So begins the last semester of my seminary career. It has been a total of six years in seminary formation. These six years of preparation for the priesthood of Jesus Christ have consisted in study, prayer, adventure and fraternity. The many hours spent in a classroom have left me with the conviction that the study of our faith is never-ending.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, who articulated a vast collection of knowledge about our faith, remarked after a mystical vision of heaven that all of his writings could be compared to straw before the Majestic Presence of God the Almighty. There is no end to falling in love. Love runs deep with mystery and intrigue. Since love is a relationship, prayer too is ongoing; it is an unfolding of two hearts revealing themselves before the other.
The Sacred Heart of Christ never seizes to pour out His love, wisdom, forgiveness and grace. Prayer is a rich language which opens up the spiritual side of existence and also the awareness of who we are as embodied souls.
Following Jesus has a twofold movement. The aforementioned is the interior movements of what we could say is an exploration. The second movement is more literal; it is the adventure of going where God calls us.
Throughout my time in seminary I feel like I have gone all over. I have traveled up and down highway 294 and 94. I have encountered northern and southern neighborhoods of Chicago; made my first solo road trip, spent two months in Guatemala, visited the Holy Land and have walked into many wonderful homes. I have met numerous people from a variety of backgrounds. The Lord took a lump of clay, me, and began forming me into the man He envisioned since day one.
The priesthood of Jesus Christ is an intimidating calling but at the same time Jesus speaks to the simple man, “my grace is enough for you.” Following Jesus in any state of life is a satisfying adventure. We come to know our deepest self as we walk through purging fires of Divine Love. Soon my new life is going to begin, living as a priest of Jesus Christ, and that is far more exciting to me.