WHAT WE NEED TO LIVE AMDG
Mark Poisler ’21
At a Jesuit school, we claim that everything we do, from biology to football, is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, “For the greater glory of God.” We print AMDG on the right hand corner of tests and papers, proudly wear it on our jerseys and t-shirts, and acknowledge it on the floor of Agee Hall, but do we honestly grind at school for God’s glory or for our personal success in receiving the highest grade, earning a decent win-loss record, and getting into our dream school? Sometimes, we might confuse God’s glory with our own.
As Catholics and Christians, we want to commit our entire lives to God and His glory. Yet, the American high school system traps us in a “rat race” of self achievement. We profess AMDG as a catchphrase, but continue to surf the system for a better future for ourselves and pride. How can we find a better way to relate our typical high school activities for almighty God’s glory? Should we just quit high school and join a monastery? How do we shift our naturally egocentric attitude of life to a more meaningful one?
To answer this, Bishop Robert Barron, a great Youtube Evangelist and “the Bishop of the Internet,” stresses in a Sunday Sermon that we must pray for WISDOM. You might wonder, “Why does God want me to be smart?” However, Catholics define this Gift of the Holy Spirit as seeing the world from God’s perspective. St. Thomas Aquinas compares this to viewing the world from the hilltop instead of our tunnelvision from below. Bishop Barron states that by viewing the world from the hilltop, we will know how to use our opportunities and gifts for God’s desire for us: living out our full spiritual potential.
With Wisdom, we will not just ask God, “Help me win this game for Your Glory,” but we will know, by viewing from God’s perspective, how that game can lead us to our full spiritual potential. We will encounter our purpose beyond making the Honor Roll and the playoffs and reflect on how our daily efforts bring us closer to God and salvation. To practice Wisdom, we should take the time to pray and examine our work’s connection to God’s mission for us: How will the practice of studying, muscle building, or building companionship lead to better spiritual practices of praying, evangelizing, and loving and serving others? How does what I am doing relate to God’s will?
When we realize how a task leads to stronger faith and practice the task towards the spiritual goal, then we are actually glorifying God since we are seeking our full spiritual potential. By praying for and practicing Wisdom, we truly live our high school lives for God’s glory instead of drowning in egotist greed.