Horrifying (& Glorifying) God
Mary McManus, CVV 3
Mary lives in Denver with her husband and four children. She is a maker of soups and practitioner of Theological Reflection, particularly within the context of her family. She graciously shared this reflection at our 2013 Commissioning celebration.
Adapted and reprinted for Liturgy Training Publications© 2014 Archdiocese of Chicago, Liturgy Training Publications.www.LTP.org. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Do you ever look at your daily life through God’s eyes? Do you ever take the time to look at the day to day events of your life, in the light of God’s grace? That’s what theological reflection is.
Theological reflection is a big part of the CVV year. Simply reflecting upon your experience and giving it back to God. It’s been 16 years since I sat in these same pews. I can still feel the butterflies in my stomach – so many new people, a bit homesick, nervous about the job I would start the next day. I never could have imagined how my encounters with my CVV community and the guests at the Broadway Assistance Center at Old St. Joe’s would become woven into the very fabric of who I am to this day.
These days, my theological reflections are fueled by my four young children. For example, we were driving home from Church one Sunday recently and my 7 year old sang out, “We praise you, we bless you we adore you….We HORRIFY you….” Yeah, she actually thought the song said “We horrify you.” But — it got me to thinking: do we humans horrify God? When I look at the world around me, I myself am horrified. I don’t assume to know the mind of God, but there is plenty of brokenness, too much pain, and so much that breaks my heart. I wonder what God feels when God’s people suffer.
If you ask former CVV volunteers what it was about their experience that affected them most, some will say community. Others will say it was their job placement, or the challenge to live a more simple life. I think what all these experiences have in common is that, when approached with integrity, the CVV experience makes you “get real” because you can’t hide. CVV puts you in touch with life at its most real, its most vulnerable. We encounter others in all their weakness and their glory as well. When we embrace life in all its messiness, when we don’t hide from the pain, then we allow God’s transformation to take place in a very powerful way. We give glory to God when
- we care for those on the margins,
- when we allow our hearts to be broken,
- when we break bread in soup lines and at the dinner table and at this altar.
Faith community: in a few minutes we will commission these volunteers. Why? Because relationships are at the very heart of what we do. God has called them into loving relationship, and we who represent the wider community, send them out to glorify God in their words and actions this year.