MILLER: Building a firm foundation in Scripture

May 28, 2024

A young man came into my office recently and asked what Scripture I go to when I’m feeling anxious and stressed. We are at the end of the spring semester at the University of Houston Catholic Newman Center. Classes are completed. The final push to the end with exams has begun.  

Students are studying, cooking for each other, sipping coffee (or anything with caffeine), resting under blankets with their noses in their laptops and books, finding quiet moments of refuge in our chapel or at daily Mass, or going on a needed run or over to the gym for a workout. Life at the Newman is in a final birthing intensity and the beginning of another transition from spring into summer.  

So, when this young man asked me, what Scripture do I stand on when I am anxious and stressed, I told him, great question! The Scripture that immediately came to mind is from 1 Peter: “Cast all your worries and anxieties on me (Jesus), for I care about you” (1 Peter 5:7). 

This student is asking a great question for all of us to consider. He is looking to anchor himself in Scripture, stand on God’s word, and renew his mind and heart amid his storm and the intensity of life right now. He is taking his gaze off the “storm” and placing it upon Jesus.  

The heart of campus ministry lies in accompanying young adults as they learn how to pray and develop a personal relationship with Jesus and our Catholic faith. Reading and memorizing Scripture is where we discover who we are as beloved children of God, who God is, and His great love for us.

It is from this place of intimacy with Christ and our Baptismal identity that we begin the wonderful adventure with Jesus, the holy family, the saints, and our Church.  

The transformative power of Scripture had a profound effect on my life and decision to become Catholic 11 years ago. An important verse for me came from the Gospel of John, where Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (Jn 6:53). Reflecting on this verse led me to discover the power of the Eucharist and Jesus’ command to receive Him in the Eucharist.  

I met our Blessed Mother at the wedding of Cana, as she tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5). The intimacy I experienced reading and praying with this story led me to choose our Blessed Mother as my confirmation saint. She is so intimately and personally attentive to the details and needs of our lives. She models for us what to do, and she prays for us to the Lord. These Scriptures anchored me in a decision that has changed my life forever.   

In this season of transition from spring school year into summer break, what a beautiful time to examine our prayer lives and intimacy with Scripture. As this young man came into my office to ask a great question, I invite you to consider when you also face times of transition: What Scripture are you going to stand on to bring you through the “storm” you are facing? We all need to continue building a firm foundation in Scripture that can get us through all of life’s challenges. 

Salisha Miller serves as a campus minister at the University of Houston Catholic Newman Center.

(OSV News photo)