It never gets old, hearing someone comment favorably about your son’s preaching.
That was true when Chris, our eldest, was posted in Dallas and Kansas City. It’s even more true today, as he begins his newest gig at DeSmet Jesuit High School – near our home in metropolitan St. Louis.
As a member of the order’s USA Central and Southern province, a Jesuit priest could potentially be assigned to ministries in any of six states, stretching from Florida to Colorado – not to mention Belize and Puerto Rico. So we consider ourselves blessed by this recent turn of events, to have Chris take up residence in a neighboring zip code for the first time in about 15 years. At the very least, we look forward to the chance to hear Fr. Chris preach “live” a bit more frequently in the coming months.
That said, I have to admit experiencing just a tinge of regret that I hadn’t been “in the house” this morning, when he celebrated Mass on the feast day of St. Ignatius Loyola in the DeSmet Chapel. (Iggy, as he’s rarely called, is the Founder of the Jesuits…so July 31 is a big day in Jesuit circles.)
Ironic – this eruption of paternal pride – even as we mark the life and times of a saint whose motto was AMDG, or “ad maiorem Dei gloriam” (a Latin phrase meaning “to the greater glory of God.”)
A father’s pride, I realized, could easily work at cross-purposes to the Ignatian motto. It could easily deflect glory away from the Holy One.
Then, even as these thoughts of glory rumbled in my head and heart, I began to wonder what use God might possibly have for a “greater” measure of it…
Does not God, our Everything, already possess all the glory that is, or ever was, or will be?
What then, do we actually bring when we offer something of ourselves “to the greater glory of God”?
Perhaps it’s simply a piece of our brokenness:
“Take this pride of mine, Lord. It’s not much…but sometimes, it’s all I can manage to see. And I recognize that at times, it can keep me from seeing You.
So take it, Lord.
Take my often-confounding desire for greater glory…and make of it what You will. Amen.”
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.