Ordination To The Priesthood
May 21 is a very important day for our Church
in Guam. Jose Alberto Rodriguez Salamanca,
originally from the Canary Islands
will be ordained a priest at the Dulce
de Maria Cathedral Basilica at the
of Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron.
the first presbyter from the Redemptoris
Mater to be ordained a priest.
Why makes a young man decide for the
An answer can be found, perhaps, in
winning 1981 movie - Chariots of Fire.
The story is about a Scottish runner
Eric Liddell. In order to compete in
1924 Olympics, he must discontinue
A serious inner battle rages within
What spurs him on to run is his conviction
that, "I believe God made me for
but he also made me fast. And when
I feel his pleasure. To give it up
be to hold him in contempt; to win
So Liddell decides to run - to feel
of God, to honor God by running. However
when he realizes that the final of
meter race is scheduled on a Sunday,
to drop out because of his religious
Months and months of sacrifice and
are simply thrown out of the window.
politicians, teammates, even British
tried to persuade him to run, but he
not budge. Finally, a teammate, Harold
who was Jewish and the British 400-meter
champion, suggested that he and Liddell
events. Liddell agreed and entered
a very different and obviously longer
Abrahams entered the 100. Remarkably,
won gold medals. Liddell set a world
in the 400, which stood for more than
It's a great story, and the best line
it is, "I believe God made me
purpose: but he also made me fast.
I run I feel his pleasure. To give
would be to hold him in contempt; to
is to honor him."
It is, of course, the most important
of all: What should I do with my life?
am I supposed to be doing? It is the
of vocation. What we should really
not so much what I want to do but what
God want me to do? What is the agenda
God for me? A question many never ask
so are doomed to failure!
One of the best and boldest ideas in
is that God does have something in
us, each of us, individually. "To
is given the manifestation of the Spirit
for the common good," Saint Paul
Unfortunately, we are very one track
when it comes to choosing our future
If he is a boy, he just thinks girls…
marriage and children. If she is a
she just thinks boys … eventually marriage
and children. The idea of becoming
or a nun seems so alien to many. We
afraid of the unknown that we prefer
on familiar ground than to risk.
The pattern is consistent. God calls.
candidate declines. Moses is tending
father-in-law's flock in the wilderness,
when a bush goes up in flames. A voice
him of his mission to go to Egypt and
his people. Moses says, in effect,
me? Thanks, but no!" God beckons
to go to Nineveh, and Jonah heads out
the other direction. God calls Jeremiah,
and Jeremiah stammers, "I don't
how to talk. I'm not up to this. I'm
God calls. Candidate declines. God
take no for an answer. God is persistent.
God keeps after Moses, tracks Jonah
all the way to the belly of the whale,
to a reluctant Jeremiah, "Do not
`I am only a boy' for you shall go
to whom I send you and you shall speak
I command you." Then there is
promise: "Do not be afraid of
for I am with you to deliver you."
However some still refuse to follow
inspiration and finish where they finish.
I love something Frederick Buechner
said about vocation: "The place
calls you to, is the place where your
gladness and the world's deep hunger
Or, as Liddell put it, "I believe
made me for a purpose; but he also
fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.
To give it up would be to hold him
to win is to honor him."
After the Olympics, Liddell returned
theological school, became a missionary
China, and died in a Japanese prison
just a few weeks before the camp was
by American troops in 1945.
God has something in mind for you,
do, community to create, people to
lives to save, the kingdom of God to
The promise is that once you know what
is, there is nothing to fear. God will
with you and will give you the resources
you need. Your vocation is God's precious
gift to you. Discover it and once you
discovered it, hold it tight!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright