|Retreat6 (Photo credit: Annoysius)|
On this feast day of Ss Peter and Paul, the two great apostles of the Gospel to the world, I am happy to announce that I have reached 9 years of serving in the priestly ministry as a Roman Catholic priest.
Compared to many other senior priests, I know nine years is rather a paltry amount as compared to 25 years or more. Still, I am just glad to have survived another year and to do this in the Seminary where I am currently posted.
I had a session with an aspirant yesterday evening and was encouraging him to be more clear and honest with his discernment to joining the Seminary and I mentioned that these days, the motivation for becoming a priest is very much different from the time of our father's or grandfather's time. Then, life was simpler and the decision to join the priesthood may be based on duty and responsibility or simply for a so-called 'better life'. Joining the seminary based on those motivations may have also been easier to base on those reasons as acceptable entry.
Today, however, is different. The ministry of the priesthood is fraught with many challenges that can overwhelm a priest if he is not well equipped to face up to the challenges and signs of the times. Hence, a more thorough screening and longer discernment period is conducted before any decision is made by the Seminary to accept the candidate.
As for myself, nine years in this ministry is more than enough to be informed of these challenges and the scars of the battle are the reminders that while I am only human, I am also facing a world that is increasingly, if not, already allergic to God, or the Christian faith is found difficult to hold on to, precisely because it is always counter cultural.