Sunday, February 21, 2010

The National Lottery and the Priesthood

The British National Lottery had an advert some years back, if I recall well, in which a large hand floats down from above and points to the potential lottery winner; and a voice thunders from above: "It could be you!"
Sometimes in my own journey just such an epiphany from on high would have been useful in my discernment. Wouldn't it be great if the Lord made it absolutely clear in a water-tight way that he was calling me to the priesthood. Alas - it was not to be. Nevertheless, I still discerned my vocation and was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ in 2007.
Certainly the most joyous day of my life was that day of my ordination. I sat gazing into the sanctuary of the Cathedral, and I had this intense feeling of being totally and absolutely loved by Jesus and indeed by all of heaven. And yet, even in that intense experience of God's presence, even with that final affirmation from above - I could not say that I was 100% certain that the Lord wanted me to be a priest. There still remained that space for the leap of faith. Yes, that space was narrow on that day, given the effusion of grace into my soul, and so the leap was less of a leap and more of a hop. Still though - I stepped out (and continue to do so daily) in faith that this is what the Lord had called me to do; this is what has filled my heart with longing and this was the only thing which would ultimately fulfil me; this was what I was meant to do, meant to be.
No I didn't have 100% certainty on the day of my ordination, but can we ever get that 100% in anything we choose to commit to in this life. And yet we have to commit.
For those of you who are seeking 100% clarity before you take the plunge - try to make do with less than 100%. Some days it might feel like you have less than 25% clarity on what the Lord is asking of you. Still - step out in faith, step out on a limb, into the somewhat unknown - and you will be stepping into the Lord's hand - for you do it for him and the Lord will recognise that and reward you for it - even if you find that you have stepped in the wrong direction and misunderstood his promptings.
Like the participant in the Lottery - the advert doesn't promise: "It WILL be you" but only that it could be. It could be that he or she will win the jackpot, but they will only know for sure if they buy the ticket. It could be that the Lord is calling you to priesthood. You'll never know unless you seriously make moves towards discernment - and the first step in that direction is to speak to your local priest or to the diocesan vocations director. Good Luck!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post Father. May God bless you for it.

    I'm praying for you as you do God's work on earth.

    God bless.