Btw, if you haven't seen any of the pictures of twitter, go over there and check out the posted links: www.twitter.com/biaftw
Okay now to my main point. I enjoyed the day alot! The day was perfect because I was with Jon and Tony so there's endless jokes. But even if I had gone alone, I feel that I would have a good time. Here's why: The most important thing I took away from this trip wasn't learning how priests live and study.
The biggest thing is that we will always keep our sense of self no matter what. People change slowly over time, but only because those changes make us happy. So why fear change? If it happens, it's because you chose to make that change! Therefore, why do so many young men fear becoming a priest? Are they afraid that they will lose their personality and become prayer robots? That's probably the main fear. But I'm here to tell you that priests can be cool. If a priest is socially awkward, it's probably because he was like that before he became a priest lol.
I'm not afraid of becoming a priest. I am 100% open to it. I am not afraid of change. For example: I preach self-defense, but who knows, maybe one day I can become one of those "turn the other cheek" types. As I said before, change isn't bad because we would only do so if it makes us happy.
So what makes us happy? The key thing here is that we were all made to find love. At the age of 24, I will propose boldly: The purpose of life is to love. As Catholics, we are called to live in a relationship with God. That's the only love that sustains. I believe marriage is a special love, but it is only sustained by the grace of God. Marriages stand no chance without divine help. It's God that gives us the humility to say sorry, and the patience and endurance to go through tough times. So even if you don't become a priest, it sounds ridiculous to say you don't need a special connection with God. We can all agree that we need to search for God in our lives no matter what we become.
In the same way, men who become priests choose so not to make the world a better place, or for honor, but they do it because they fall in love with Jesus. What a great thing! Who doesn't want to experience the love of God? Others experience it through different forms, such as through marriage. But priests fall in love with Jesus and his Church. It lifts their hearts like an embrace from a loving partner.
In summary, we should take comfort in knowing that we will become what makes us happy!
But anyway to be honest with you, I don't have any inclinations on becoming a priest. I sometimes think about how the job would be, and I think I'd do a decent job. My homilies would have a dual goal of inspiring their hearts but also keeping them awake. It has been said that laughter is the language of the soul :-) But like I said, I don't have inclinations because I'm not "in love" with Jesus. We should all fall in love with Jesus, but the call of vocation is a special one. Like I said, I don't fear the call of duty. I just don't have the call. At least I don't think so. To be honest with you, I don't even know what it feels like for God to speak to me. I do believe, but it's almost a blind faith. Reason does not line up with faith most of the time, but I've put that aside and just decided to trust in God.
So in the meantime, I will follow my dreams: become a doctor, change the world through service and spreading love, bring honor and dignity to the downtrodden, bring love and hope to those who despair, and try to find God in every step along the way.
Lastly, I do want to say that I kinda miss being in love. Not in a desperate way. But I do sing along to love songs sometimes. Why? Because love is a beautiful thing, but I don't ever stress about how or when it will arrive. But I still enjoy the idea of being married and sometimes I feel like praying for my future wife, even though there's no face on her yet. And even more so than thinking of marriage, I think dating is super fun. I think "the hunt" is exciting. I know I would have alot of fun bantering with a witty girl with a great sense of humor. And I also know that I love being a knight in shining armor: doing things like writing poems, planning surprises, etc... I already try to be a knight in every day life and I enjoy it. But it's not quite as special as when you're in a relationship. So in that sense, I think I would be happiest if I met the girl of my dreams. But who knows...
Anyway, sorry if I jumped around alot, but I'm just typing what I'm thinking. Here's my summary: Priests aren't happier than lay people because they are priests, they are generally happier because they are closer to God. But married people can be holier than priests and be happier than priests. But that doesn't matter to me. What matters is what pulls your heart strings, what makes you fall in love? That is life's greatest gift, and I highly anticipate it. I don't know what it is but I don't stress. I can see myself being happy no matter what path I take. I just enjoy the journey, and it feels great :-)