On the California campus of Thomas Aquinas College, a small hallway leads out of St. Joseph Commons directly to the mailroom. Here, students receive letters from family back home, invitations to the many dances throughout the year and — quite often — a small, plastic poker chip.
The chips are anonymously placed in students’ boxes as a reminder that their friends in the community care for them in a truly Christian way. Each one symbolizes a prayer that the person who has left it is offering for its recipient. These “prayer chips” come in different colors to denote the different prayers students offer for each other, such as a Mass intention, a Rosary, or a Holy Hour. When not in circulation, the chips wait in a nearby wire basket, open to use by everyone on campus.
It’s common for students to place prayer chips in the boxes of peers they do not know well, as a way of reaching out spiritually. The anonymity of these chips is a reflection of Christ’s command to make our prayers quietly and humbly: “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret” (Matt. 6:3).
Though small, the prayer chips serve as a simple expression of friendship and charity in Christ. “When I see a chip in my box, my day gets better,” reflects sophomore Maria Brittain. “It lets me know that my friends are thinking of me and that they’re talking to God for me.”
The above comes from a Jan. 11 press release from Thomas Aquinas College.
Pray and play, marks of a truly Catholic institution.
I’m bettin’ students will leave TAC the better for it, especially when the chips are down.
What a great idea!
Is there one to let a cute girl know she has a secret admirer?
He could just talk with her and then it wouldn’t be creepy. And, he could try any of the standard Catholic lines guys use. “Wanna go to Mass with me?” “We should help each other get to heaven, maybe for the rest of our lives?” “I forgot my Rosary–can I use your fingers?” “I was reading the book of Numbers and realized I don’t have yours.” “You must go to Latin Mass, because your form is extraordinary.” “Do you pray the Rosary? Because I’d spend decades with you.” One of those, reading lives of the Saints and Saint John Paul’s Love & Responsibility together and who knows how things might go. And, I’m sure TAC students could certainly talk about things that really matter and not the latest social trends.
“Ten kids along with that chapel veil would look great on you.”
I was the one who started all this by giving Secret Admirer his first thumbs up, but I like your ideas much better, with some exceptions. Some are guaranteed to chase her away. (Laughter.)
If a guy approached me with any of those stupid lines I wouldn’t give him the time of day.
Do you have any smart lines or other suggestions for any single Catholic young men who might be reading this?
And, don’t you think some young women would maybe be amused and a little interested, even at a dumb line by a shy guy?
Well, St. Valentine’s Day is coming up. He might try candy – you know “sweets for the sweet” – or a discrete St. Valentine’s mass card. None of that neo pagan, Lupercalia stuff though.
Don’t use a line at all.
If you see a girl that you are interested in and you don’t know anyone who knows her to introduce you, introduce yourself.
Hi, I’,m Bob Figaro. I saw you at St. Mary’s on Sunday. I thought I would come and introduce myself.” If a convo develops, ok. If not, just say hi when you see her at church. If conversation develops or she appears to linger a little, ask her if she wants to go for a cup of coffee or someplace else in your own cars where there are other people. If she stays interested and comfortable, ask for another public meeting.
If she says no, don’t ask why. Don’t beg. Be cool. Say “I understand.” If she asks for your number because she needs to check her schedule, give it to her. You get her digits when she contacts you. If she ghosts you, say a prayer for her and move on.
Woman are easily made uncomfortable because some guys are weird. Don’t get too close. Better not to touch. Make eye contact but not to point where it is creepy.
Usually if it is the right person things go better than you would ever expect and if it’s wrong, people usually know right away. It is not rejection; it’s just not getting your time wasted and not risking leading someone on.
That will be an Our Father, Hail Mary and a Glory be for the intention of the Pope for you young man! :-)