Monday October 9, 2017

Stages of Growth: "It is Amazing in our Eyes" (Mt. 21:42)

By Fr. Ted Cassidy, SM

There is much rivalry between UD and Xavier University, sometime between the Marianist spirit of UD and the Jesuit spirit of Xavier. Yet the founder of the Marianists, William Chaminade's older brother, Louis, was a Jesuit who guided his younger brother through the early stages of life and gave him the foundation for his future. He developed very well under his brother's tutelage. 

During the years of older adolescence and young adulthood, one goes through the stage of life where past values and practices are looked at. The main dynamic happening is the development of the true self of the person. But this growth is not easy and demands looking at what has formed us well and what has been in a false direction. The Gospel for this Sunday speaks of something formerly rejected and becomes the cornerstone. This is amazing in our eyes. We are invited as we go through the painful stages into something amazing.

One of the extraordinary dynamics that St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, taught is the realization that as we grow through the stages of life we are invited into four periods of growth: 1. In the first we note that God is giving us gifts 2. In the second we note that God is present in the gifts and even in the gift of our very selves 3. In the third stage we note that God is giving is acting in and through those gifts 4. In the fourth stage we realize that God is personally sharing the divine Life with us.

As we dance through the rivalries and growth periods of life, we actually are all invited into a new self that participates in the life of God in us. It is amazing to behold.

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