Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Adventure of the Priesthood

By Father Eric Cadin

As early as I can remember I always wanted to love and to love big—maybe you could even say, heroically. I didn’t know anything about vocation or celibacy. I just knew and lived out of a simple, but powerful, desire to love big planted by God.  But like many of my peers I didn’t do much to cultivate it. With reckless abandon I sought adventure and excitement. As I veered toward a passionate wanderlust, however, God suddenly drew me back to Him.

That early seed of heroic love that had impelled me toward many adventures suddenly directed me toward the priesthood. God led me to discover in the priesthood, and in priestly celibate love, the big heroic love I sought.

My vocation as a priest makes me an instrument of the direct, personal love God has for His people. It is remarkable to experience, and I have been blessed in this my first year of priesthood. Words of absolution from my mouth have restored sinners to divine friendship. Water poured from my hand and words from my mouth have birthed eternal life. Plain bread and wine become at every Mass I celebrate the perfect and eternal sacrifice of Christ—the greatest act of love.

As a parish priest I had the privilege of accompanying a holy man in his final weeks of life. I arrived, not as a transient visitor, but as his priest. We prayed often. I anointed him. I brought him Holy Communion. I commended him to God. I offered the Mass at his funeral. I was able to show by my efforts that God, through my care and affection, loves this man."

God calls all of us to be loved and to love Him greatly. My heart, given only to Him, becomes an instrument for God to use to reveal His love for His people in concrete, physical, sacramental ways.  The privilege of priesthood is filled with joy and a quiet excitement that captivates me as I embark on the most amazing adventure I could ever desire.


Fr. Eric Cadin is parochial vicar at St. Michael Church in North Andover, Massachusetts in the Archdiocese of Boston.

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