Ad meiorem Dei gloriam (AMDG) means “for the greater glory of God”.
My uncle, the Jesuit priest I’ve spoken of previously, taught me the meaning of that abbreviation when I met him in CA before our cross country trip east. He said many times Jesuits will sign their letters with that before their names.
I title this post that way because “the Lord has done great things for me, and worthy is his name.” More importantly though, because I love you God. Abba …. my Father … I love you.
I love you because I do . . . for no other reason than that. I walked away from my spiritual retreat wholly refreshed, rejuvenated, and recommitted to growing my relationship with Christ. I began saying a prayer to the Holy Spirit every day (our Retreat Master, Fr. Larry Richards recommended doing this). The prayer goes: “O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will.”
I am a sinner, in no way worthy of praise or admiration because of what I am telling you. I write this not for “atta’ boys” or to make anyone think better of me. I don’t even want you to know who I am really (SRC is all you’ll ever get out of me).
I write all of this to give thanks and glory to God, and to write about something cheerful for once. It is easy to be faithful to God when times are good . . . not so much when times are bad. I am thankful that I began to solidly rebuild my relationship while things were still bad and so I don’t feel like my love is quid pro quo (at least not totally, again I’m not perfect).
I do believe that God made clear for me a path to rebuild my life and not because of anything I did, but because I am His beloved son, and he has work for me to do in this new state in the south. That’s right, I just “moved” (in truth I have clothes and books and I’m staying with friends until I get my own place) 8 hours south from the state I’ve lived in all of my life to live and teach at a middle school.
Before I left to work at a camp for one week, I sent out a lot of applications to schools in MA and some in RI. I sent my resume and a cover letter email to one school in this southern state. I didn’t even know where in the state it was. While I was at this camp, I received a phone call requesting a phone interview for this middle school teaching position. I interviewed and got the job!!! The school turned out to be located in a small town (we’ll call it Forest Path) which is just outside of a major city (we’ll name it Effington, a nod to Ben Folds of course) where very good family friends live. I knew I would be able to stay with them until I got myself situated. The same day I got the job I got a call from my landlord (of the house I could not remain living in but needed to keep paying rent until it was sold) saying that they found a buyer and I could be released from the rental lease two months early.
I am usually not one who points to things dramatically and says “God! I know it was you!!!” . . . But come on, this one is pretty obvious. I am so thankful and relieved to be moving past what can only be described as one of the darkest and most painful chapters in my life. I am ready to begin anew and to be successful and free. I know though that the greatest source of joy is my renewed relationship with Jesus and that my strength for teaching and loving my students must flow from Him. I am even open to the Priesthood again as a possibility (something I have seriously contemplated at different points in my life).
I am very grateful for the love and support people have given to me over the last 8 months and I pray that I can return that loyalty and love with help from God.