Teresa M. Amabile, PhD
When I was an undergraduate at Canisius in the 1970s, my friends and I awakened every day, it seemed, to something more, something beyond ourselves and our own small worlds. Through conversations with the Jesuits on campus and our lay professors, with groups of other students, and with the speakers who came to Canisius and UB, our eyes and hearts were opened to ideas and people beyond us: the soldiers, the children and other civilians in Vietnam who were suffering and dying daily because of our country’s terrible war; the peacefully protesting students at Kent State who were gunned down by panicked National Guardsmen barely older than they; the consumers across our nation who were being cheated and harmed by bad products and exploitative marketing; the poor in our own city of Buffalo who had little access to the necessities of life, let alone its poetic beauty. We began to think and act as “men and women for others.” We began to “see God in all things,” starting with the divine within ourselves and the people around us.
Magis enters my daily life now in ways large and small. I draw inspiration from the magis in my students, like the young woman determined to employ dozens of people in her fledgling health care startup in her native Nigeria. I draw inspiration from the magis of current Canisius students who befriend, tutor, mentor, and assist high school kids and aspiring entrepreneurs in our beloved home town of Buffalo. I draw inspiration from the magis of the women in the prison where I volunteer, especially from the petitions they offer at Mass: “For my good friend here, Lord, that her parole hearing on Tuesday will succeed.”
From the Canisius I first knew, the Canisius of today, and the Divine Indwelling within the people I encounter every day, I am inspired to ever more in my life.