The longer I walk with discerners the more I realize that I need to stop rushing. It took two-and-a-half years from the time I heard the Lord’s call to the priesthood until I ultimately enrolled in seminary. Sometimes I am tempted to forget that fact as I witness the journey of the men who are treading that same path today. It is easy to try to rush. It is easy to try to push, prod, and pull men through the door to the seminary. Discernment in a seminary or religious house really is wonderful, and I want as many good young Catholics as possible to experience it, but God’s time is not my time and I cannot rush it!
I know that there are many young men who are being called to the priesthood in our midst, and it is my job to help guide them along the path, but I also believe that they often know the trajectory of their journey much better than I do. A young man has to have the desire and the maturity to enter into formation fruitfully, but he also has to pick the right time. In my case, I had a contract that I needed to honor with my employer. I could have cut and run I suppose, but that course of action would not have brought the same peace as leaving the right way did. It also would not have set a great example to my employer! I began to really seriously consider entering the seminary about a year after I heard God’s call, but it took another year and a half for me to be able to leave the right way. And it was worth the wait, every minute of it.
I see this process being born out with the men and women that I work with here in the diocese. I wish I could bring about that perfect timing myself, but this is not my task. My task is to trust that the Lord is working, and to empower our discerners to trust their prayer and the path that the Lord has put them on. I thank you for your continued prayers. I assure you that they are working in the lives of men and women who know that the Lord has called them to something great.
I also want to take this space to let you know how hard our current seminarians are working. The six men that are studying for the priesthood right now are truly seeking after God’s will, and I am very grateful that this is the first “crop” of seminarians that I have had the opportunity to lead as Vocation Director. I know that many of you got to see our seminarians in action as they served at the altar and in parishes during their Easter break, and many of you told me how wonderful it was to have those men sharing their gifts back at home. I agree with you!
Prediscernment Prayer Nights:
Each event is from 6-7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Tuesday, Aprill 27 at Catholic Community of Meridian; 6-7 p.m. at St. Patrick