My Heart is in That Man

heart shaped cloud

It is rather a unique experience for me, but this man, for whom God has given me to pray and care, and by whom God has taught me so much about what it means to love another person (in a non-romantic way), has my heart.

I wrestle with this concept — I really do! On one hand, I keep questioning myself; is there something wrong with me? Is there something disordered here? Because I don’t want that. That would be “of me” and not “of God,” and I don’t want to have any part of something which is not “of God.” For His sake, my sake, and his sake. So, I triply denounce anything which is just my runaway emotions or imaginings.

But…

I don’t think this is disordered. I pray about it all the time. I discern myself and with my spiritual director, priest, and others. I think that it is just a unique way of loving which I am less familiar with, but with which God in increasingly making me familiar.

See, we are all meant to love outside of ourselves. We are all meant to see each other person as the most holy thing you will encounter with your senses outside of the Eucharist — Jesus Himself. We are all meant to pour our entire selves out for other people.

I know that I am an unfinished work, because although I am getting closer to understanding this with this one person, I don’t yet have this kind of love for ALL people. And I should. I really should.

I think it’s a process. Of softening my heart. Perhaps in a way, my heart was hardened. Oh, not in the sense that I was mean or uncaring for other people — that’s never been the case. But I think that I have been hurt before, and so I hide my heart within myself and only share parts of it with others.

For this one man, however, God has done something like take my heart outside of the place where I keep it hidden within me and placed it within him.

If this all sounds rather odd and unpolished, it’s because it is. These are new thoughts, and I’m hashing them all out here for you to see (and me to remember and be able to go back to later). What it comes from is from my experience last night. Whenever I’m around this person, I feel some sort of visceral connection. Like my senses are being tweaked. I’m kind of used to that by now. It helps me, I think, to “tune in.” Does he need more prayer than usual today? Does he seem sad, burdened, joyful? How can I help?

I was at that Called and Gifted workshop last night and he was there also. As I was leaving — driving away — I looked back at the place and the thought came to me (in a way different that my thinking it myself, if that makes any sense), “My heart is in that man.”

Last night, just before bed, I was reading from Peter Kreeft’s book, “Before I Go.” The last thing I read was “What Does ‘I Love You’ Mean?” He replies, “‘I love you’ means ‘I tie myself to you.'” I find this to be so true. I’ve written before about how I think that prayer binds you — in love, in Him — to another person. I think prayer is one of the most loving things you can do for another person. So, as I pray, I am binding myself, and I am loving. And I am finding that my heart is moving outside of me and is residing in others.

This morning, I woke up and continued reading. On the next page, he’s talking about family and another line jumped out at me. “So to give someone your time is to give him your life.”

A true gift of self. I am not my own. I belong to God. May I cooperate and go wherever He leads me, and continually seek after the pieces of my heart which He is placing in others.

A Reflection on a Reflection

Zenit posted this reflection by Pope Benedict, and it really spoke to me. So, I’m putting it out there, along with my own commentary, 🙂 so that our shepherd can feed you spiritually, as well. 🙂

Pope Leads Roman Priests in Scripture Reflection

 Considers Vocation, Lack of Catechesis, Truth and Charity

 VATICAN CITY, FEB. 24, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI on Thursday met with priests of his diocese and led them in “lectio divina,” offering a spontaneous Scripture reflection.  Following a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, the Pope gave an extensive off-the-cuff commentary on the passage.

The Apostle says: “I … beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

The Holy Father reflected on the vocation to the priesthood.  [I think it is quite interesting that the Holy Father picked this passage.  See, for me, this passage has always spoken to me of my vocation, to be an intercessor, and in a particular way, to be an intercessor for priests.]

