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Hope in action

Paul Ybarra | Monday, September 7, 2009

What does it mean for you to live in hope? Is it as a sports fan, obsessing over injury reports and game schedules, debating and commiserating with friends in front of a packed stadium or television set, all the while hoping for a win? Is it as a student, studying and reading, pouring over a semester’s worth of work with hopes that you will make the grade? All too often our hopes lay in the hands of another, be it a professor, or be it a football team. The challenge for us all is to take what can seem to be a passive endeavor and transform it into an active one. As Christians, this is truly what faith demands of us. To be hope in action.

As a seminarian in the Congregation of Holy Cross, I have come to view hope as actively choosing to live differently. To live a life of prayer, to reflect on how hope in God can become hope in action. For me that has meant, and continues to mean, standing with the poor, doing service, actively choosing to give my time to those in need. It has been at times as simple as choosing to recycle, to conserve energy, to being conscious of what I buy and where it comes from. As a two-time alum and current graduate student in Theology I have been aided in this endeavor to embody hope in who I am and what I do by the Center for Social Concerns.

I want to invite you to come and see. Come and see the new Geddes Hall, the first “green” building on campus. Come and be a part of seminars over fall, winter, and spring break, to learn, serve, and live a more compassionate life outside the classroom. Be part of the CSC’s campaign “Hope in Action.” Learn to live differently by embodying what Pope Benedict XVI’s states in Spe Salvi, that “all serious and upright human conduct is hope in action.”

Paul Ybarra is a 2002 and 2004 graduate of Notre Dame and is a

seminarian and member of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.