Branching Out Blog

Spes Unica - Only Hope

Posted by Jessica Guerriero on May 6, 2020 7:00:14 AM

Ave Crux, Spes Unica. For the past seven years, I have attended educational institutions sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The congregation’s motto, Ave Crux, Spes Unica, has been ingrained in my brain, but lately it has taken on a special meaning in my life. It translates as “Hail the cross, our only hope.”
 
I know parishes and dioceses across the United States are struggling with how to serve their communities, particularly young adults, during this difficult time. Many are trying to use Zoom calls or YouTube videos as a way to minister to their young adults, and these means are often successful with strong turnouts of participants from their homes. People are hungry for connection and community, even on a screen.
 
I was on a video call with a retreat group earlier this week, and we were sharing our experiences. Many of these fellow college students had gone home and were adjusting to living with parents and siblings again. About half an hour in, we realized we had nothing else to share; life seemed too slow with no exciting news. Yet, we stayed on the call. We stayed on the call for an extra hour, because looking at each other made us feel a little closer and a little more connected. We talked about how we missed being able to hug each other and see each other’s faces around campus.
 
My friend Robbie who will be graduating online in two weeks, brought tears to my eyes when he said, “I would do anything for one more campus ministry retreat.” I understand what Robbie meant; I too have been dreaming about one more opportunity to sit together, physically. I miss the times we could comfort each other, play volleyball, take a hike, pray and eat together. My fellow students and I mourned the fact that, for the foreseeable future we would have to share from afar.
 
Jesus taught me long ago that no cross, no burden, is too big or too small to bring to him. There is universal suffering right now. Some people are mourning the loss of loved ones; others are mourning the fact that they won’t walk across a stage and celebrate graduation with friends and families. We all are carrying crosses and burdens, let us recall how liberating and salvific Jesus’ cross is for us. Let us not forget to hope. I am spending my days reminding my heart, Spes Unica, Spes Unica - Only Hope.
 
Join Jessie and other Catholic young adults for an online faith-sharing series breaking open Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’, Creation at the Crossroads.
 
Jessica Guerriero is the RENEW Theology on Tap Coordinator and is a student majoring in Catholic Studies at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.

Jessica Guerriero

Written by Jessica Guerriero

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