“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
When a man enters seminary, one of the foremost fears he must deal with is the thought of giving up his life. He may writhe and suffer for years before he opens up enough to allow the Lord to gently remove his stony heart and put in him a natural heart. He may day dream of the times he had money in his bank account or when he didn’t have a 10 pm curfew; times when he was “free” so to speak. He must experience that crucial point in his formation where he sells everything that he has and follows Jesus. He must hand it all over. This point was solidified for me in my Moral Theology class this year. Our professor, Fr. Angel Perez-Lopez, proclaimed in his deep, booming Spanish accent, “One’s state in life does not make him holy! Charity makes him holy! There are people in the pews who are far holier than some priests!” Love is what makes a person holy. What else is love but to lay one’s life down for others, to lay his life down for their good? If we deduce this, the thing that a man fears upon entering seminary is love. If we could only run toward love rather than away from it! I have found that Jesus was not lying when he said “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” The yoke of surrender to Christ is far lighter than anything I have ever put upon myself. The yoke of love is far more than I could ever imagine and I feel as though I haven’t even scratched the surface. So I beg you, pray for the men studying for the priesthood that they may take the yoke of love upon their backs, that they may take it from the hands of Christ and never look back.
Diocese of Helena