“To fall in love with God is to become fully yourself,” said Karina Montague in Wednesday night’s Women’s Ministry event on the topic of authenticity on Feb 21.
The title of the event was “Who are you when you are alone?” The event took place in the Fireside Lounge. It was full of young women from all different groups and households gathering together to pray, learn and praise.
The event started at 7:30 p.m. with prayer and song, followed by a talk by Karina Montague, a senior social work and sociology major, and Katie Burns, a humanities and Catholic culture sophomore. Montague and Burns spent the evening working on the theme and sharing their insights on the subjects of being alone and authentic.
Montague started the talk by asking everyone in the room to reflect on how differently they act when they are around people versus how they act when they are alone. She continued to ask the women to look at how they act around different groups of people or the “systems” in their lives.
With these reflections, Montague made two major points, the first being an exhortation to “seek out the duplicity in our lives” and the second a call to examine the role of peer-pressure influencing duplicity on campus.
Montague said large amounts of spiritual peer-pressure on campus can be beneficial, but women must be mindful of motives. Love, specifically love of God, should be at the center of actions, she said. She quoted St. Augustine, who said: “Just love God and do whatever you please,” with the idea that with God as one’s motive, she can do no wrong.
Burns spoke on the idea of loving God and being authentic, along with added themes of being mindful of everyday speech. Burns introduced the idea of “sacred catchphrases.” She used examples of sayings like “Jesus loves me because my friend bought me something” or ending our sentences with “Praise the Lord.”Though these are not bad things necessarily to say, repetition can “cheapen their meaning,” said Burns.
Along with this cheapening, Burns also pointed out how odd it would be if people shared every intimate detail of a romantic relationships with others, and she questioned why it is acceptable to do the same with a relationship with God.
Burns called for the young women to be meaningful and thoughtful with their words, concluding: “God is so much more than a catchphrase.”
The evening concluded with a short discussion, with many women expressing their appreciation of Montague’s and Burns’ openness and reflections on Franciscan’s culture.
Grace Jensen, a sophomore accounting and finance major, said she realized “how important it is to be intentional in my actions and words.”