Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Prayer to God, for the Grace of Letting-Go (Written by a young man who had just begun his journey towards the priesthood)


Loving God, I give you thanks for having called me to this great and wonderful adventure called seminary life.

While my heart is filled with joy and my spirit with great excitement
I am slowly discovering that this path I have chosen asks that I give up many things which have already become part of my life.

And let me be honest with you, I’m not finding it easy at all.
It isn’t always easy to let go of what I’ve gotten used to, Lord.

It’s difficult to let go of late night outings with my friends instead of studying.
It’s difficult to let go of mornings when I can stay in bed instead of going to prayer.
It’s difficult to let go of the good food that I’ve enjoyed at home.
It’s difficult to let go of the freedom to go wherever and do whatever I please on weekends.
It’s difficult to let go of my friends, especially that girl whom I like so much.
It’s difficult to let go of my own ideas, preconceived notions, and my way of seeing things.
It’s difficult to let go of those moments when I choose to be by myself instead of having to deal with members of the seminary community some of whom I don't get along with, and who do not seem to like me.
It’s difficult to let go of many more things, old habits really die hard.

This new life scares me at times too.
How do I know all this letting-go will bear fruit?
How do I know that giving up a lot of things
will result in my becoming happy with this path I have chosen?
How do I know that letting go of my ambitions to become a doctor or lawyer, of having a wife and children of my own will really enable me to give my entire life to you alone?
How do I know that all the sacrifices being asked of me will really make me a good priest?
How do I know that I will not fall later on and cause pain and sorrow to the Church, to the people you so love?
How do I know that this is truly your will for me,
and how do I know that I am not making a mistake when I try
to overcome my anxiety that it might not be?

Speak, Lord, your servant listens.
Let me put my trust completely in you.
Allow me to see that though the initial stage of my journey
can sometimes be dark, difficult, and uncertain,
your presence is more than enough to calm my fears,
to lighten my burden, and to give me the strength and courage
to stick to this path that I have chosen,
in the firm conviction that you who have asked me
to let-go of many things that have so given comfort and consolation to my life
will give me in their stead, the greatest consolation there can be:
the knowledge that wherever I go, whatever happens to me, whomever I become,
you will always be there to love, guide, and protect me.

Amen.

"The Kingdom of Heaven is a condition of the heart." (Friedrich Nietzsche)