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Editor’s Note Winter 2021 by Bridgette Favale

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:5 NIV).

The word “new” is most applicable to our lives around this time of the year. Whether is used to describe the start of the New Year, a list of resolutions we wish to make in our daily routines, or a change within ourselves, newness is at the forefront of every person’s mind.

“The Heart of the Hall” is no different than those who use this time of the year to begin again or as it is written in the Bible, “be born again” (John 3:7). Rather, we have taken the time to make changes within our publication and our own perspectives of the Catholic faith.

If you are an avid reader of our publication, you may notice the first change our team chose to make in lieu of these new beginnings: a newly-designed cover page! Although the publication could never have become what it is without the beautiful work of Kiersten Lynch, a founding member of “The Heart of the Hall,” we decided to kickstart the Winter Edition with a fresh look for the front page.

Not only has the design been affected by our efforts to seek out the new, but our content for this edition is centered around different ways to think about life and faith. Jessica Kelly adds a twist to the popular phrase, “New Year, New Me,” by considering how God remains the same despite the changes in our lives. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of letting go of the past and moving forward in a race she likes to call “the race of life.”

Emma Newgarden, the Editor-in-Chief of Content for “The Heart of the Hall,” follows Kelly with her thoughts on charity. Specifically, Newgarden revisits the same saying, “New Year, New Me” and the correlation between transformation and service. When reading her article, you may find yourself reflecting on all those hours spent in U-Life community service as something that helped you become closer to God rather than a useless requirement.

Next, Sarah Adam contemplates the “why” behind prayer and the “how” we can pray to further develop our relationship with God. Questions such as, “Why should I talk to God about my day if He already knows everything about it?” and “Are we praying from a place of pride or do we approach God with a humble heart?” are proposed by Adam to explain the meaning of prayer that is not often taught to Catholics.

Christina Murphy explores a different aspect of our lives that needs change—the way we use social media and free will. Murphy’s close reading of the Catechism and other religious writings allow her to unpack the purpose of free will and how it can reduce media-related anxieties.

Lastly, Andrew Echevarria redefines what leisure means by detailing the difference between time that is filled with distractions and time that brings us closer to the right path of life. His experience with Exodus 90, a ninety-day religious exercise for Catholic men, is included in his article to provide first-hand advice on how to turn your time in leisure into time well-spent.

New beginnings are essential to the teachings of Catholicism, but are not solely related to those who choose to practice the faith. Every individual can take away value in the newness of life no matter which religion they choose to practice. We hope that the entire Seton Hall community can find this edition of “The Heart of the Hall” to be just as inspiring as it was to create. As we made “everything new” (Revelation 21:5 NIV) in this edition, we look forward to hearing the ways you changed your lives and your faith for the better.

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