Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

21 May 2011

The Place for Me

Every year around this time many diocesan priests are shaking in their shoes, wondering if they will be asked to pick up the mat and walk to another ministerial locale.  I have not been asked to go anywhere; but after 3 1/2 years in my current assignment I sense the call, generally and specifically, to go deeper.  A trusted friend has suggested that I pray for insights into what I must learn in order to grow where I am and whither I may go.  Pray, and keep your eyes open for answers.

This suggestion is rather appropriate because I've been a priest for eight years and have spent nearly half of that time in one place.  One may consider it a manifestation of the "seven-year itch" reported in many marriages.  The occurrence of that itch (in participants of any life-commitment) is by no means an indicator of anything gone wrong; the contrary is usually the case.  As in any experience of unrest, there lies within something that must be addressed head-on; no mere topical solution will satisfy.

Persons in recovery know the phrase, "Find God or die!"  Doesn't that sound dire--a bit much?  Hardly!  God has a low tolerance for the indolent.  He exhibits this low tolerance in the trials that He permits in the lives of His children--fires lit under the rumps of those who have dared to invest themselves in His grand design.  Seeking to know the mind of the Designer is crucial at any point; but such knowledge always must be action-oriented, lest the investor lose what little he has (cf. Mt 25:14-30).

The patient reader's prayers are welcomed in this continuing endeavor.  Pray, too, for all priests, religious, spouses, and unmarrieds who stumble upon their opportunities-for-growth-dressed-as-internal-crises.  Jesus reminds: Non turbetur cor vestrum (Jn 14:1).

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