In a world where faith and the practice of religion is on a decline, God still seems to shine a little light through the cracks. You probably thought the beginning of that sentence was going to lead to some movie trailer, but no. I just want to tell you guys a little story.
My friend was ordained this past weekend. He went from being a regular loud Dominican guy to a loud Dominican priest. His story began with a friend in high school who gave him a letter after she attended a retreat. In that letter she told him that during the retreat, she prayed for her friends and his name came to mind. She told him that she felt Jesus calling him.
He eventually attended this retreat at the Hispanic Charismatic Center in the Bronx. He found God there and fell in love. He started to serve and, long story short, joined the seminary and became a priest. Before this though, while he was helping and serving at retreats at the Center, my sister and I attended our first retreat. He and Charyl, who later on in life would become one of my closest friends, were leading the retreat for the weekend. But it wasn’t until my second retreat a few months later where I met God.
Jose prayed for me during a prayer service on Sunday. Now, I think it’s good to note that anyone could’ve prayed for me and God would’ve been present in the same way, but God made it so that it was Jose. While he was praying for me I had a vision that changed my life forever. It was a vision of the future. I have to mention that I had my eyes closed and I was standing up. The reason why I say this is because it’s important to understand that I wasn’t sleeping and it wasn’t something that I imagined this with my eyes open. It was as though I was watching a short clip of my life years away. That vision planted in me a thirst to find out more. And in finding out more I found God, and like Jose, I fell in love. Eventually I started to serve with the youth ministry at the Center and here we are 8 years from the first retreat I ever attended and I’m leading the same ministry that showed me who God is.
The reason why I decided to write this blog post was because most people think that we wake up one day and decide to go to church. But it’s really God who calls us towards Him and helps us discover Him. He did that with me through Jose and many others. And with Jose he sent that friend who wrote him a letter. Imagine that Jose wouldn’t have responded to that letter or that his friend was too scared to give it to him. I probably wouldn’t be where I am. We just have to be willing to listen and answer because He’s called everyone. Even if it’s a small tug at your heart and you ask yourself “I wonder what all the fuss is about.” That’s Him.