Transformation, deformation, and the Glory of God

Today the church celebrates the Transformation of the Lord, when he revealed His divinity, the glory of God, shining through his humanity to Peter, James, and John.

Apropos to this, Monseñor Oscar Romero, the martyred archbishop of San Salvador, closed his talk at Louvain on February 2, 1980, with these words:

“Early Christians used to say Gloria Dei, vivens homo (‘The glory of God is the living person’). We could make this more concrete by saying Gloria Dei, vivens pauper  (‘The glory of God is the living poor person’). From the perspective of the transcendence of the Gospel, I believe we can determine what the life of the poor truly is. And I also believe that by putting ourselves alongside the poor and trying to bring life to them we shall come to know the eternal truth of the Gospel.”

Today is also the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, a day of deformation.

Bishop Maurice Dingman of Des Moines, Iowa, was a blessed man, an advocate of peace, who loved the poor and worked for the preservation of family farmers. In 1978 he wrote,

“The very existence of the human race is in jeopardy. We must halt the arms race in the spirit of Tabor or proceed with the armaments race and face annihilation in the spirit of Hiroshima.”

That same year, on August 6, Death of Pope Paul VI, died. He inaugurated the current Catholic tradition of designating January 1 as the World Day of Peace. In his message for 1976, he wrote:

“If the consciousness of universal brotherhood truly penetrates into the hearts of [humans], will they still need to arm themselves to the point of becoming blind and fanatic killers of their brethren who in themselves are innocent, and of perpetrating, as a contribution to peace, butchery of untold magnitude, as at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945? In fact has not our own time had an example of what can be done by a weak man, Gandhi — armed only with the principle of nonviolence — to vindicate for a nation of hundreds of millions of human beings the freedom and dignity of a new people?”

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One response to “Transformation, deformation, and the Glory of God

  1. This was a wonderful way to start my Saturday. Great reflection.
    Blessings,
    Carrie

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