There’s something special to me about walking into a Catholic Church. Whether it’s a splendid centuries-old cathedral, or a tiny modern chapel, there’s just something so peaceful and wonderful about being there. Going into Holy Name of Jesus near campus is no exception. While they might not have central heating, the atmosphere is both warm and awe-inspiring. I could see love and friendship as certainly as I could see my own breath. There’s something absolutely lovely about hearing the word of God spoken in a gentle British accent. There’s also something lovely about hearing a homily that refers to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
People always say that “home is where the heart is.” I think that’s mostly true. But truly, our hearts are meant to find their homes in God, and so I believe home is where God is. Of course God is everywhere, but He is especially present in places where two or more are gathered in His name. He is there in great churches, and tiny chapels. He is among the community of a Catholic school and in the community of a chaplaincy dinner. He is wherever you choose to bring Him to.
Right next door to Holy Name church is a building referred to as “the chaplaincy.” It’s essentially what we in the States would call a campus ministry. This one (obviously) is Catholic, and serves to bring Catholic students together as often as possible. They offer ministries like lectio divina (which I’m SO excited about) and daily masses, and there are groups involved in community service and fellowship. And then there are casual events like tonight, when they serve tea and a hot meal. The students come from all over the world, from countries like China and Poland and Hungary, but we’ve all got at least one thing in common: we’re all trying to find God in this busy and hectic life.
God asks something very simple of us: to “bloom where we are planted.” But it’s very hard for a flower to bloom all by itself. You rarely see it that way, unless the flower is a weed that is incredibly tough. More often than not, you see flowers clumped together. God doesn’t usually call us to be like the weed growing in the cracks of a sidewalk; He almost always places us with others who will help us grow. We just have to figure out who those others are. It isn’t always easy to bloom where you are, but if you find a flower already in a little patch of sunlight, then that’s a good place to start.
Most flowers are able to be uprooted and transplanted, but it takes special care in order for them to adjust and thrive in a new location. If you remember to carry God with you in your heart, then he’ll help your roots find the nourishment they need to survive. So even in this strange place full of funny accents and strange food, it’s still possible to find that familiarity of home. Home is wherever my heart is, and my heart has found its home in God.