I've been doing so much thinking about my life, and where it's going. I feel as if I'm standing still while the world passes me by.
Jeff reminded me a little of what it felt like to have something to devote your life to... working towards something you really believe in, and get so much pleasure out of. There was only one time in my life when I didn't really yearn for a home or a husband, and that's when I was seriously considering entering the priesthood.
I hesitate even mentioning this in a blog read mostly by gay people because they just don't get it. You mention the term priest and immediately a million inappropriate jokes start flying across the room. To me, it means something very personal, and meaningful... something I was willing to give up my life for.
I went to a book signing at Barnes and Noble today. It was by a very well known Catholic journalist, Raymond Arroyo, whom I am a huge fan of. I've watched his programs and interviews on EWTN for years, and always enjoyed his style of journalism... bringing us "all that is seen, and unseen." I listened to his talk about Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN, and whom the book is about that he has just written. She has always been an inspiration for me, and her live shows (back when she was well enough to do them), helped me through a lot of bad times. As I was standing in line to have the book signed, I read through some of it... a collection of her sayings and ways of looking at life. It made me laugh... she is a great theologian, but puts things in such simple terms... and has an awesome sense of humor. She reminds me of how I envisioned interacting with people as a priest.. through humor, friendship, and love.
As he was signing my book, Mr. Arroyo and I were able to chat briefly about the pre-vatican II rite of Mass that I attend, and which he is also a great supporter of. Nothing lights up my face, or peaks my interest as much as talking about the Mass does. That really is my field.. my "thing" in life... and there is so few ways for me to incorporate that aspect of the person I am into my everyday life. Face it, if I'm not going to be a priest.. what else am I going to do with all that insight, knowledge, and passion that makes for a career??
There were three things that made me decide not to become a priest. I never thought I'd survive the education needed to become a priest. I didn't want to move away from my family. And I didn't want to hide my homosexuality. Over the years, this has all started to crumble. Though I still feel I'd flunk out of philosophy classes, my grandparents are all dead, and I don't have that close a relationship with my immediate family to keep me here. My CLOSE network of friends is rather small these days, and I could easily keep in touch with them via e-mail and AIM, just as I do now. And I get so fed up with being gay that why in the world do I want to embrace such a frustrating, lonely, dead end road??
I often wonder if I made the right decision to become a teacher instead of a priest. There are days when I can say for sure that the priesthood and I were incompatible, but there are other days where I just wonder.... maybe that's where I was supposed to be all along.
The whole world needs to hear two things with strength and power: "God loves you" and "I love you". You must say it often to your friends. The world is not starving from a lack of money. It's starving from a want of love. - Mother Angelica