Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Continuing with the theme of change a while longer

Back here in the US, today was also the first day of the spring semester. My fellow seminarian and co-blogger Carlo presided at Evening Prayer tonight and in his homily pointed something out I hadn't noticed this morning: Chief Justice John Roberts apparently said the "So help me God" portion of the presidential oath in the form of a question (if that's so, it's not the only mistake poor Justice Roberts made.) President Obama, of course, responded in the affirmative. Carlo went on to say that in our own lives and in our own work, God should not be just at the end. "So help me God," is something which should be on our lips before we even begin.

Many times I hear Catholic men say to me, "I just couldn't handle celibacy," or "I could never be a priest, I'm not good or smart or patient or holy enough." Well, neither am I! Neither are any of us! If God only chose men who were qualified for the priesthood, there would still be only the Eternal High Priest. At the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker, God does not call the qualified but He qualifies the called. Fulton Sheen said that there wasn't much God could do with anyone who felt qualified for the priesthood, but He could work wonders with those who recognize what they really are and their need for cleansing.

The desire to be a priest must exist but the desire alone is not enough. Response is necessary as well. You have to take that step of telling your pastor or vocation director that you are attracted to the priesthood. God's ordinary way of speaking to us is through the people in our lives, and you'll never know for certain one way or another unless you tell others. That was definitely the scariest part for me, but we can do all things through He who strengthens us.

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