When my son Nathaniel was walking toward the direction of a priest for a blessing after a holy mass celebration two years ago, he (the priest) was telling my son to try becoming a priest like him when he grows up. Then the priest looked me straight in the eyes as we traded smiles. “If God wills it,” I told him.
I once considered priesthood when I was a lot younger. I took up the entrance exam at the nearest College seminary from where I lived and was interviewed, of course, by a priest who was also the school director.
“What made you consider priesthood?” asked the director priest.
“Because I want to serve God by turning people towards him,” I answered.
“Not only a priest can do that, but everyone can serve God in his own little way,” he said.
“Listen, I want you to think hard about it. I’m sending you home and think hard about it. Come back when you have finally decided to become a priest.”
I didn’t come back. He was right, each one of us can serve God in our own little ways. It has become so clear to me now. God wants me to build a family and to make a domestic church out of it.
I know that if I was in the seminary, I would receive wonderful human and spiritual formation and academic education. I would be taught by dedicated priests who inspire by example as I’m going to share my life with fellow seminarians who are also a source of grace, fellowship, and wisdom.
But while I was considering the priesthood, God knew best than what I should be doing with my life. He made me a family man. I was still called “padre,” but of the family. While the priest is called “padre de Iglesia,” I, on the other hand, was the “padre de Familia.”
If my son is going to ask me about considering the priesthood when he grows up, this I have to say: “If God wills it.” Because I know that while I am my son’s biological father, his creator and spiritual father is the Almighty God. I’m confident that God knows what his vocation should be.
Our constant prayer as parents should be for our children to come to know God as He is as much as we did. God would lead our children if we prepare and encourage them to respond to His call.
If God wills it, so be it.