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We are Incomplete’

Carter Boyd | Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I had the opportunity to go on the February Freshmen Retreat. At the onset of the first wave of tests for this semester, I was reluctant about taking 24 hours out of my weekend to attend a retreat with about fifty other fellow freshmen.
The theme of the retreat was “We are Incomplete.” The retreat came at just the right time for me and served as a great reminder that it is in God’s design for us that here on earth we are incomplete, desperately yearning for something greater than this world has to offer. Either consciously or subconsciously, we realize that we are incomplete in nature; we look to the world around us to fill ourselves, to complete us, to fill the void in our hearts, souls and minds. It would not be a problem if this desire for completeness was only transitory or fleeting, but our masterful creator in heaven designed us with a desire for Him. God designed us with a desire for Him, an eternal and magnificent being, where we remain restless, apprehensive and uneasy without His fulfillment.
Unfortunately, throughout the world and especially in America, we turn to the temptations of the world to satisfy our desire for our missing half. We turn to violence, to drugs, to alcohol, to sex, to food, to money, to excessiveness, to shopping, to coffee, to popularity, to fame, to gossip, to knowledge, to videogames, attempting to fill ourselves. The problem that we realize is that what we are using to complete our voids is insufficient, so we move on to the next thing in a never ending cycle. Some people, however, have grown tired of the search for security and happiness in worldly things and they have put their trust, their faith and their unconditional love in the God who created them. I find it amazing, brilliant and intriguing that God has instilled a desire in us for Him at our deepest core. In our pursuits, while falling to the temptations of the world, we are simply looking for Him, for His peace and grace to fill our hearts and for the great refuge we can enjoy in His presence.  
On any given day at Notre Dame, we can see God’s enduring love. The Grotto burns 24/7 and is open for anyone to say a prayer, the rosary or just stand in awe of the beauty. Christ is present in the Eucharist in classrooms and dorms. Many flock to the Grotto or a chapel to find that flicker of hope that they need to get through the day. Yes, the struggles we face seem overwhelming. We often start out thinking, “I have my day all planned” and then gradually our plans become just a memory. Everything is going great but then there is a pop quiz, a disagreement with a roommate, a phone that breaks, a stressful amount of work, a rejection from an internship, a rainy day, a breakup, a loved one who grows ill at home.
We go in to disarray over whatever it may be. Our spirits become deflated, our thoughts downtrodden. We are broken. We don’t have control. Yet in these moments of loneliness, depression, anger, hurt or pain, we get a call from a friend, a smile from a stranger, a moment of sunshine, a class gets canceled or we get a job offer. Here we see that someone does have control. God has a plan, a purpose, a love for us. Why is it that we want to be the ones in charge and dictate to God when we need Him? Why is it so hard for us to remember that we cannot do it without God’s guidance, love and wisdom? We need to accept that we are incomplete and surrender our lives to God so one day we can be complete in His love.
There are so many opportunities fr all of us in the Notre Dame family. In this time of lent, let us remember our charge for prayer, fasting and alms giving. As we pray during Lent, it is important to examine our consciences. Attending a penance service and going to confession is an important step in preparing ourselves as a steward in our faith. Being immersed in prayer leads us to fasting for our Lord. It is in fasting that we know that our mind is making a conscious decision of discipline to control our body. This is very important as we show our love, honor and respect for God. There are many opportunities for us to do good for others. We can help someone with their studies, talk with a discouraged roommate, encourage our friends in their everyday lives or volunteer. Giving back is vital in realizing that we are incomplete.
Filling our voids with positive acts will lead us to completeness with God. Isn’t that what we are all striving for? During Lent, we are given the great reminder that on our own we are insufficient and that we are dependent on God for true happiness and joy in this world. Let our hearts turn to God to quench our persistent hunger for wholeness.

Carter Boyd is a freshman studying science-business. He can be reached at
cboyd1@nd.edu
    The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.