Against the backdrop of that horror I have been catching glimpses of the Olympic Games and have been amazed not only by the actual feats that the various athletes have been able to accomplish, but by the hard work and striving for excellence that has gone into their achieving their goals even when they fall short of winning a medal. When I see that I am motivated myself. No, I will never manage to go on a balance beam or run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, but it does inspire me to live my life as a priest and friar with ever more dedication and to take even better care of this body that God has given me. The saint whose image appears at the beginning of this article, St. Irenaeus, one of the great theologians of the early Church said, "The glory of God is the human person fully alive." What a wonderful statement. God is glorified when you and I are alive by using all of the gifts and talents that God has given us.
Speaking of giving glory to God through what we do how about the landing of that rover The Curiosity on Mars. To me that represents the desire of the human person to reach out and to explore new things. Some will argue that with our present economy that such enendeavor is a waste of money. That is understandable but also, I believe, short-sighted. I beleive that it represents something of the best in the human spirit that desires to explore this vast and wonderful universe that the Creator has given us and that such efforts will bear fruit in the long run, not only economically but for the good of the human race and the glory of God.
Back to the shootings and the violence I wonder if the Olympic athletes and the great scientists of NASA might not inspire us to use all of the talents at our disposal to build a human race that respects one another in spite of our differences and that builds bridges of peace between people. That would truly be the human being fully alive and give glory to God.