Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | June 9, 2010

More reflections from back east

The other day I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine, unfortunately I forgot to save the conversation, so I could put some of my reflections in this blog that I’m writing. Now that the conclusion of the trip has been reached, you’re probably wondering what did I think, how did it go?

One thing that I quickly figured out is that this road will not be easy by any means. The road that I’ve chosen to travel is the hardest one, it involves much suffering, many crosses to bear, and a sense of unstability.

1. As a teacher of math and physics, there is huge stability in this. The agenda is rather simple for every class. Review, Teach, Question, Recap, Homework, repeat.  In following the simple agenda you’re able to see the fruits of your labor at the end of the semester when students pass the class. (Remember people fail on their own volition). In some ways there can be a kind of routineness that develops because it’s the exactly same thing each semester. Even though it can be routine, there’s a freedom in not having to do something for yourself, you know the structure already, and if you follow the structure things will go accordingly. Likewise in religious life there’s freedom in knowing what exactly the structure is for each day. Getting adjusted to the mornings was the only hard part for me being from California, 3 hours behind, I think the hours eventually caught up with me after a few days. It became easier and easier to live the life of a Mercedarian Friar as the days went on.

When we look at the culture around us, there’s this temptation for instant gratification, or instant results. Even when there’s not a temptation for instant results, there’s this necessity for visual proof of something. If we look at marriage, what do you see? You see a visual institution, there are visual fruits of your labour (kids :p). Because of the close visual (well, semi close visual) it is very easily seen why Hollywood tends to promote the go get married (and then cheat on said person your with) type culture. There’s so much concern about the temporal that the forgotten aspect is the eternal, that which is outside. The thing that’s actually important, our salvation and hope to enter the Kingdom of God.

With the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ, well, there aren’t exactly any visual changes. (Ontological change of course). You still have any ignorance that you had before ordination. For example, if you weren’t good at math pre-prdination, you won’t be post ordination. It’s not like a career, where if you do something for a certain amount of time, you get promotion.

Unfortunately there are those that seek power in the Church. These people are becoming priests for the wrong reasons. If you seek power, aka becoming a Bishop  or the Pope, you’d be the worst candidate for being Bishop or Pope. If we look at the early Catholic Bishops, we see immediately that none of them wanted to be Bishop. Whether it was St Ambrose, St Augustine and countless other examples. Even our own Holy Father didn’t want to be a Bishop.

Being faithful doesn’t get you temporal rewards. (Or rather I should say being faithful you should not seek temporal rewards). If anything being Faithful guarantees persecution. Need I give you any examples of what I mean? If God was to put me in such a position, I of course would accept, but I don’t seek power, I don’t seek authority, it’s not my means, or my ends. My ends is to get to heaven. PERIOD.

More thoughts will come soon.

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