The last couple of days it has been SO NICE OUTSIDE…at least here in somewhat-beautiful Oswego. I get new stuff in the mail everyday from the University of St. Thomas and St. John Vianney Seminary….lots of paperwork. At least I can find excitement (and solace) in the fact that it means I will be there and starting this new life soon. People sometimes get cranky when I call it a “new life,” but, folks, what the heck else is it?
So…confession time. Before you go get your Examination of Conscience brochures and items for your Holy Hour, it’s not that kind of confession. My confession: I’ve been watching The Glee Project. Sorry to offend anyone with my ways.
Watching is a bad word. I’ve been…following TGP and really getting in to it. Before you all freak, I don’t even have the Oxygen Network, so you can bet your britches I would never watch that nonsense anyway.
On the show there’s this character, Lindsay (although I dont think its spelled that way), and she’s a really great performer and all. But that’s about all she is…a performer. Last week, the contender Alex had a real moment in the studio…tears, bad memories about a messed up childhood, you know…the whole shabang. She saw it worked for Alex so, hey, why not try it, too? EXCEPT NOBODY BOUGHT IT. It was horrible and fake and sad and angels fell.
But you know me…I got to thinking about all of this stuff happening in my life. My fabulously intelligent inner persona began to beg the question…how genuine am I? Who is the Ryan that God knows and is he the same as the Ryan that everyone else knows, as is the sort of the case with most truly holy people?
Now, obviously I’m pretty serious about this vocation and seminary business. That’s not what I’m after tonight. I couldn’t focus in on something specific like that, you know? It’s time to zooooom it out.Â The problem with Lindsay and, ultimately, the problem with me and a lot of people is that she does not realize how fakeÂ she isÂ being.
Â Holiness is like high school. Every body tries to out do each other and, at the end of the day, the least is made first and nobody saw it coming. Are we ok with ourselves in the image of God? Do we truly feel like He would be ok if we met Him face to face today?
When you tell people you want to be a priest and that you honestly 100% feel the Lord’s hand reaching to pull you into a ministry, they, through no fault of their own, see you differently. And my natural inclination at the beginning of all of this was to hide my sinfulness and, through result, my humanity. It was important for me to be this person I wasn’t; important, that is, until it occured to me that this person I was acting like wasn’t the person God had called! It was like nothing made sense with the way I was going and things I was doing.
I’m trying really hard to be as real as I can although sometimes this reality scares me. Lately, my encounters with others has been…roller coaster-y. Some people are so on fire with love for God and His Church and so inspired by my vocation. Others, sometimes those who are committed to serve the people of God are dismal, rude, disconnected. I can’t figure out why this is happening and why all of a suddent I seem to be caught in the middle of everyone’s snarkiness, unhappiness, and seeming disinterest.
I’m not trying to be disrespectful, but I am stuck in a state of genuine confusion about all of this. Applying for seminary was what seemed like a full time job and the entire time I was filled with excitement and on fire for Christ. But now, I am met with much adversity and it seems like my excitement is gone, my prayer life is falling apart, and I am feeling far from Jesus at times. I am confident that seminary will help relieve some of this. It help establish a foundation of support, love, and diligent prayer that I will not get around here.
On the other hand, I’m like……..speechlessly thankful for all of the support and prayers and love and EVERYTHING from SO MANY people. The amount of support I’ve received and kind words I’ve heard GREATLY OUTWEIGHS any negativity. This is my well into which I draw when these dismal situations come about. So I’m really not discounting what these moments and thoughts mean to me.
The best thing, I’ve learned, is to just say, “You know what, I’m giving it up. I’m just going to offer this up and learn from it and employ what I learn for the benefit of those around me and the Kingdom of God.” This life is not about us. It’s not about what we want. It’s not about how far we can get. It’s about what we can learn from God through his Son, Jesus and what we do to pass it on. As I wrote about in my last post, they way we live and show our faith makes all the difference. If we are dismal and rude to people, their faith can be shaken and, in some cases, destroyed. But if we are firm in our beliefs and show this to others WITHÂ LOVE, then we’ve got it. We’re golden. We’re set.
“I am a pencil in the hand of a writing God.” – Mother Teresa
Tonight, let’s pray for the peace of mind:
O Heart of Jesus,
I place all my trust in You,
hoping for all things from your goodness.
You make a root flourish beneath the soil;
You can make fruitful the darkness in which
I find myself today.
I adore You in all Your purposes even without knowing them;
Your will be done, not mine.
May I be patient!
It is so difficult to realize these trials,
heartbreaking as they are,
can be turned into blessings.
Lord, give me peace of mind,
peace of heart,
and peace of soul,
as I offer You my thoughts,
my words, my actions,
and Yes, Lord, my sufferings.
May the all be for Your greater glory.
Peace to you,