The first call we receive is that of baptism, the Pope explained, the second is the vocation to be pastors at the service of Christ. “The great ill of the Church in Europe and the West today is the lack of priestly vocations. Yet, the Lord calls always, what is lacking are ears to listen. We listened to the Lord’s voice and must remain attentive when that voice is addressed to others. We must help to ensure the voice is heard so that the call will be accepted.”  [I think this lack of hearing is not reserved to men discerning a vocation to the priesthood, but everyone, especially in this age where we barely take the time to reflect on the sound bites which are sent our way – much less a message which actually requires pondering.  How can we possibly hear God if we are surrounding ourselves with a cacophony of meaningless noise?  I think as a coping mechanism, we have created what I call the “Junk Filter.”  My junk filter is usually running on High; meaning that very little gets through, and most of what does gets immediately trashed and forgotten as “irrelevant data.”  This extends not only to that which I hear, but also to that which I read – to the extent that often I find myself not “reading” at all, but scanning through text to see if anything might jump out that might have significance for me.  The problem with all of this is that there is much of value which I am missing.  And, worst of all, the voice of God could get caught in my junk filter without my being aware of it.]

According to St. Paul, the primary virtue that must accompany vocation is humility. This is the virtue of the followers of Christ Who, “being equal to God, humbled Himself, accepting the status of servant, and obeying even unto the cross. This was the Son’s journey of humility, which we must imitate. … The opposite of humility is pride, the root of all sin. Pride means arrogance, which above all seeks power and appearance. … It has no intention of pleasing God; rather of pleasing itself, of being accepted, even venerated, by others. The ‘self’ becomes the centre of the world; the prideful self which knows everything. Being Christian means overcoming this original temptation, which is also the nucleus of original sin: being like God, but without God.”

By contrast “humility is, above all, truth, … recognition that I am a thought of God in the construction of His world, that I am irreplaceable as I am, in my smallness, and that only in this way am I great. … Let us learn this realism; not seeking appearance, but seeking to please God and to accomplish what He has thought out for us, and thus also accepting others. … Acceptance of self and acceptance of others go together. Only by accepting myself as part of the great divine tapestry can I also accept others, who with me form part of the great symphony of the Church and Creation.” In this way, likewise, we learn to accept our position within the Church, knowing that “my small service is great in the eyes of God.”  [This is a hard lesson to learn even within my own vocation.  See, just because God has made an individual extremely important in my life (so that I – in my self-absorption – might occasionally remember to do that to which I have been called), this does not mean that I am equally important in that other’s life.  And the truth is:  I shouldn’t expect this.  God gave me this person so that I might support him in prayer, because he needs this.  I am to be a spiritual warrior, in a sense, so that he can do what it is that God is calling him to do.  And so, while I am struggling myself with trying to create some distance from the secular cacophony so that I might better hear God, I need to remember that he, and others, also need that same distance.  However hard it might be when normal channels of communication are severed between friends for the sake creating this opportunity for inner solitude.  It is precisely in this dynamic that I can learn more fully what it means to love, which I think is why God gave me this vocation in the first place.  Because this other person is such a central part of my day and my prayers, I assume for myself a similar status.  Aren’t I important, too?  Of course I am!  But wait, isn’t that a distinct lack of humility?  Why, yes, it is.  And further, it’s an insufficient expression of love.  For what is love but giving your life in some way for another person?  I should only be seeking to give and not to receive.  I am only being asked to give of my time and my prayers.  Any friendship which we might have is a gratuitous gift from God.  True love in Christ is to always want what is best for the other.  Obviously, the opportunity to grow closer to Christ is what is best for the other.  And so I must not mourn the seeming separation that the fasting from technological communication causes, but rejoice in the fact that a deeper bond is being made with our Lord.  The reality is that as each of us individually becomes more closely united with our Lord, we are more closely united to each other – because we are part of the same body which is Him.  Sometimes, I just need to hash this all out on paper (or cyberpaper, as the case may be), in order to see what it is which God wishes me to see.  And I think that in the end, He’s trying to tell me that humility and obedience to His will ultimately leads to an increase in love.  Following my inclinations will only frustrate that after which I am seeking.]

Immature faith

Lack of humility destroys the unity of Christ’s Body. Yet at the same time, unity cannot develop without knowledge. “One great problem facing the Church today is the lack of knowledge of the faith, ‘religious illiteracy,'” the Pope said. “With such illiteracy we cannot grow. … Therefore we must reappropriate the contents of the faith, not as a packet of dogmas and commandments, but as a unique reality revealed in its all its profoundness and beauty. We must do everything possible for catechetical renewal in order for the faith to be known, God to be known, Christ to be known, the truth to be known, and for unity in the truth to grow.”

