After my Spiritual Director lost interest in my vocational development (Part 2) and the diocesan Vocation Director wrote me off with a terrible assessment, I was lost without knowing what next steps to take in my life. The diocese in which I lived was going to split into two dioceses. I thought that a new diocese and a new Vocation Direct would be a rebirth for my vocational aspirations- I was wrong.
The new Vocation Director, lets call him Fr. C., would not talk to me until conferring with my previous Vocation Director. The report was abysmal, but he wanted to give me a chance. We met. He told me I needed more “worldly experience” and that I should take any job I could find. I was to keep in touch and come back next year and we would talk then. I found a low-paying, low-skill job and wrote the Vocation Director at time to show that I was following his instructions. We me in his un porch the following summer. He commended for my following his instructions but still was not sure he knew me well enough to allow my progress to the Seminary. He told me to find another job and come back the following year. The next year, I came back. I was now out of college for three years. When I expressed my anxiety, he claimed that he understood. Finally, he asked for my long-term vocational goals. I told him that, in accord with the instructions from Mary at Fatima, I would like to be part of the conversion of Russia. He termed this “ridiculous”. He then ended the meeting and dismissed me.
Time passed and a couple of years later I received a call from the diocesan “Affiliates Program”, a program that was designed for men who were beyond college and still felt called. Fr. M and Fr. S. ran the program. I went to several meetings and listened to how they looked for men who were “docile” and not “strong”. The group consisted of young men who approached these Priests with hushed tones and downcast eyes in hopes of being sent to Seminary. I felt very out-of-place and very unwelcome. I already had three seminaries expressing interest in me, I just needed the Priest’s approval. One night the meeting adjourned and we were dismissed. I caught up with Fr, M. and I asked him a powerful question.
I said; I have three seminaries interested in me, why have I not been allowed to forward?
He said; “To be honest”, you do not play the political game and you think too independently. Until you change these things you will never enter Seminary!
Essentially, he shut down my entire vocational progress. I thanked him for the truth, no matter how ugly, and left with $5.09 to my name at nearly 25 years old.
I had no real marketable skills and a resume that looked like a patchwork of temporary jobs. I had to find the path which God had now chosen for me. I took the words of 1 Corinthians 10:13 to heart;
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
I have come to realize that the way one can discern the tests or temptations of God from those of man in a simple way; God ALWAYS allows a way out, man is ruthless in his tests and temptations and is not fair and gives no way out.
Although this happened many years ago, I am still struggling with the aftermath of these events as are many other survivors, many of whom were hurt much worse than I. Let us offer our prayer for the survivors who have not yet recovered or found the path in life which God has waiting them.
As an addendum, Fr. M. has spent serious jail time for some of his abuses.