Saturday, April 24, 2010

EASTER JOY: Distractions

This year, I began attending the Holy Hours and dodge ball games at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. When I went for the first time earlier this year, I thought I was just going to the Seminary for an hour of Eucharistic Adoration. That seemed fine by me, but it is so much more. Hundreds of high school students from schools all over Long Island attend, along with friends and family, as well as, priests and religious. It is a very moving experience in the packed chapel, especially during Benediction and the Candle-light ceremonies.

This past Friday I made the trip to Huntington again. When we got there, I decided to go downstairs to the crypt where they have confession before the night’s festivities. I sat down alone since I was the first sinner down there. As I tried to focus on examining what wrongs I had done since my last confession, I noticed that I became pretty distracted by the female species since then. I have been getting distracted with hanging out with girls a lot more recently. It certainly is not a bad thing, but it can be a hindrance when one is discerning a religious vocation. So as I sat there waiting for a priest to arrive, who comes in but a group of fine girls from a local Catholic high school. Great. This was the last thing I needed, a group of beautiful young women to come sit next to me while I’m just about to go to confession. Whatever. Let’s just get this over with. So I get through what turned out to be an awesome confession, and as I am leaving I notice two girls give me that look. You know that look? I’m telling you, I thought I saw their phone numbers start to appear on their foreheads. I finally get to the chapel upstairs. I put down the kneeler and I am about to say my penance. But who enters the chapel? Those girls, and they brought friends this time! I wanted to scream “ARE YOU KIDDING ME JESUS?!”

I looked around, eyes darting to various places in the room, just trying to get my mind off this. I finally knelt down. And peace just hit me. I can’t explain it, but the word I am going to use is peace. I finally made the move. I sat down, closed me eyes from the distractions around me, and said “Thank you Jesus.”
It is truly incredible how vocations work. In the past month I have had so many incredible and strange experiences with this vocation. And it seems it just keeps coming. God uses these times to see what we can do. He sometimes puts stuff in front of us knowing we can overcome them only through His Son. So have no fear, God is with us. Be patient and pray. You’ll find Him then.
Contributed by a student of one of our Marianist high schools