Thursday, June 4, 2015

4 Years a Priest

Alright, so I've been bad about keeping up with this blog. Who would have thunk it that I'd actually be too busy to write something! LOL

It's been 4 years since I was ordained to the priesthood. I'm not really sure what I want to say in this blog entry, really...I mean, I'm sure I can go into the many different theological and spiritual reflections...I can go into the many aspects that were a growing experience and all...but...I think I want to say...

I love my family.
Now we weren't the holiest of families. No. We had our own problems. We had our own difficulties. Still, the Lord was not only at work in me when I felt called to the priesthood, he was at work in them. Going from moderate-lukewarm Catholics, he slowly began to transform us. At times we went kicking and screaming. Sometimes we were receptive. All the while, he never gave up on us. God didn't give up on my dad, on my mom, my sister, little brother, nephew, nor on me...He just didn't. He hasn't finished his work on us either. God was using each of us (is still using us) to bring out our identities as sons and daughters of God. Whether or not they realized it, it was my family that helped foster my vocation. It was my family that formed me. It was there, in the family, that I began to understand myself and where I began to understand how to live my life for the Lord.

I am a mess. I have always been a mess. Grant it, there are days that I'm just on it! I'm solid. I can make things work. I am organized. I can be articulate. I am the beacon of love and hope that the Lord needs me to be...and yet...most of the time, I'm struggling to try to make appointments, trying to not annoy someone, trying to clean up after myself, watching my words, organizing and structuring my thought process and my life...It just never ends. Lol.

At times I wonder, "Lord, did you know what you were asking when you asked me to be a priest...because...I'm just going to make a mess of things...lol"

And yet there are moments while in ministry that I think about my family life; I think about how I would have done things back at home if similar situations would come up. I come back to family experiences and lessons. What my mom and dad taught me. Work ethic is one of the main things that they brought out in me. To try my best (but to not be lazy about it); if I am, then I'll only have double the work to deal with as an end result: "El burro trabaja doble." That it's okay to mess up--learn from your mistakes, certainly, but it's okay to mess up. Think outside the box. There's always a way to do something. Leave something for a bit if you are frustrated and come back to it later. 
My parents taught me how to love. 
They taught me how to give myself.
They taught me that vulnerability is okay.
That there are days that you will be angry.
That you'll need to talk things out
and be reconciled.
There will always be something to do and to take it in stride.
That there is a right and wrong.
That it's okay to get dirty and messy.
That it's okay to be myself and enjoy life.
That being serious is too boring, so be weird. lol

My brother and sister have taught me how to love and communicate with others. They taught me that not everyone is the same and that there will be days that you will need to compromise and or cooperate so as to get your ideas or projects done. That there will be days that you don't get along but that in the end, you only have each other and you have someone to share your life with. There is a brotherly-sisterly friendship that cannot be undone and though there are days that you annoy each other, you have the common experience and growth to unite you. We have each other as a support system. We have each other to pray for each other.  And with a nephew and godson, I have the experience of having a fatherly-type role. 

I can watch this little guy grow to become the man God has created him to be. I'm excited to be part of his walk with the Lord. To help help be there for him when he needs the love, support, and guidance he may need in his life. Already I see a great heart developing in him. He is generous and kind. He is starting to take on the work ethic that is being instilled in him by my family (mainly by my dad). He's being formed to be a man of many skills and talents. His joy is contagious. He's a mesh of all of us (but from what I'm told, he's a lot like me!) He is growing into his own. I can't wait to see how the Lord continues to work in his life. 

I love my family. I miss them. It's not easy with "green martyrdom." You miss out on a lot. You are not around for the special days anymore. But I do carry my family with me. And whether or not they know it, the people I encounter and minister to actually experience my family more than me. They encounter my dad's patience, work ethic, and heart of a servant; they experience my mom's goofy-light-hearted approach to life and her love for those dear to her; they experience my sister's zeal and conviction, her abrupt and candor manner when something needs to be decided; they are influenced by my brother's need to get multiple things done as efficiently as possible; they experience the joy of my godson within a loving home. I miss my family. I love my family.
4 years a priest. 
I pray many more years to come. 
May the Lord continue to use my family and me as his instruments for his greater glory.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, pray for us.