Happiness is Saying Yes Today

Posted by
Justin Paskert, Seminarian
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This year of my seminary formation is my Pastoral year which is at Corpus Christi in Temple Terrace.  The Pastoral year is basically an internship where I can experience the growth I have had in the seminary.  It has been a wonderful year so far serving the people of God.  The Pastoral year is also a great opportunity to get a glimpse into a future life as a priest.  The question, “Could I see myself living like this for the rest of my life?” takes me back to when I first made the decision to enter the seminary.

I was working as a service plumber and as a volunteer firefighter.  Both of these professions are good and rewarding work and I enjoyed what I was doing, but there seemed to be something missing.  I remember asking myself what was missing and there was a question that always came up.  What or who was I doing this for?

I have since realized that this “woman of my dreams” was more an idol than a real person.

Since I was little I have always felt this great desire in my heart to doing something great. I wanted to do something important, something that made a difference.  The desire was always present and it seemed that what was missing was the object to direct my heart towards.  I wanted to give myself, everything that I had, but there was no one to which to give myself.

I often thought that if I had my own wife and family then this work would make sense; I would be doing it for them.  I spent years with the belief that this was the missing part of my life. I thought that I would be happy if I found the right woman.  I wrongly thought that she would be the missing piece, the one that I could sacrifice myself for.  I have since realized that this “woman of my dreams” was more an idol than a real person.  The moment that I started to let go of my idol was the same moment when I was opening myself to God’s call in my life.  It was truly grace when I had the clarity to believe that God was calling me to the priesthood.  The courage to follow that call was an even greater grace.

I no longer want the idol that promises future happiness and never delivers.

Since entering the seminary I have had moments where it has felt like something is missing but I have realized that those are moments when I have picked up my old idol.  Instead of believing that I would be happy when I find the right women it has changed into believing I will be happy when I am a priest.  Pastoral year has taught me many things.  The first is that I will be happy as a priest.  Second is that I am happy right now.  I am joyful because today God is with me and I am trying to say yes to Him right now.  I no longer want the idol that promises future happiness and never delivers.  Following my vocation is the only thing that satisfies my heart.

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