Monday, November 06, 2006

Girlfriends Can Promote Vocations to the Priesthood too.

Yesterday while at parish for my pastoral, I met a group of youths at the fund raising counter selling cookies. I recognised a guy who is active in a ministry of the church; he was flipping the Catholic News. I was thinking of asking him if he was interested in the priesthood. As I came near to him, it happen that he just flip to the page of our advertisement for our vocation retreat which will be held beginning of December. I laugh and he turned to me saying: “Hi bro”. I told him, “Hey, I came here to ask you if you have thought about the priesthood and here you are reading our advertisement for Vocation Retreat. So you want to come for an experience?” While talking to him I notice a girl standing right in front of us listening to our conversation, she was sighing and very restless showing those uneasy faces (faces when you want a person to just go away). I just carried on my conversation with this guy and he told me that he has found his calling in the ministry in which he is serving now. I went to explain that he could do more in the ministry if he was a priest and tried to convince him that it is not wrong to just come for an experience. The girl just stared at me! Oopps, I was late for this ‘fish’. It looks like the girl has already caught this ‘fish’. Hehehe. I think that girl might be his girlfriend. I stayed on for a while chatting with them and as I was leaving them, I told the guy again that it’s not wrong to come and experience since he had no such experience. After taking a few steps away from them, I heard the guy saying; “I am sorry for that” I turn around and saw the guy speaking to the seemingly upset girl while pointing to the advertisement!!!

Oh my, are they in love??? Yes… but in my opinion the girl is not in true love with the guy! The sign is she is possessive and self-centred. True love is self-sacrificing. I am sure if she is really in love with him, she will encourage him to go for the experience and let him discern God’s will for him. Hey… she is also the one who is going to benefit!!. Because after the experience and discernment he can either say, ‘Honey, after the discernment I have found that I am not called to be a priest; so let us now discover our future together…’ or he can say ‘ Honey, I think God is calling me to be a priest…” The girl can go happy and thank god that the guy have made a good choice and have saved them from making wrong decisions. Just imagine, they are planning to get married and they have not thought about other choices (way of life). It will be difficult, if after getting married and suddenly the man or even ladies tell their partner that they are called to priesthood and religious life. They can go on with the married life regretting and thinking they have made the wrong choice. This can lead to conflict and unnecessary tensions in life and in their marriage.

I know many guys who have girlfriends, who still come to our vocation recollections and camps. When I asked them does their girlfriend know, they answer me with a big smile and a loud yes. Those girls are smart man!! They want their boyfriends to be sure in the decision their making. Hehehehe. It is beautiful to see girlfriends supporting and encouraging their boyfriends to go for such experience. I know some, who tells me that such experiences actually strengthen their relationship with their girlfriends. One guy told me this; “Bro, I have discovered that I am not called to be a priest, and God has given me…(name)…. to journey with me in life. God has showed me that she is the one for me and I am called to love and care for her” My friends, this couple that I am talking about are happily married now. They are really a loving couple and I believe it is because of the discovery they made with each other supporting to discern God’s will.

So, you see, vocation camps and retreats can have other purpose and not just discovery for the priesthood and religious life. So girlfriends encourage your boyfriends and vice versa!!! Let your love be self-sacrificing just like Jesus’ love for us and Mary’s FIAT. Together with Mother Mary, I pray that as all of you discover yourselves in your relationships, you may also be open and discern God’s will for each one of you.