If you have read my blog lately, you are probably wondering why all of the sudden I am writing these religious postings. Here is the long answer.
After many years of being away from my Catholic faith, in January 2010, I attended a retreat at St. Theresa Catholic Church, called Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP). This retreat marked the beginning of my spiritual transformation.
Since that experience, I attended and helped organize six subsequent CRHP retreats, serving as spiritual director for the CRHP team about one year ago. I have also rediscovered daily prayer, scripture, and the Eucharist; I have become inspired by the likes of Fr. Robert Barron, Fr. Larry Richards, Dr. Scott Hahn, Matthew Kelly and Steve Bollman. I have volunteered my time with the parish as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and become more generous towards others. I have encouraged my friends to participate in the faith. In other words, I have been unknowingly practicing what Matthew Kelly calls the four signs of a Dynamic Catholic: Prayer, Studying, Generosity, and Evangelization. All these elements have helped me to revive my faith, strengthen my commitment, and draw closer to God.
Now that you know why the tone of this blog has changed, I want to share with you the news that I feel called to apply for the Dioceses of Austin Diaconate Program to become a deacon. For months I’ve shared this news with only a few friends and family members. Since then, however, I’ve felt compelled to make my discernment public. Here is why:
I realized that the reason I was keeping my discernment quiet was because of fear. I worried that I wasn’t worthy of this call. I struggled with what my friends would say. I dreaded what personal revelations would come to light. Of course, I was also concerned with the possibility of ultimately not being accepted into the Diaconate Program. When I really thought about these fears, I realized they are all a form of pride. Pride – one of the seven deadly sins – was holding me back from joyfully sharing my discernment. I can’t truthfully say I am without fear. But the feeling of fear I experience is better described as reverence for the call I feel to become a deacon and reverence for the serious and extensive discernment process in front of me and my family. This is a six-year process and we are only at the beginning. We turn to you in humility and ask for your prayers and support. Please pray that we have the necessary strength and determination on this journey. We ask that God fill us with peace no matter the outcome of the discernment process. Moreover, please pray that it is a true call; one that is for the benefit and the glory of God and not for vainglory.