Editor’s note: OC Catholic has invited students from our Catholic high schools to share what their faith means to them. May their words enlighten and inspire us all.

When asked who they’ve learned the most from, typically my peers answer “parents” or “teachers.” While both responses are acceptable (and logical), my answer isn’t quite the same. I absolutely value all that my parents and teachers have taught me over the years; however, the most important lessons I have learned come from my faith, a gift that has shaped me into the person I am.

First and foremost, my faith has taught me how to love. Love is essential to what it means to be Catholic; God knows how to love because He was the very first to do so. His love projects perfection into a world that is imperfect, as if sprouting a field of flowers on barren soil. My faith not only causes me to grow in my love for God, but also in my love for myself and others. It brings me a sense of community and of companionship, gifting me with many different relationships forged on its foundation.
In turn, I have learned how to be compassionate, manifesting God’s love in my community and beyond.

Compassion enables us to lift up our neighbors and walk alongside them, just as our faith calls us to do. It strengthens our ties to one another and reaffirms our duty to spread kindness into the world.

Second, my faith has helped me understand the ability to trust comes with learning how to love. Trusting a person is no easy task, especially when that person is not physically present. God having a plan for everyone was a difficult concept for 5-year-old me to understand. I often found myself questioning parts of my life, and the answer to “Trust in God’s plan” didn’t always suffice. But I’ve grown to see that God has always led me over every bridge I’ve crossed—all I needed to do was hold onto my faith. This trust is what allows me to believe, and I believe in the good of others, and I believe in the importance of finding light in even the toughest of situations. I love God enough that I can take each day as it comes because I trust in Him to do what is best for me.

Third, my faith shows me that hope is simply trust in a desirable outcome. Hope provides the motivation and means to be committed to a goal and to persevere when faced with obstacles. Our lives test us daily, but our belief in God is how we can continue moving forward. My faith shows me what hope looks like. It is believing that no matter what life may throw at us, love and goodness will always prevail. Having hope demonstrates our confidence in God, letting us stand firm in the face of adversity. Hope embodies the idea of having faith in what may seem to be impossible and trusting that the future will bring what is right for us.
Being raised in the Catholic faith has taught me how to live a life of integrity and benevolence by exemplifying Christ. Growing up rooted in faith has given me a strong foundation to build my life upon.

When I feel lost and struggle to find my way, I know I can always look to my faith to lead me towards what is right.

I know I am a part of something bigger than just myself and recognizing that I can find peace and guidance through God comforts and inspires me. My Catholic education at Rosary has only deepened my faith, allowing me to be the light for those I encounter in and out of school.