I have a powerful desire to become a deacon. I have felt called to it since I came though the RCIA process ten years ago. I will not say that I have not had doubts, or times of confusion, but for some reason I always knew that my path would end here. This is my vocation.
To be honest, I knew it well before I ever even became Catholic. I remember telling my lovely bride, “If I only knew what the truth was, I would follow it with every ounce of my strength.” I meant it, and when Christ brought me to the Catholic Church, and I knew it to be the truth. I knew I was called to share that truth with everyone Christ would put in my path.
Is that not the call of a deacon? To bring the gospel with him everywhere he goes? To take the gospel to the poor, the young, the elderly and everyone in between? This is most certainly the vocation I feel, and while I recognize that everyone has the call to evangelization, my call just feels, well, more formal.
I do not know if in the end our most excellent bishop will choose to ordain me. At the end of this road, he may let me know that I am not called. I know that his decision will be the right one. I do not feel fear over this, because I know that God is leading me in the way he sees fit, and that is way it should be. I will not lie however. I do have great hope that the calling I feel is a true one.
In the book of Acts, the apostles were so busy, they did not have the time to work with the widows, with the young, or the elderly. They loved the poor, but simply were frustrated by a lack of time. Is that not the case now? Our priests are so few and so overworked that they can hardly keep their own schedules. Gone are the days when there were three priests to a parish, and the priests left simply cannot teach every RCIA class, visit every rest home, or work in every soup kitchen. The apostles solved this problem by creating the diaconate. At just the right time, the Church has called them back into service. I feel that call.
I also feel the need to teach. Of the many blessings the Lord has given me, one is a loud voice. (My wife constantly reminds me how full of hot air I really am!) In all seriousness though, the gospel needs to be preached boldly. Our world is falling under the frustrations of a culture that actively promotes sin, and this must be fought by the faithful. I feel that call too.
Lastly, the church needs Men. Yes, I capitalized men. As I look through parishes, I constantly see women outnumbering men in the pews 2 to 1. It is a scary thing to think that the search for truth, and life in Christ is thought of as a feminine thing. It is of course feminine, but it is equally masculine. The church needs bold men. I may not be as bold as I wish, but I am at least loud.
In short, I feel called to wash feet. It’s a dirty job, but it must be done.