There is a centuries-old aphorism, sometimes attributed to St. Teresa of Avila, that states, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” The great movements in our lives very rarely follow a straight course. When I reflect upon the journey that has led me to Holy Orders it is in looking back that I can see, amidst all the twists and turns, all the detours and diversions, the hand of God at work. Ten years ago, I could not have foreseen the path this journey would take: a journey that began with a search for Truth and to recapture a lost faith; a journey that would lead to the joy of conversion, a growing desire to serve, and to a vocation. As I reflect on it now, on the cusp of ordination to the Transitional Diaconate, it is with a sense of awe and humility that I recognize the working of Divine Providence that has led me here.
When I entered the seminary, I was encouraged to develop the virtue of docility: the disposition to be taught and guided. It remains a challenge for me. Docility is not submissive or passive, it is the setting aside of doubt, fear, and self-will in order to let the Holy Spirit move in and through us that God may work His will for us in our lives. I pray for the virtue of docility daily that I may respond to God’s call as Mary did: “Let it be with me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38)
By: James Bates
Seminarian, Diocese of Bridgeport