Monday, February 9, 2009

A point of clarification

Some of the readers of this blog may be confused by the fact that this blog has stuff on the priesthood on it and the other blog I run has stuff exclusively on the priesthood, yet I have pictures up of my recent engagement. I want to go on the record to avoid confusion that I am not a priest, nor am I a seminarian. I was in the seminary, but not anymore, and I am discerning with my fiancee about married life. I work at a seminary, and I happen to work in a vocations office, with my full time work being priestly vocations work, but let me say again, I am engaged, and I am not a priest or a seminarian.

I do realize that my life is very ironic. Here I am, having been in seminary and on my off times living in a rectory, and now I work in a seminary and I live in an old convent that has been converted into a Catholic men's house. There I was, discerning whether I was called to be a priest, and now I work full time for priestly vocations. God is probably laughing, because I know I am. But God is good; I know I wasn't looking to be where I am now; it just was a number of chance occurances that got me here. But they aren't chance occurances, since I know God knows what he is doing, and I know I will be ok as long as I listen to Him and follow His will for me. I feel very confident that I am supposed to be doing what I am doing right now. And because of that, I have a lot of consolation.

I suggest you do the same: listen to Him and do not worry, whatever may come your way.

May you all remain close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Prayer for Priestly Vocations

Lord Jesus, you called chosen men to be with you: to preach the good news of salvation and to have authority over the powers of darkness. Send your Holy Spirit upon the men you have chosen for the priestly ministry. May they answer your call and follow you with generous hearts. Amen.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Love and Marriage

I proposed to my girlfriend Angela this past weekend. Below are the pictures. Let me just tell you how excited I am to be planning to spend the rest of my life with this woman. She is so exquisite and beautiful, so honest, loving, and caring. She makes me want to be a better man.

We have now dived head first into wedding prep, doing stuff for reception halls, the Nuptial Mass, as well as guest lists and a whole host of other things. It is sort of terrifying to see all the stuff we have to do in the next six months. The wedding date is August 22nd, which for all of you liturgists out there is the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary. In the old calendar, August 22nd is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When I saw this, I knew I wanted to get married on that date. Angela and I's favorite Marian title is the Immaculate Heart, and so I think it would be very appropriate.

But as we are travelling full speed to August 22nd, we must remember that this is still a period of discernment, and I must remember to keep talking about life after the wedding, when Angie and I will be married and in our own place, trying to do the will of God. We both want a good number of children. I have thrown out the number 12, and she has thrown out 7. However, while it does kind of matter what we think, God is the one who will allow us to get pregnant with the number of children he wants us to have. As long as we are open to God's plan for us, we will do alright.

By being open to God's plan, let me explicitly say that in a marriage, there is no room for contraception or any other form of birth control which attempts to take the power of God out of God's hands and make it your own choice. Contraception is intrinsically evil because it doesn't allow a man and woman to fully partake in what sexual intercourse was intended. Sexual intercourse is the beautiful mix of unity and procreation, and when one of them is not present, a man and woman are not making love, but simply having sex. They are then in it solely for pleasure. I don't intend to take pleasure out of the act of making love (because you probably can't do that), but the pleasure should be directed towards the openness to procreativity.

Anyway, I hate to soapbox when I talking about such a great event in my life. But I am very happy, and Angie makes me happy. Thanks Angie for saying yes. I love you, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you.

Finding God in little things

Dear friends,
As I was driving into work this morning, I had to constantly find alternative ways to go, since the roads I typically drive on were closed due to a police officer's funeral at the cathedral. But when I reflect on this morning, I realized that God was teaching me patience. Here I was, late as it was since I overslept by 30 minutes or so, hitting road closures. I usually get to work around 9 AM. I didn't leave this morning until 9 AM, where I usually leave at 8:20-8:30. And instead of it taking me 30 minutes to get to work, it took me an hour. Everything was working against me this morning.

But yet, I reflect. Everything happens for a reason. Perhaps it prevented me getting in an accident, or some other thing. I know I was being taught patience, and I think I did ok in that department this morning. I didn't pass with flying colors, and I know that in order to be saint-like one must be ready to see God in everything and be ready to accept it. My problem with many things is that when something happens, I don't necessarily think about God, but rather about the problem. I tend to reflect on it afterwards. One of the constant criticisms about myself is that I fail to see God in every situation I face throughout the day, and as a result I kind of wonder why I don't think about God more often throughout the day. For Pete's sake, I work in a priestly vocations office for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I should be thinking more about God, but in the little mundane things of the day, I fail to see God, but rather, I focus on the mundane thing itself. I have noticed this before, and yet I never seem to do any better at it.

I need to continually strive to find God in the little things.