Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm Franny and I Know It

This guy is one of my heroes. 
Franny: (noun) a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, who may have some or all of the following characteristics: will "FOP till he/she drops" (literally), wears sandals or goes barefoot at least 10 months out of the year, isn't seen without a Tau cross or Rosary, loves to pull "prayer marathons" of one devotion after another for an afternoon, talks about Jesus or the saints every few minutes, applies aspects of the Faith to literally everything (movies, books, random conversations about nothing, etc), randomly starts singing Praise and Worship music anywhere, also will pray over people anywhere/randomly asks people if they want to pray together, brings crucifixes, saint statues, or holy cards to put on his/her desk during class, has fifty billion devotions to various saints...I think you get the idea (the list could probably go on, these are just some things I've picked up during my time as a student here).

I remember that during the first or second day of Orientation Weekend my freshman year, a student on O-team heard about my Feast Day Hat and immediately laughed and said, "Wow, you are totally a Franny." And I own my Franny identity. I love it, and I wouldn't want to be any other way. Now I must note that there are "frannies" (meaning students) at FUS who don't with to be "Frannies," (see description at beginning of the post)  and that's okay. Some people want to be all St. Joseph in the background, others want to be John the Baptist-and it's important that people realize who God wants them to be, and that we're not called to all be the same. But no matter what personality a person has, and no matter what lifestyle, he or she is called to live out the Faith through and through. It's important to fully integrate the Faith into all aspects of your life; not just leaving it in the church, youth group, or classroom (if you go to a Catholic school), but bringing it everywhere! I know that lots of people don't like feeling that they're being preached to all the time, and it's important that we don't just walk around "preaching" and not living it out.

But seriously, if we live for God, letting Him be a part of every area of our lives, we will preach the Gospel message. And it's more than okay for people to see your Faith come through. Sometimes, I feel like people are just plain afraid of others getting "turned off" if they are seen doing something religious/Catholic. I think this is definitely a problem, though. Christianity is so cool, why would you want to keep it a secret? Even though the early Christians during the persecutions would have to sneak around sometimes, they wouldn't keep their Faith stuck under a bushel basket. A few weeks back, a speaker here at FUS mentioned how people say "oh, I should be like Jesus, so I can hang out with these people that are doing bad things." The priest mentioned that when Jesus hung out with the sinners and tax collectors, a couple things were in play. 1. Oftentimes, these sinners and tax collectors were seeking repentance and trying to change their lives; and 2. Everyone clearly knew where Jesus stood in the realm of morality and what was right, and He didn't tolerate wrongdoings. Jesus brought Himself (well duh), the Truth in Love, to everyone and every place. Remember, love is not toleration; love is sacrifice, and it definitely involves calling people out when they are doing sinful things.

If the Faith is important to you, let it shine through! When people enter your house, do they immediately know that God is a priority in your life? When people meet you, do they get the vibe that God is a big deal? That your religion is a big deal? Are you free to bring up the Faith in a conversation? How about into your studies, into your art, into your leisure? Just some food for thought.

Like I said, not everyone has to be (or should be) a loud, crazy, St. John the Baptist-style Franny.
I'm Franny and I know it--but if  you're Catholic, do you show it?

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