By Ignatius Plato
Deacon Bill McCormick, SJ, strives to recognize every bit of God’s hand in his ongoing formation journey. As he will tell you, even the most ordinary things have left an impact during his formation; he still learns from his experiences every day.
“During college, formative experiences in and outside the classroom made me aware that our intellectual capacities are a great gift, and that those capacities are no little part of how humans do – or don’t! – get along in society,” McCormick says. He cites these insights as the beginnings of his love for political theory.
In a predominantly secular world, McCormick finds ways to seek God through the “pursuit of depth.”
“The call to depth is a task that never ends,” McCormick explains. “For me, it means embracing paradox: recognizing the truths in seemingly contradictory perceptions of reality, being able to live in deep tensions that we cannot resolve.”
He believes that the Cross stands as the only genuine resolution offered to mend these deep tensions. Endless pursuit of depth in the Paschal Mystery is at the heart of McCormick’s formation.
McCormick points especially to his regency at Saint Louis University as an affirmation of his sense of belonging in the Society.
“I loved teaching [at SLU], and I was grateful to see the many intersections between the classroom and my research,” he recalls. “God approached me daily in my students, in my colleagues, in my community, and through them gave me wonderful confirmations that I was where I belonged – and still am where I belong!”
McCormick also remembers experiencing spiritual companionship as early as his novitiate through one of the members of the L’Arche Community where he lived for a time as a novice. McCormick credits Wally as being the best example of God’s love that he can remember.
“Wally showed me every day how much God loved and cared for him, even unto death,” McCormick says. “I had always believed that God is love, but I had no real sense for the depths of that love until I saw how much God loved Wally. God is love, and God loves Wally. God loves me. God loves all of us.”
Reflecting on the things he has learned and the people he has met inspires McCormick to embrace whatever mission God guides him toward next.
“I’m blessed!” he says with a laugh. “Through no merit of my own, God has made me out of love, and God preserves me and welcomes me into His service out of love. I’m lucky, I’m blessed and I’m loved.”
Bill McCormick, SJ, is in theology studies at Regis College (University of Toronto), and a deacon at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. A student of politics and religion, he is a contributing editor at America Magazine.