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).