At the Ranch


Big news, everyone: I have survived one week and one day at seminary! Ordination will be here any day now! 😉

This place is awesome. The rector is one heck of a guy and all the guys (now known as my ‘brothers’) are pretty cool. It’s almost surreal. There aren’t many places on earth where you can find teenage guys on a college campus striving to live closer to Jesus. There are many, many good and holy men here and I only pray that I may be worthy of their company.

This post is called “At the Ranch,” by the way, because we affectionately refer to the St. John Vianney Seminary building as “The Ranch.”

There are, also, not many places where perfectly normal, masculine guys holding doors for each other, clearing dishes, pouring drinks, offering prayers, and walking around with coffee cups is not only common, it’s status quo! But the seminary tells us up front that we are not going to be the same when we leave as we were when we arrived. That’s saying the personality, goals, or things of this nature will change. The change will be found at the very core of ourselves; our intentions will be different, perhaps the method of action or uses of speech will have changed.

There is a quote from Jesus in the Gospel of Luke which I’ve had time to ponder today: “I have come to set the world on fire, and how I wish it were already ablaze!”

I mentioned so many good and holy men here; these are men who have such a love for Jesus and such a close and powerful relationship with Him that their own decisions and ways of life come very easily. They are able to give everything to the Lord and enjoy their lives in His care. That type of relationship with the Lord is, sadly, unique in today’s secularized society. So why are these men the way they are? I believe it is because they have allowed their unshakeable relationship with Christ to be the Pilot Light in their Furnace of Faith. It might not always be hot, but it’s always there and ready to do what it needs to do. These men are  ON FIRE for the Lord! They are ON FIRE for the faith! They are ON FIRE for God and this Church!

In the Gospel of Luke, we saw above Jesus’ quote about his desire for all the world to be on fire! His job would have been so much easier if people were already ablaze, but of course if that were the case, it would defeat His Divine purpose. I mentioned earlier that when men go through the seminary, it changes them at their very core. This core of the man (his soul, being, etc) is where we find the Pilot Light and Furnace of Faith. These men were changed not BY the seminary or BECAUSE of the seminary; they were changed because the seminary gave them the opportunity to see God in a new way.

But the laity does not need to go to a seminary to start seeing God in a new way or invite Him into our very core to change us, do we? I don’t think so. A relationship with Jesus is possible only through diligent prayer and a willingness to grow in Him and with Him.

Tonight, I pray that we all can invite God into our hearts and the core of our souls and allow Him to change us! Allow Jesus to light us ON FIRE for the TRUTH of his mercy! Be enthusiastic about your faith in Jesus the Christ! He is enthusiastic about His UNDYING LOVE for YOU!

The founder of the United Methodist Church, John Wesley, said “Come on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn!”

Make it your goal tonight to pack the place with people coming from miles around to watch you burn and yearn for Christ!

In the Most Holy Name of Jesus,

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