We cannot, Benedict XVI warned, live in “a childhood of faith.” Many adults have never gone beyond the first catechesis, meaning that “they cannot – as adults, with competence and conviction – explain and elucidate the philosophy of the faith, its great wisdom and rationality” in order to illuminate the minds of others. To do this they need an “adult faith.” This does not mean, as has been understood in recent decades, a faith detached from the Magisterium of the Church. When we abandon the Magisterium, the result is dependency “on the opinions of the world, on the dictatorship of the communications media.” By contrast, true emancipation consists in freeing ourselves of these opinions, the freedom of the children of God. “We must pray to the Lord intensely, that He may help us emancipate ourselves in this sense, to be free in this sense, with a truly adult faith, … capable of helping others achieve true perfection … in communion with Christ.”

Truth

The Pope went on: “Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. … Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God.”

“Where there is truth, there is charity,” the Pope concluded. “This, thanks be to God, can be seen in all centuries, despite many sad events. The fruits of charity have always been present in Christianity, just as they are today. We see it in the martyrs, we see it in so many nuns, monks, and priests who humbly serve the poor and the sick. They are the presence of Christ’s charity and a great sign that the truth is here.”  [Perhaps what is needed is to view it not so much as being a spiritual warrior, but as being a spiritual servant.  For it certainly isn’t through any action of mine that my prayers have efficacy, but through the fact that God allows me to participate in this way so as to be a conduit for His grace.  It is His mercy which allows for my participation, not for the good of the person or people for whom I pray, but for the conversion of my own heart to be conformed to His.]

Falling in Love

The Pope’s message presented the vocation as a response to divine love.

“We are loved by God even ‘before’ we come into existence,” the Holy Father stated. “Moved solely by his unconditional love, he created us ‘not … out of existing things,’ to bring us into full communion with Him. […]

“The profound truth of our existence is thus contained in this surprising mystery: every creature, and in particular every human person, is the fruit of God’s thought and an act of his love, a love that is boundless, faithful and everlasting. The discovery of this reality is what truly and profoundly changes our lives.”

The Bishop of Rome quoted at length St. Augustine’s expression of his discovery of God, “supreme beauty and supreme love.”

“[…] You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace,” the Holy Father quoted.

“With these images,” he reflected, “the Saint of Hippo seeks to describe the ineffable mystery of his encounter with God, with God’s love that transforms all of life. It is a love that is limitless and that precedes us, sustains us and calls us along the path of life, a love rooted in an absolutely free gift of God.”

“Every specific vocation is in fact born of the initiative of God,” Benedict continued. “It is a gift of the Love of God! He is the One who takes the ‘first step,’ and not because he has found something good in us, but because of the presence of his own love ‘poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.'”

Yet, the Holy Father said, “the appealing beauty of this divine love, which precedes and accompanies us, needs to be proclaimed ever anew, especially to younger generations.”

“This divine love,” he said, “is the hidden impulse, the motivation which never fails, even in the most difficult circumstances.”

If you get a chance today read Psalms 139.
God bless!

H/T to Steve

John

Luke 1:

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,
42 Cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

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Yesterday, I was praying the rosary, and got to the visitation. I was listening to one of the CDs in the car, so they were reading a bit for each mystery, and talked about how John “jumped for joy.” I don’t know why, but I’ve always found this a bit … not odd, not unsettling, not disturbing, but … something….

[See, I don’t run into this all that often, because I don’t pray the Joyful mysteries all that often…. The Sorrowful mysteries are the only ones I know on my own, so I pray these a lot…. LOL!]

This was irritating me, that I didn’t know why it was bothering me. I suppose I still don’t really know why it bothers me. Perhaps just the phrase. Maybe because I see John as a man and have difficulty picturing a man “jumping for joy” — even if it might be an appropriate reaction for a little boy.

Why wasn’t Elizabeth “jumping for joy”?

Then, I had a thought. [Scary, right? :)]

Perhaps this was something particular to John. Certainly, Elizabeth was excited and joyful about the presence of the Lord, but there was something … more … to John’s reaction.

