Happiness is Saying Yes Today

Posted by
Justin Paskert, Seminarian

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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