Saturday started the new year of a class I take with a Priest as the leader. It is something that I look forward to each month because it opens my mind and soul to those Truths I need and desire in my life. Yesterday was even more special because of the sharing of Father and again one of the "pauses" that I spoke about in an earlier blog.
Father shared what it is like for him as he hears confessions. I admit that it was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced in the church. Listening to Father explain the joy that fills him and how he feels that Jesus's heart takes his heart inside and they are combined in those moments in the confessional we're not only breath taking but awe inspiring. Hearing Father speak made my eyes tear up. In those moments I saw a glow of joy come over Father and a peek inside the life of a man who devoted his life to God. It was such a pure moment that I know I will never forget. It is hard for me to really explain what it was like listening to Father. I think that at times we, and myself as we'll, forget the full scope of the Priesthood. Yes, we know what they do but have we ever stopped and asked them how do they feel about all that they do? Have you ever thought not of their sacrifices but of what they gained as a priest? Of course not all priests feel the same and maybe some may feel that they gave up to much but I can honestly say that being there and listening to Father, he feels he gained much more. I never thought of what it is for them to be the first to give communion to someone, to absolve them of their sins, to comfort a family, to give last rites, to say mass, etc.... I always focused more on what they gave up until recently. Hearing father speak puts things in a more clear and direct line for me. I hope to hear more and understand more of what goes on for the priests and especially Father. It is a peek inside a world that I think we all need to understand and respect. Not for what they gave up but more for what they have gained.
My "pause" moment was not long after Father sharing is thoughts. I kept focusing on the collar of Father's shirt. Everything that collar represented flooded my mind. The vocation of Priesthood. The sacraments. The Mass. The Church. The Faith. The Apostles. I can go on and on and then they all faded away just as fast as they came and what was left was the amazing awe of the vocation of the Priesthood. Then I wondered how do they feel each day when they put on the Roman or Clerical collar? Or even what was it like the first time they saw themselves in the mirror wearing the collar? For me it sends chills to my core thinking about that. There is an awe and wonder about that. These are questions that I would love to ask but feel that maybe it is being intrusive. I also wonder if those questions are in my head because it is a vocation that I am considering and dare I saw maybe it more on my mind because that is really my hearts desire. As I wrote this paragraph I had to stop a few times and just reflected on what it is to be a Priest. I do not know if I will ever fully grasp or even come close to an answer because it is that tap of God's hand on a mans soul to enter the Priesthood. It is a very special exchange between a soul and God that I don't know if it will ever be understood by anyone else beside that mans soul that was touched.
I ask that we always remember all those who have dedicated their lives to God and the Church in our prayers. Also remember to Thank them for hearing the call and responding to it. The sacrament of Holy Orders is one of grace and awe and let's all remover that and respect those who have answered the call.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may the call of Holy Orders be heard over all the noise of the world today.