Perhaps it has to do with the joy and excitement you get when you realize your vocation. That THIS is what I was made for. 🙂 And maybe that’s why he wore the hair shirt and ate locusts…to balance out the fact that HE was chosen to be the Lord’s personal herald. [Instead of doing the Happy Dance and shouting, “He picked ME! He picked ME!”]

2009: A Rapid Review

Every year seems to go by both very slowly and very quickly, and 2009 was no exception.

January
I started off 2009 by going to Midnight Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth, MI for Mary, Mother of God.  I wanted to make a conscious choice about the priorities I wanted for myself this year:  God first.  I didn’t want the first thing I did this year be a bar or drinking, as important my friends are to me and how very much I love them — I wanted God to be first.  I remember being very tired and nearly falling asleep during Adoration before Mass, but I was so happy that I had gone.

Later that day, I got to bring communion to my godmother, Pat.  This was actually the last day that I would get to see her.  Her brother and her sister-in-law were in town taking care of her.  It’s a year later, and I still cry because my heart hurts at how much I have lost — which is really a testimony to how incredibly much she gave me in her friendship, that her absence leaves such a ragged, gaping hole.  People are so precious; and relationships are the greatest gifts you can ever receive.  We spent our time talking about a third person, a mutual friend who is very important to both of us.  There was something that this person had said about me that she had wanted to make sure that I knew.  I can’t tell you how many times I have relived that conversation, and how many times I really needed to hear what she had said.
Pat McDonald, Overlooking Jerusalem, Gallicantu Area

A couple weeks later, I heard God asking me to take a new step in my life:  to go back to school and get a Master’s in Theology and PhD in Bioethics.  Wow!  That’s not some small thing!  I’m not sure I can do it.  I wasn’t even sure that I would get accepted — after all, my grades from U of M weren’t that great, and I’d never taken the GRE.  Despite all that, I felt that if the Lord truly wanted me to do this, He would find a way to work everything out.  I applied to Sacred Heart Major Seminary on January 23rd, and that night attended my first Priests vs. Seminarians Basketball game. I had ordered a shirt that said “Sacerdotes velint! Scholares modo delint!” Which, very roughly translated, means “Priests dominate! Students (seminarians) only hope to!” I arrived early and tagged along on a tour of SHMS by one of the seminarians. Because of my ‘inflammatory’ text on my T-shirt, I kept my coat on and zipped during the entire tour, and was dying of heat by the end!

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After the game, Lindsay and I did some exploring on our own and found God:
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and did some praying in front of the tabernacle.

Then, we continued our exploration, and happened upon:
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Fr. Harry Potter and one of the boys from N’Sync. 🙂

The next day, Jan. 24th, I got to witness two dear friends get married,
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along with an astounding number of presbyterati (4 priests and a deacon!).

On a narcissistic note, I was all dressed up and looking cute.
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Take note. This doesn’t happen very often. 🙂

February
On the 1st, I served at Mass for the first time as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. I was nervous and excited all at the same time!

The next day, I attended a Mass with our new Archbishop Vigneron, where he gave me permission to belong to 2 different parishes. 🙂

It was a fairly quiet month, although I did get to start a Catechism study with Jerad, hear Fr. Tad speak on bioethics,

attend the Rite of Election:
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and of course:

Celebrate Krystin’s 30th birthday!!!
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March
Lent was the major theme of this month. Although, we did break our fasting just a bit with Irish Night 2009:
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I attended Parish Missions both at St. Anastasia and Our Lady of Good Counsel, did some Stations of the Cross, but of greatest note was the fact that I decided that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to give up the cold weather (for Lent, right?). So, I made arrangements, and Lindsay and I went to:

JAMAICA!!!!!
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Ah, Montego Bay… How I miss you! 🙂
And, just so you don’t think it was all fun and surf. We devoted read spiritual books (on the beach) and went to Mass at the cathedral every day (walking a mile to get there, uphill both ways!).

April
Most notable for HOLY WEEK!!!!

Palm Sunday:
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Stacy and Michael’s Bridal Shower:
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My first attempt at a Passover Seder Dinner:
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CHRISM MASS!!!
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Lindsay’s Tour of Detroit:
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Donny’s in the background. He came up to visit, not realizing the extend of Massapalooza that he would be dragged to. 🙂

Lord’s Supper Mass and Pub Crawl of the Altars of Repose:
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EASTER VIGIL!!!

