Yep, I’m up at ohmygoodness-thirty in the morning again.
Perfect time to write.
If you are squeamish about talk about religion, move along.
What woke me up? I was dreaming about an old priest friend, Fr. Al. You see, when I was in undergraduate, I felt I had a calling to the Episcopal priesthood. Fr. Al encouraged me to pursue it. I did for a time, even visited some seminaries.
Being a priest was something that was very important to me. I picked social work as a profession to supplement ministry as a priest.
Life being what it is, I ended up not pursuing priesthood in the Episcopal Church, chiefly due to doctrinal differences that have nothing to do with the current struggles in the Episcopal Church. Funny thing is, I don’t have those doctrinal problems now, since becoming Roman Catholic. I thought about becoming a Roman Catholic priest, but the funny thing is, I thought seriously about that for only about 10 minutes due to the issue of celibacy. Now I am happily married and helping others through my other calling, to social work and providing psychotherapy.
I’m sure that Fr. Al would approve.
However, years later, you always question if you made the right decisions.
I believe that God always has us where he wants us so that we can look up to Providence at any given moment for support. I believe that in every day, in every way, we are where we need to be in our path towards completion and union with the divine. Even if we are in a bad place, we are only there to take the opportunity to learn life’s lessons that are necessary for us to grow further in our relationship with the divine and to grow as people and with people. I think that God gave me the experience of being with Fr. Al and seeking the Episcopal priesthood as a way to work towards my later fulfillment of my other calling as a social worker/therapist.
When I was younger, I thought life was planned out for me in a specific, stepwise way. Get my Masters degree in social work. Go to seminary. Get ordained. Minister to people in a church setting.
Today I see life as being chiefly about coming to terms on a daily basis with one’s relationship with the divine and the world around me and within me, irregardless of whether or not one perceives a calling to one vocation or another. Don’t get me wrong. If the Roman Catholic Church were to open priesthood to married people, I’d probably give stronger consideration to going to seminary. However, I view the universal priesthood today as being a catalyst for the blossoming of one’s and others’ relationships with the divine, the world around them, and within them. I can live that today in what I am doing, to some degree, and am content to continue working that way in the roles set before me through life.
So what am I saying here?
Don’t see life as a pass/fail. Life is simply a chance to get to know yourself, others, and the divine better, in whatever situation you are in through the opportunity to serve.