Adam Wood, Senior
“We must be men [and women] with hope to bring.”
I think about these words from Constitution 8 of the Congregation of Holy Cross every day as I drive onto campus and begin my search for a parking spot. Statistically speaking, there won’t be an open spot for me at the front-most part of the lot. Considering it’s already 1 p.m. and I’m just getting to campus for my first class, I probably don’t deserve one. But this is a Holy Cross institution, and I’m a man of hope! So you better believe I make a pass through the section with the best spots, even if prior experience says I’m wasting my time.
As Notre Dame students, we hope for a wide variety of things. We hope for a seat near an outlet at the library, we hope the line at Starbucks is short, and we hope to win a coveted RecSports championship tee shirt. We hope that we can score a ticket to the Keenan Revue, a date to a Dome Dance, or a part in the PEMCo show. We hope that our duct tape and plywood vessels don’t sink in the middle of the Fisher Regatta. We hope that the Irish will do better than 4-8 next season. We hope we can manage to finish two problem sets, an essay, and an exam by the end of the week. We hope for good grades, good internships, and good jobs when we graduate. We hope that we can find the time to enjoy all of the things this great university has to offer us.
But sometimes, I think, I have hoped for so many things at once that I started to lose hope altogether. I allowed my hopes to transform into stress, and forgot to have hope in the most important thing, or rather, person. All these things that a Notre Dame student hopes for are good things, but the men who wrote the Constitutions of Holy Cross weren’t talking about hope in tee shirts or tickets or even parking spots. They were speaking of hope in the person, Jesus Christ, who transcends and fulfills all of our hopes.
Many times in my four years here I have let stress overwhelm me to a point of despair. Over time, however, I learned to cultivate hope in Christ and his love for me. I invited him into these moments, and was able to see my burdens more as opportunities for victory. I came to see more of what the Congregation of Holy Cross means by finding hope in the Cross, both the Cross of Christ and the smaller crosses that I bear in my own life. In a student’s life, stressful times are all but guaranteed. We can’t avoid them. Most importantly, we can respond in the best way possible by having hope in the great gifts we have been given. Take a little inspiration from Constitution 8 of the Congregation that founded Notre Dame:
“There is no failure the Lord’s love cannot reverse, no humiliation He cannot exchange for blessing, no anger He cannot dissolve, no routine He cannot transfigure. All is swallowed up in victory.”
I’ll put my hope in that!