Dinner with the Schmitts (Always a lovely time!); Girl’s Night; Visiting with Adam; and Geocaching

May
My first day at Seminary was on the 4th, Introduction to Sacred Scripture with Dr. Healy. 🙂
SHMS HDR
I loved that class! 🙂 And Dr. Healy is awesome! 🙂

I had seen a bulletin article about someone who needed a place to stay for a few months, who had been working with a crisis pregnancy center. On the 15th, the young woman and her year-old baby girl moved in.

The very next day, two more lovely friends got married:
Congrats to Stacy and Michael!!!
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The next day, we lost a dear friend, Adam, to cancer.
Adam Thad Riviera
I love you. I miss you. And you had BETTER be praying for me up there! 🙂

We finished the month by having a baby shower for Adam and Tina’s new little girl, Gianna.

June
June is when the medical issues started coming out in full force. I had been noticing a decline in my ability to run and jump and things like this, with an accompanying shortness of breath and chest pain upon exertion. During the first week of June, I noticed a significant amount of edema. So much so that our nurses told me that I needed to be seen by my doctor before the weekend. She ended up sending me to the ER on the 5th, where I was cleared for any DVTs and sent home. I went to a bowling fundraiser the next night, and had Jury Duty on the 9th and 10th.

On the 11th was Father’s birthday, so I dropped off his presents and pie,
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went to Mass and work and ended up back in the ER that evening, where they admitted me for a cardiac work-up, looking at congestive heart failure, among other diagnoses. I stayed in the hospital until Saturday, when I was released, cleared of anything major going on with my heart, but still no real answers to what was going on. Oh yeah, and I was seen by Derm when I was there, because in the few days between ER visits, I had managed to acquire a case of poison ivy. Joy.

July
I started off this month with my first speeding ticket. Ever. And I *so* deserved it. 😉

A few days later, there were some aerial explosions:
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On the 12th, my grampa died.
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August
On the first day of the month, I got to take pictures of Jerad and Krystin at Cranbrook. Not only are they wonderful people, but they are very good-looking, too! 🙂 See for yourself:
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Newsboys Concert:
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Annual William B. Davidson Golf Outing for St. Anastasia B.A.S.I.C. Youth Ministry:
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Wine Tasting and Night of Mayhem at Krystin’s house!

Analee’s Baby Shower was the next day on the 22nd.
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Fr. Mark tried to set the Church on fire and blame it on the Young Adults on the 25th…
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Smorealicious!

I Choose For His Life

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

When the angel came before Mary and asked her if she would be the mother to God’s only Son, she replied, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  In other words, what she said was, “I choose for His life.”  She completely submitted her life to the divine Will and choose for the Incarnation.  It wasn’t just choosing for an event, but choosing for a person.  It was deeply personal and profoundly significant.  Who knows what expectations and dreams Mary had for her life?  In that moment, she gave them all up.  Her life was now for her son, His son.

Driving in to work today, this was all I could think of.  As I’ve mentioned before, I find myself in a situation of spiritual motherhood or spiritual adoption.  To me, this is much more than just a commitment to pray for this individual.  Earlier in the year, I felt as if I was being asked about the depth of my commitment.  Was I willing to be like Mary and give all of myself to this?

Absolutely.

I am, as they say, “all in.”  I submit to God entirely in this.  My struggles for holiness are no longer merely for my own sanctification, but because prayers of holy men and women are more efficacious (James 5:16, 1 Peter 3:12).  So, I do good not for my sake but for his, and His.  Even my prayer is no longer my own.

On this great feast of Our Lady, I pray for her assistance, that I can, in some small way, mirror her complete self-gift and devotion to the Will of the Lord.  I continue to pray in affirmation, “I choose for his life.”  May my life be a worthy sacrifice for his benefit according to His Will.

Vocation Friday

God has given me an amazing weekend! My heart was filled with love and joy, and I felt His presence throughout the events of the past few days. He is always with us, but I treasure those times where I really feel that He is with me.

I was so full of squee today that I am sure that I was annoying to the people around me. I just wanted to hug everyone. I didn’t, but the impulse was there.

