Wednesday, June 17, 2009
When I was a child, I dreamed of becoming a priest.
There was something within me that makes me attracted to their vestments. I wanted to become a priest because I wanted to wear cassocks, and stoles, and preach a sermon. I was so allured of becoming one, thinking that the priesthood means nothing more than the vestment.
For some five years, I was an altar boy. Those were the years I consider as part of my formative years to Christian maturity. I was so deeply involved in parish life that the church almost literally became my home. I took the time to learn more about my church and my faith.
One of the most important contribution of my involvement with this ministry is our motto: "Called to Serve", which I got a chance to find for a Latin translation when I happened to read from an obscure paper an article written by an unknown seminarian (actually I don't remember whether he is a seminarian or a priest already at the time of that reading). "Vocatus Servire" was the Latin equivalent of our motto, I told our Sacristan Mayor.
And so what, if that is the Latin translation? Wala lang!
I don't know what is there in Latin that I feel like I am 80% intelligent when I can understand and use some of it.
I must admit that perhaps, like any other people in the church, I was afflicted of this virus I would call HtTa ("holier-than-thou attitude") which is possibly deadlier than the H1N1 out there. I thought we people who are in the church, especially those who serve the mass, are somewhat a little bit special, apart from the rest of the faithful. So I thought, my being in the church, my being an altar boy, is a calling, an exclusive calling though. A calling that would expire however soon as I leave the ministry or the parish.
Then came reality.
So many things happened to me in the parish. So many that this page would not be enough if I insist writing them. Thing is, I experienced life, or rather real life, in all its faces. All the good and bad. And so, I think, I became mature in the faith.
This life-chapter has made me understand Catholic life better, and including what priesthood really is. I realized, priesthood is more than wearing the alb, chasuble and stole.
Some years ago, when writing about my "calling" and realizing that despite the "feeling-of-being-called" since childhood I am not for the priesthood, I wrote in my journal, "I may never be God's priest tomorrow, but I can always be his servant today". I wrote this entry at a time I was insisting to a friend (who thought I was a geek) that I really feel God is calling me to serve Him in some ways.
I hope that by living my ordinary life everyday, I am really serving God in "some ways".
Besides, are we not priests by our own right? When we were baptized, we shared in the priestly ministry of Christ, which is our common priesthood. Di ba?
I intend to keep this blog as long as I have access to the internet, which for now is free. It is a blog of and for ordinary Filipino Catholics. Please feel free to comment and join me in this virtual journey.