About Harvester's Wanted:

A Catholic priest's reflections along the path of Faith.

When this life is complete, I pray they say I lived for the Greater Glory of God +AMDG+

PRAYER REQUESTS through link on right side-bar.

Friday, April 18, 2008

On My Calling

One of the questions that I get asked the most, and rightfully so, is: 'When did you start thinking about entering seminary and becoming a priest?' The simple answer is that I can not remember a time when the thought of becoming a priest was not in the back of my mind. That's not to say however that I have not convinced myself several times that the priesthood was not for me. That feeling never left me however, and I finally committed to exploring the process a little closer and that's when I contacted the vocations office. In fact I have learned that the persistent feelings of interest in the priesthood is a good sign that God is indeed calling that person to enter into religious life and help lead his people. I also, from an early age, was drawn to the priesthood because I found that theirs was an interesting role they played in society, as well as a lifestyle that brought a lot of joy not only to the priest himself but also all those close to him. I must admit that I also found them to be very 'neat' in that as a child we would be sitting in our little chapel for school mass and Father would ring the bell and suddenly appear which to me only added to the aura that surrounded a priest in my mind.

During my continuing discernment I have heard of a priest whom when asked about the moment he decided to become a priest he answered with 'this morning when I woke up.' To me this reviles that a person's discernment does not end when they are accepted, or when they enters seminary, nor does it end when they are ordained for it is an ever growing understanding of what God is calling one to do with their life. That really has helped me in my discernment because I know now that while I need to be pretty sure about my decision to attend seminary and become a priest before I enter seminary the process of discernment is on going and I am able to discern while in seminary that this indeed is not the path God is calling me on. However, having talked it over with so many people I truly believe that God wants me to serve him and his people as a priest.

I am glad that I wrote that email to the vocations department because I feel as if I am now fulfilling God plan for me and am finally on a path towards helping to create a greater good. I know that if I had chosen not to look into the discernment process further I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. Now that I am really involved in my own discernment I feel happier than I have felt in a long while. For me it has been a long path, in which I was discerning the entire time without realizing where I was headed until I was really ready to commit.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Holy Father Speaks on Harvesters

From the Pope's talk to the U.S. Bishops on 4/16/08:

"Let me conclude by stating the obvious. The fields are still ripe for harvesting (cf. Jn 4:35); God continues to give the growth (cf. 1 Cor 3:6). We can and must insist -- even in our own time and for our own time -- as the late Pope John Paul II did, that God is preparing a new springtime for Christianity (cf. Redemptoris Missio, 86). What is needed above all, at this time in the history of the Church in America, is a renewal of that apostolic zeal which inspires her shepherds actively to seek out the lost, to bind up those who have been wounded, and to bring strength to those who are languishing (cf. Ez 34:16). And this, as I have said, calls for new ways of thinking based on a sound diagnosis of today's challenges and a commitment to unity in the service of the Church's mission to the present generation. Thank you."

"In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send workers. Only the Lord can give the workers, and we always have to pray that He gives us the workers. He even admits that the workers are few in comparison with the abundance of the harvest (cf. Mt 9:37-38)."


Also a quote from a similar talk to Ireland's Bishops given in 2006:

"At one time, Ireland was blessed with such an abundance of priestly and religious vocations that much of the world was able to benefit from their apostolic labours. In recent years, though, the number of vocations has fallen sharply. How urgent it is, then, to heed the Lord’s words: 'The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest' (Mt 9:37-38)."