Dear brethren and friends,
Before I head off to school and work, I wanted to post this quick “thank you.” I’ve shared it on another forum, but I wanted to share it here too. Hopefully what little I have learned may be useful to others discerning here too.
I have been with you all here on CAF for 5 years; since I was still in RCIA at the age of 17. I have brought here some of my deepest struggles, and you all have given me such wisdom and advice. I think I am finally beginning to bear fruit of all of that wisdom, and I felt that y’all should know this…so that y’all never think that you don’t make a difference here.
All my life I have wanted “greatness.” But it never has been in the same sense of my peers. I wanted to be “great” in a religious or moral context; this was expressed in childhood dreams of being a “warrior” (as opposed to a “soldier”) or being a preacher/evangelist. When I came home to the Holy Church (I was a revert, baptized as a baby), I was but a teenage boy awed by the history, majesty, and doctrinal truth found in Catholic Christianity. I remember that being “little” was okay because I was now a member of True Christianity. Even then though I wanted to be “someone” in that same Church. I didn’t just want to be a disciple; I wanted to be an Apostle…a saint. As I grew, I became more and more desirous of getting as deeply into the Church as I could. I fell in love with the Roman Liturgy, the idea of dwelling in God’s house, and celebrating the Mysteries. That led me to want to become a priest.
I think in a sense being a priest offered me that “greatness”…that intimacy with the Church that I wanted. Every other vocation faded and seemed more and more “mediocre” and “less” when compared to the seeming glory of being a priest. It got to where I didn’t want anything but to become a priest. I was able to express that desire for closeness with the Church by teaching her children and, especially, serving at the holy altar. Of course, last year God made His Will known to me and I did not enter the seminary as I desired. Indeed, the very idea of being a priest at all became…difficult to hope in given what I learned. I ended up completely succumbing to my vices and my sense of despair to the point that I have ended up as I am now: a minimum wage worker who failed to graduate college twice, and lives with his parents.
Naturally, I find myself dissatisfied and disoriented by my current lack of greatness. I look at my gifts and my knowledge, my passion and my zeal, and I think: “How the heck am I doing something so ‘little?!?’”
But what I see now is that I’m not as “awesome” as I tend to think I am…or as others may think I am. I struggle with many issues of maturity, sin, and foolishness. Compared to many others who may lack the knowledge or passion that I have, I am still quite small in terms of virtue and discipline. Compared to even those much younger than I, I am small in my lack of innocence and trustworthiness. Even relative to the “common man” that I work with, I am quite ignorant of much social, emotional, and work-ethic that they exhibit. Whether I like it or not: I am little.
TO BE CONTINUED…