ponds.” Visit here to listen to Notre Dame senior Madeline Lewis tell the story of finding the grace to sit with things for long whiles. Subscribe to the free Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Read the full text of Madeline’s reflection below. Really good ponds I think that, if we’re lucky in this life, we’ll get to come across perhaps three or four really really good ponds. This story begins with one such pond: a koi pond at Balboa Park in San Diego. This particularly good pond was something that I happened upon while ambling around the park one sunny June afternoon in the company of someone I dearly love. We weren’t alone in thinking it the perfect day to take advantage of such a treasure: there were dog-walkers and stroller-pushers, families and friends, couples old and young. Loveliness seemed to flutter all …

Stories of Grace: Episode 12

“It’s a messy business, drowning in God’s love and grace.” Visit here to listen to senior John Lee tell the story of encountering the humbling grace of God in the breaking of the bread. Subscribe to the free Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Read the full text of John’s reflection below. Humility After Pride On the 29th morning of October in the year 1994, my mother lost her favorite rosary when she flung it across the hospital room, and broke my father’s hand as she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. They named him John after John the Baptist, because like Elizabeth, my mother had given birth to her first child later in life. They brought him back home to love and cherish forever. Growing up as a cradle-Catholic, I thrived within my Catholic bubble. I absorbed everything in my religion classes, and I loved the stories in the Bible. However, my family and I lived in Los Angeles, and trying to keep …

Stories of Grace: Episode 11

“I cannot even put it into words, but it was as if God picked my fearful body up as my mom had when I was a little girl, and held me in His arms until I was calm.  It was then that I knew that God would not let me suffer from this for my entire life.” Visit here to listen to Saint Mary’s College senior Jess Jones tell the story of encountering grace as a comfort and stronghold amidst all anxieties. Subscribe to the free Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Read the full text of Jess’ reflection below. Calming Grace Do you remember the first time you were ever sent to your room for doing something really, really bad as a kid?  Personally, I used to get sent to my room all the time for time outs, and I mean all the time.  My parents weren’t the ones who sent me though.  Nope, I sent myself. One time in particular it was bad, so …

Stories of Grace: Episode 10

“We were not capable ourselves of the relationship we were gifted. Yet our obstacles were as nothing to God’s grace.” Visit here to listen to Notre Dame junior Courtney Morin tell a story of love, trust, and grace encountered through the adoption of her little sister. Subscribe to the free Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Or, read the full text of Courtney’s reflection below. Eight-and-a-half years ago, my parents’ asked me how I would feel if my family were to adopt a new sibling. Then they changed their minds—actually two new siblings, they said. Nine months later during my seventh grade year, my dad, who doubled as my soccer coach, showed up to soccer practice with a thick manila folder tucked under his arm. In it, was a referral from our adoption agency. Delighted, we poured over the folder’s photos of two little children from halfway across the world, destroying the pronunciation of their names which would eventually become so familiar to us in …

car driving in fog

Stories of Grace: Episode 9

“I, like basically every human ever, deeply dislike the inability to see the road in front of me. It’s uncomfortable. It’s agitating. It’s really easy to lose hope.” Visit here to listen to Madeline Lewis, a Notre Dame senior, tell a story about fog, bread, and unexpected grace in the uncertainty of waiting. Subscribe to the Stories of Grace podcast on iTunes U and receive automatic notifications when a new story is published. Or, read the full text of Madeline’s reflection below. In a Fog A few weeks ago, I drove from Indianapolis to South Bend on an early winter morning. I trusted that the highway road I was driving on continued in front of me, but I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see anything that morning: and not because I had forgotten my glasses or had decided to perform the risky feat of driving with  my eyes closed. I couldn’t see anything because the thickest, haziest fog enveloped the fields around me for miles and miles ahead. As I drove my car slowly and …

Holy Family in stained glass

Stories of Grace: Episode 8

“There isn’t a tidy bow that I can wrap on this story. But, I learned, it’s not the bow that makes things beautiful; it’s the gift of life itself.” Listen to Alex White, a graduate student in the Echo program and a theology teacher in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, tell a story of family and finding God who gently holds the world. The full text of Alex’s reflection is below.   Io ho una gran famiglia italiana pazza.  I have a crazy and large Italian family.  The first 18 years of my life were drenched in love and pasta sauce.  Being loud and affectionate was the name of the game and if you didn’t agree, “Eeehhhh, wassa matta youuuu?” I came to college at Notre Dame and was blazing through my first semester when I got a phone call from my brother, Austin.  Just before my brother hung up, he threw this line at me: “Oh by the way, did you hear that Dad moved out?”  I’ll never forget those words.  I took them in silence.  Sure, 43% …

The Problem of Experience

Many people keep a box of mementos from their childhood and fill it with things that help them recall fond memories or important moments from their youth. When young adults head off to college or start their first real job, a new phase of their life begins. At this point, nothing more is likely added to that box of memories and it is stored away as a new experience begins. Thus, this cycle often continues and each experience is compartmentalized until one’s life becomes a stack of metaphorical containers, separate and unique, but not wholly unified. How often do we hear the exclamation, “What a great experience”? The word “experience” is often used to refer to something that has occurred in the past or will conclude, something that can be summed up and added to a plethora of other experiences. But have we really considered how these experiences shape us as persons – as sons and daughters, as friends, as future spouses and perhaps fathers and mothers, etc. – or do we become so caught …

piano keys

Stories of Grace: Episode 7

“Like performing and articulating music, we are meant to develop our relationship with God so that we can perform mercy and articulate love to all of humanity.” Listen to Notre Dame junior Lacey Silvestri tell the story of being schooled in the grace of attentiveness through her impatience with playing piano. The full text of Lacey’s reflection is below.     We all have bad habits. Nail biting, hair twirling, maybe midnight snacking… regardless of what your habit is, this isn’t a foreign concept. And like anyone else, I too have my own bad habit, and it’s being inattentive…especially in prayer. And if I could go back and pinpoint just where this bad habit started, I think it’s safe to say that it all began at my childhood piano lessons. Now I started taking piano lessons when I was three, and ten years later I finally convinced my parents to let me quit. As you can probably tell, I never liked my lessons. Every time I ever walked into class with my teacher Mrs. Heajin, I pretty much only …

prayerful hands laying on head

Stories of Grace: Episode 6

“I cannot even begin to express how much that small bit of empathy meant to me. My idea of this monster I’ve been fighting for so long was beginning to be transformed by just five words.” Listen to Notre Dame junior Dani L’Heureux tell a story of the healing power of prayer, reflection and relationship.   Trichotillomania. Now, if you’re like most of this world, and me when I got diagnosed, you’re probably wondering what in the world just came out of my mouth, or if it is even in the English language, or if I just sneezed, or something. Unfortunately that wasn’t just a sneeze, and it is part of the English language, as it has been part of my everyday thoughts, outward appearance, and a cause of my heightened awareness and anxiety over how I look since I was 10 years old. This head of mine works in interesting ways, and I’m here to give you a little glimpse into that. In order to explain what trichotillomania is, I combined what I’ve encountered in …

hands holding coffee cup

Stories of Grace: Episode 4

“As I thought more about that prison pudding cup, I began to realize something important. Me, sobbing in front of that vending machine? That isn’t the whole story.“ Listen to Notre Dame senior Madeline Lewis tell a story about family, pudding, and learning to see the hidden story of God’s love. Editor’s note: This is the fourth part of a regular series featuring Notre Dame undergraduate students and others from the university community. In Stories of Grace, listen to others share their encounters with God and his workings in their lives.