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Soli Deo Gloria
I sometimes wonder why God puts up with us. The God who loved all of creation into life; the Eternal I AM who chose us to be Co-creators, continues to love us. Any evening’s news enumerates the multiple ways that we, as God’s co-creators, are acting in ways that destroy human life, refuse civil discourse, distort truth itself, deny climate change, and ultimately remain deaf to the cries of the poor and of our own Mother Earth. Are we, as the Body of Christ, facing the demise of the life we have known and cherished? Still, God continues to love us.
When I reflect on our Ursuline motto: Soli Deo Gloria – For the Glory of God Alone – I am humbled as my efforts are inadequate to the task. And yet God loves me. Why DOES God put up with me?
The teasing weather of spring invites me outside for a long walk among my brothers and sisters of the created world. Here I turn to the First Scriptures, the Spirit’s expression of God’s self in Creation. I observe and become aware. I listen for God’s voice in my heart. I ponder, taking a long loving look. And I learn.
I see tiny sprouts of green peeking above earth’s crust and I realize that the seed that died and was buried in the darkness is being called forth by the warmth of the sun. This tiny greening plant expresses its own unique life to the world just as it is. Out from the shadow of winter the robin emerges proclaiming in song its unique form of jubilant life. Barren maple branches are puffing up with red flowers that will transform into bouquets of leaves, each branch releasing the seeds of future life on helicopter wings. Awed, I realize that all of creation gives Glory to God simply by being completely as it was created to be. All of Creation Glorifies God! No wonder God loves all that the Spirit has created!.
And what about us? St. Iranaeus has said: “The Glory of God is a personfully alive!” What does it mean for me to be a person fully alive? And I have more questions. . . Am I living fully as a loved creation of God? Do I support and nurture the lives of those I am called to serve? Am I grateful for what I consume, taking only what I need, sharing my abundance with those in want? Am I respectful of Mother Earth, knowing that she will survive without me; while I am totally dependent on her for my very life?
An insight of the ecologist Thomas Berry challenges me: “To wantonly destroy a living species is to silence forever a Divine Voice.”
I do want to live fully, to be a co-creator with God and not a destroyer of life. I want to live: Soli Deo Gloria! My question now is what will I do to live this way? I already know that no matter what I choose to do or fail to do, God’s love continues. Still, I wonder: why does God put up with me?