Sisters & Brothers,
Perhaps my greatest struggle to date is surrendering my heart, body and soul over to God. There were a few reasons I felt the great desire to surrender:
- In order for me to properly discern this call to a priestly vocation I had to trust in God completely that he would lead me down the right path even though he writes straight with crooked lines.
- When I came back to the church some months ago I had a deep desire for forgiveness. You need to understand that I went 18 years without going to church or confession regularly. And now that I look back and know that I had a calling 18 years ago that I shoved it off for such a long time I felt what was probably the deepest guilt that I had ever felt. I've since discovered that I shouldn't feel guilty and that all of this was part of the path I was always meant to go down. I never would have come to that understanding had I not surrendered.
- Peace and Joy are important pillars of my life. Without surrender one can never really achieve levels of peace and joy that make you feel fulfilled.
This was a process for me. As someone who always prided himself in planning out what the next step was I had a very hard time saying "Ok God you've got the wheel now, I'm just a passenger..." It's taken me a long time to figure this out.
Some might find this incredibly difficult to do or call me crazy. But to that I say who am I to say no to someone who died for me? The least I can do is give Him everything. I surrendered because I wanted to know the Lord much more than I already did, I wanted to be filled with grace, joy and peace, I wanted to not be scared anymore about this life changing journey.
The late great Billy Graham sums this up best and asks to us say:
I received Jesus in my heart my sisters and brothers and I trust him more than I've ever trusted anyone else, I know I'm going to Heaven because of Him. My sins are forgiven because of the profound sacrifice he made for us and if He sees fit that I should die for him then I would.
What say you?