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.



1 comment:

  1. Reasons to Believe in Jesus

    Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.

    Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

    Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

    And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

    Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

    From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

    If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

    by David Roemer
    347-417-4703
    http://www.newevangelization.info

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