Catholic Soup is a food for thought blog based website designed to provide Catholic insight through personal experience.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Reflection on Discernment


I was suppose to write an essay reflecting on my discernment of religious life within the Roman Catholic Church, so I typed it up and emailed it to Saint Gregory's. hopefully they will call me soon with the news if I am accepted or not. Well I thought It would be a good idea to post the essay on my blog so here it is:
To discern means to reflect and find the interior of yourself as the person God has set for you. To think beyond the average person and see what you know God would see. An Important factor in helping that phase of discernment takes a life of prayer, humility, faithfulness not only God but to others. Live a life of solitide, quietness and peace. I believe that putting yourself in a prayer ful environment always helps the process of discerning God’s will go a lot easier and a lot more fuller than what you would experience in a loud and busy surrounding.
My Name is Vincent Carrasco and I have been discerning my vocation to the priesthood for quite some time now. Everything that I have mentioned above, I have in some way or another experienced it to the extent that it has had a major effect on my Catholic faith and formation growth. My first few years in High School, I never really liked to say or think about myself going to the priesthood. In fact I don’t think anybody did. I told my self that If I did, I would only do it for praise and recognition, that was my excuse for not thinking about it. During those few years in High School I attended a youth group at my local church of St. Anthony’s called LifeTeen. These two hour classes every Wednesday and Sunday nights for 4 years really shaped me into being a better person. The retreats and conferences we attended brought me to really understand my calling and the path that I was to follow so much easier. My Junior year was very congested going on all sorts of trips, visiting the third world country of Honduras to build homes for homeless, Steubenville of the Rockies, a Leadership Conference at the University of Notre Dame and our end-of-the-year retreats. By the time it was all over the notion of becoming a priest was in my head. Little did I know I wasn’t leaving. At this time I had already experienced being faithful to others by serving them. I had this desire to serve that was like hunger or a burning flame that only desires more and more, I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing so I did the one thing that helped my be satisfied, that was to serve more. When I left for my first semester in college that calling only became more and more brighter as my inner self. People would come up to me telling me that It looked to them as if I was glowing with happiness and joy covering my face, then they would ask, “Do you happen to be discerning the priesthood?” Not being ashamed I would answer back with a head held high, “Yes I am” I was happy, I was at peace to know that God was with me It felt so comforting and so new, there was nothing I could do but smile even more. Even When I see priests, they bring light and peace, and happiness to me. I feel like this is something that I was truly called to be. In College I was blessed with the opportunity of living in a two-story home that was walking distance from the Catholic Church. I was living by myself so I believed it was a much more easier and laid back environment for a more prayerful life. Rather than being in a house with a family of five in it, would make my prayer life full of distractions that exist. To discern a person has to have to live a life of humility, if somebody comes in with a bad attitude or let’s say negative the discerner receives feedback off of that and it creates a not so well prayer life. Same thing with school, where you have all these distractions and downsides of live that the world today is a professional at bringing people down. One thing I always had in my mind was the fact that if you look at life, the plants the morning sunrise and evening sunset, even the formation of our very own bodies in the womb. They all grow in silence, not in music or noise, silence. In that same way, we are called to live just as we were created in silence and in humility; because its through silence that brings prayer and meditation. At the same time, I was committed to a life of solitude and service by being a Core Member for the Church’s EDGE Jr. high kids. I gave talks and teachings that were even surprising to me. At the peak of it all, I was forced to move out and withdraw from school my discernment went down the drain from there. A few months later I received a call from the vocations director wanting to meet up, at that point I knew that God truly does follow through with what he does. Strange enough, for some reason that desire to do what I wanted was still inside me. The thought of being a priest still crossed my mind even when I had forgotten about it for three months. When I see priests, they bring light and peace, and happiness to me. I feel like this is something that I was truly called to be.
Months later I am still waiting for that single door to open so I can finally make the step that I know is a stepping stone from Christ. The thought of being a priest to once again serve the people of Faith is something I am really anticipating. Deep inside I know that I was created to serve, we all were, however to know that I have been giving the want to and the “gusto” to carry forth with this is something that I would not want to go to waste. Finally I would like to say that the process of discernment has been a breeze so far only because what I have learned and what I have gained through faith formation classes and all the retreats I have been on. Just to understand that Christ died for me on the cross is something that motivates and drives me to do what we are called to do, just like waves are driven to the shore I am the exact same. Being Catholic I know that Christ created us to be Holy, Its our obligation and its our calling. Saint Gregory’s Scholarship Committee, please help provide what I need to carry my cross, just as my savior did for me.
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