May God bless us with discomfort

New 606 contributor Ben Wideman is the campus pastor for 3rd Way Collective at Penn State.

A new semester is beginning at colleges across our country. Here in State College, Penn State students are rolling through their first week. In honor of the occasion, I decided to take a familiar Franciscan blessing and edit a few words to fit our context. Perhaps it will be a blessing to you wherever you find yourself as you begin this fall…

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May God bless us with discomfort at shallow professor answers, partisan-truths, and superficial student relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at institutional injustice, higher Ed oppression, and exploitation of grad students and staff, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace at Penn State.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from mental health, body rejection, Lion Cash hunger, and marginalization, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference on our campus, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to Penn State, State College, and beyond.

A 2019 Penn State Franciscan Blessing

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