Some of my thoughts from the day:
“I have amazing friends.
God loves me.
I don’t need anything beyond what I have, and still he gives me more. :)”

I am excited about maybe being able to go to the upcoming diaconate ordinations. I don’t yet have the same love for the diaconate as I do for the presbyterate, but I’m hoping that perhaps this ordination will help me expand my love for all ordinati. 🙂

About lunchtime, I had these thoughts:
“God allowed for the existence of peanut-butter topped cinnamon sugar toasted bagels.
God is my friend. :)”
It was mentioned that God also allowed for marshmallows and their fluff (which I wholly despise and reject as the source of all evil), so I had to note that God does permit for bad things to happen, sometimes. Quite obviously, marshmallow fluff is not of God. 🙂

Then, the Holy Spirit had me do something I had not intended to do.
See, I have a vocation as an intercessor. God has given me a particular person to pray for, and I pray for him daily. Beyond daily, really, almost constantly. 🙂 Because he happens to be a priest, I took one of those Chalice of Strength books a while back because it contains many prayers specifically for priests, and I thought that might be helpful to me. I noted at the time that there was an organization with which you could register as spiritually adopting a specific priest and they would send you biannual newsletters and suggestions for ways in which you could pray for the priests and the priesthood in general. I decided not to do this. This is a job that God has given to me and I felt that I didn’t need the recognition of having some sort of “membership” to give authenticity to this. I wasn’t doing this so as to be part of a community or anything, but because God wanted me to do it. I did not feel at the time that God was calling me to this organization.

Earlier in the summer, as I was taking a walk, I felt God speaking to me about the angels and encouraging me to ask them for their intercession, particularly as it applies to my vocation in praying for my one particular priest, and in general for all priests. Okay. I kind of noted this at the time, but as more time passed, I hadn’t really incorporated this into my daily prayers. I let it fall off the plate.

During lunch, I pulled out my Chalice of Strength book (which I don’t do all that often, really), and the little flyer in the back fell out. So, again, I read about signing up with their organization to spiritually adopt a priest. I, grudgingly, went to their website and took a look – highly skeptical of the website’s ability to make me interested in their program.

However, when I got there, my mind was changed. The organization was called “Opus Sanctorum Angelorum,” or “The Work of the Holy Angels”. Hmm. Angels.

As I read more, their program is really there to support you as you pray for priests, with the help of the angels, which is basically the message that I have been getting. They were an anonymous organization, so that I wouldn’t be recognized in any way – which was important to me. I just want to do God’s will. I began to realize that maybe God wants this for me now. To help me be a better intercessor.

There were two choices: you could (a) either submit a name of a man whom you already know as someone who you would permanently spiritually adopt or (b) ask for the name of someone for whom you would pray for a year, and at the end of the year, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, you would get the name of a different person. You could request a priest, bishop, seminarian or a man discerning his vocation.

Well, God already gave me one person, and I felt that he was definitely permanent, so I submitted his name for that. By doing that, I did not feel in any way that this “legitimized” my calling to pray for him, since I felt that I already had all the legitimacy that I needed – that this was a true calling for me to be his intercessor.

As I was on the website, I kept looking at it. There was something more for me here. I had one permanent, adopted “child” already. But there was something about this yearly program. So, after some prayer, I decided to enroll in this program, too. Since it is only a year commitment, I saw it as more of a “foster parent” arrangement. 🙂

So, in a way, I am expecting. Similar to a pregnant woman looking forward to the birth of a new child, I am waiting to be gifted with a new child of my own – to love, care for and, most important of all, to pray for.

With this new commitment, I anticipate being asked to give more of my time and myself for their benefit. I pray for strength and grace to truly be able to act as a good intercessor on their behalf and to follow God’s direction. I pray for the grace to become more holy, so that my prayers may be more efficacious for their good. I pray for them, personally, and for their vocations. I pray for all of us that we may answer God’s call anew every day and, as is written in Ephesians, to “live a life worthy of your vocation.”

As a final bonus to my Friday, Fr. Acervo is giving a talk “On the Priesthood.” My day could not get any better! 🙂 I love God! 🙂