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People of God,

I am home now from seminary on UST’s fall break. Sorry I haven’t posted in about two months, but blogs are frowned upon at the seminary. I miss hearing from you all and feel bad I’ve sort of left everyone hanging. I would love to share with you my thoughts about the seminary and describe the life to you, but there’s just not enough time or space for something like that. So, if you’ll let me, I’ll share some brief thoughts on how things are going.

First of all, to be frank, seminary and its purpose are vastly different from what I expected. Silly Ryguy thought he was going to St. John Vianney College Seminary to be formed into someone becoming a priest, simply as that. What Ryan found was that he was there to die.

In the seminary, we’ll often talk about ourselves in our “pre-seminary” or “pre-conversion” lives; that is to say that the person we were then has died off or transformed into the person we have become. That sounds silly, yeah, but once you spend even two short months, it begins to make total sense. Being that I’ve only been there two months, I have come far less distance than a senior, but the changes are major enough to be noticed.

So what do I mean by die? I don’t mean one day we wake up and there’s a firing squad waiting for us. Too often, I think people are living for the wrong reason; the people who live for themselves and who think about what THEY want or what THEY are doing or what THEY need from themselves or others are living their lives as a waste. They are dying to themselves and that, honestly, is a wasted death. It is so important if we want to achieve true happiness that rather than dying FOR ourselves that we die TO ourselves and give everything to Christ, just as he gave everything for us. What does CHRIST want, what is CHRIST doing, what does CHRIST need from US?

It makes me sad that I have gone even just 19 years with so little reverence for our Lord. I thought I was doing pretty dang well until I got to the seminary and saw that what I was doing was all about me and not at all about loving Christ. I knew ABOUT Christ, but I didn’t actually KNOW Him. Jesus Christ is just as alive today as He was the night before He died. He lives in us, with us, and for us. He comes to us in the Eucharist and His Holy Spirit works as a paraclete, an advocate for us all day, every day whether we see or acknowledge this at all.

Being in seminary has strengthened even further my love for the Catholic Church. It has helped me understand it’s origins and where this great faith comes from. It is clear that we are part of a long line of disciples of Christ. Even though there have been many links in this unbroken chain of the Apostles, spanning thousands of years, the mission is still the same: carry out the mission of the Gospels. Jesus gave us the tools to do this and He gave us the words and actions by which we must complete this task. This is a beautiful Church. Many people don’t agree with its teachings or argue that it is not relevant anymore…….these people are trying to shape their own salvation while claiming they believe in someone has already shaped their salvation because he died for it! For this reason, we must worship Him, love Him, and SPREAD HIM to all we see. We must be monstrances to the world and let others see Christ in us. Just as Christ lives for us, in us, and with us, we must live for Him, in Him, and with Him.

These were all random thoughts, yeah, but  I just wanted to share them with you all. I’m nervous about being home because I’m not sure how people will react to the ways I have changed. So far, so good. Pray for me.

St. John Vianney, pray for us.
St. Paul, pray for us.
St. Patrick, pray for us.
St. Faustina, pray for us.
Ss. Anne and Joachim, pray for us.
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.

Mary, Mother of Seminarians, pray for us.

In Christ,
RA

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