Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seminary Reflection- " What is "Your" plan for me? Part 1

The next few posts that will be uploaded are my own reflections on my past seminary summer camp. They contain thoughts that crossed my mind and things that I struggled with while there. These posts have been divided into parts, each part being posted on a different day to create suspense, allow time for reflection and prayer for those who are also going through some of the same things I am currently undertaking, such as being in high school and also discerning a call to the priesthood. I hope that you enjoy each and every part of this story and share it with others who are dealing with similar feelings and thoughts in their own discernment processes.

Discernment processes for those thinking of certain vocations, particularly the Catholic Priesthood, provide an opportunity to grow in your faith in God, to expand your love for our Mother Church whom you will ultimately give your entire life to and lastly, to learn how to trust one another. You also learn how to help and guide one another on your own individual journeys.

Despite all of the positive influences and opportunities that you gain while discerning a possible vocation to the Catholic priesthood; There are in fact a few things that apply unneeded pressure and negative impacts for someone discerning. Lately there has been a one thing that has been pressuring me, my current education.

One of the things that I have learned in discussions and talks at my local seminary is that education is extremely important. You need four years of college and at least a philosophy major and theology degree. This is my final year of high school coming up, so my life is busy with researching colleges and programs, taking ACT tests and working full time to save money for tuition. I'm realizing real quick that life is hard.

Before I even enter a college, I need to meet requirements. I need to match grade point average scales, ACT test scores and cumulative grade scores to the colleges that I am interested in. Lets just say that school has always been tough. To be honest, I am a horrible test taker. It certainly shows on my ACT scores, which were well below the requirement for a number of colleges I had wanted to attend. This has certainly made me start rethinking my vocation and filled me with doubt. After all I have taken the ACT test twice already, each time coming out feeling very confident, so sure that I had such a great score only to find out two weeks later that I had not met my expectations.

Thoughts began filling my head with, "How can I become a priest when I can't even get out of high school? What is wrong with me that no matter how hard I study, things just don't work in my favor? God does not want a dumb, uneducated man to become his priest! How can God lead me through all of these summer camps that I relish each and every summer while placing seminarians, priests and even bishops in front of me to inspire, teach and guide me, just so I can fall short of expectations and realize that the priesthood is no longer a possibility?" I became angry at God... What is "Your" plan for me?

-To be continued

1 comment:

  1. John,

    It's tough and I know how you feel. However, don't give up. Christ has great plans for you. I will leave you with these powerful words which Fr. Jude Peters, Prior of the Carmelites at Holy Hill, spoke in a recent homily:

    "We do not know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds the future."

    May God bless you and flood you with His strength!