Sunday, December 20, 2009

That Religious Guy: A Break in the Clouds

..... It seems that every day is a cloudy one. The weather outside may be crisp and clear, but on the inside, it's cloudy. In the minds of most high schoolers, this is the daily forecast since we are still trying to discern our vocation, our calling. What will we be in life? A doctor? A lawyer? An artist? And for me, a priest?

..... One of the benefits of being a teen discerning for the priesthood is the feeling of assurance involved in the process. I'll know that by constantly contemplating my purpose early in life, I'll come out stronger. Stronger because I will have known whether I truly was being called to the priesthood or something else. This assurance also manifests itself in different ways. The assurance of support from family and the church, and most importantly, the assurance of guidance from God.

..... The word vocation comes from the Latin vocare meaning "to call." Basically, God calls each and everyone of us to fulfill a vocation, whether it be holy orders or married life. His call, however, might not be obvious or audible at first. This is to say that one should keep quiet and listen closely for a big booming voice from the heavens. If only it were that easy. At times, a vocation might altogether just disappear because of distractions erupting from society. After all, the secular mentality seems to be that the only way to be successful in life is to get married, have kids, and make money. Emphasis on the money part. The power to discourage also plays a major role in destroying vocations. I've personally heard a range of negativity about my thoughts on becoming a priest:

"Don't waste your life!"

"This is just a phase."

"Don't you want to get married?"

..... Then I realize that each one of these comments has a flaw. Is it really a waste of one's life if it's dedicated to serving others? In essence, the office of a priest can be described by one of the titles of the Pope. A priest is a "Servant of the Servants of Christ." In order to be first, one needs to be last.
..... The vocation to be a priest is most definitely a phase. But isn't the desire to be a doctor or lawyer also phases? After all, one doesn't just wake up and say "I'm going to be a neurosurgeon!" No, it's a long and arduous process trying to determine your future profession. If it didn't have stages, no one would ever be able to determine their calling.
..... Married life is one of the highest positions on the worldly hierarchy. That and multi-billionaire bachelor/bachelorette. Sure marriage is a beautiful sacrament, a fruitful institution that represents love and procreation. Holy matrimony, however, isn't for everyone. Some people like Fr. What's His Name and Sister So and So would rather have had Holy Orders instead. I don't see what's all the fuss about. When you're a priest, you're married to the church and will have more kids then every man in your parish since everyone will be calling you Father!

.....If I could describe the process of discerning a vocation to the priesthood, it would be like a cloudy day. The clouds are so thick with doubts, discouragement, and distractions that you can't see anything. So one day, you decide to do something. Research. Discussions. Prayer. You try anything to make those dark clouds vanish until you're rewarded with a penetrating light from the sun. I imagine that this is what it feels like to find purpose, to finally see what's coming ahead.

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

P.S. Oh yeah, visit my blog where you can read all my religion posts

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