This blog is starting a little late. If I really wanted to chronicle my entire experience, I would have started a year ago when I began my year of aspirancy. Seeing as that year has been fulfilled, I think a bit of digression is in order.
My formation program started a year ago in February, though I was not yet a part of the class. I had done all the work to be in the class, talked to a canon lawyer to make sure I had not impediments, began filling out my very long application, everything that needed to be done before I got into the program. But I wasn’t excited. Not in the least. I just felt that something wasn’t quite right.
There were a lot of reasons why I felt it wasn’t the right time. Yes, I knew I felt a calling, but I just wasn’t sure that the calling was for right now. First of all, I’m not a rich man. Most of the men entering the program would be retired, or nearly so with kids already off to college and grand-kids on the way. They were stable both financially and as families. I was not stable, and that was frightening.
Then there was my youth. I would really be entering the program at nearly the youngest that was acceptable for a married man. Maybe I was being presumptuous in my youth, and I felt that a few years under my belt would be more appropriate. Regardless of my reasons, I decided to wait until the next go around in five years to think about it again.
Classes started in February, and I did not attend.
Then one day I was at Mass, and something happened. It was a bad homily. Yes, I admit it, I jumped in because of a bad homily. It was full of error, and just felt almost Anti-Catholic. I just got angry, and needed to do something about it. I won’t say where I was for respect of the priest giving it, but I suddenly felt that I had no option. Whether I felt like it or not, the Church needed men faithful to her, and I knew I was that man.
The next week at my home parish, I accosted my pastor to reopen my application, and after some rule bending, and some law checking, I was in the class the following month.
Many who had joined the class in the beginning were already gone. It was kind of like I skipped the “get to know everyone” phase, and hopped right into the work. To be honest, that is really for the best. My only sadness was that one of my dear friends had already left the program. Maybe he would have stayed if I had joined in the beginning.
Oh well, God knows what he is doing.