Thursday, June 30, 2016

One Call to Serve Comes to an End to Prepare for Another - Part II

In the Spring 2016 issue of Human Development, Msgr. John Zenz (and my Spiritual Director) writes in regard to God’ providence and vocation, “We also reach a point of what St. Ignatius of Loyola would call ‘thinking with the Church’ wherein we recognize the presence of God working in the Church at every level and accept as God’s providential ‘will’ even things that may cause us confusion or disappointment.” (pg. 12)

So it is that I write that as of June 22, I am no longer in Formation. After prayerful consideration and discernment by the Formation team, it was felt that my ministry to the Church is something other than the Permanent Diaconate.

In my post of July 14, three years ago as I was entering Formation I wrote about how one call to serve was coming to an end in preparation for another call to serve. Well, after all this time, there is, in the beauty and mystery of God’s plan, a reversal. I have no doubt that this faith journey these past several years has been and is part of God’s plan. One day, through the grace of God, I may even understand the how, where, and why of it all.

But even if I don’t, one thing I do know is, this part of my life was enriched through the friendships, the brotherhood, forged with a group of men with whom I was going through formation, my fellow Candidates and the deacons who make up the Formation team. I am a better man, with a stronger relationship with our Lord, today because of each and every one of them. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my soul.

Come August at the time of the annual Formation retreat, as well as the second Saturdays of the month thereafter, I will be thinking of these men and their wives, praying for them as they continue their journeys.

While there is so much I could reference in regard to this decision and my state of mind (such as the attitude of Joseph from the Gen 45:4-5), I’ll close this entry with the refrain from Brandon Heath’s song Wait and See:

There is hope for me yet
Because God won't forget
All the plans he's made for me
I have to wait and see
He's not finished with me yet

In the peace of Christ,

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