As summer kicks into full gear and I reflect on my past year of seminary, my heart is overflowing with gratitude. Following the Lord’s call has brought about peace and satisfaction unlike any other I have experienced. Despite a new set of challenges remote learning presented, God continues to bless me (and others) in new ways, making manifest His power even in uncertain circumstances.
One of the aspects of seminary life I miss the most is the constant fraternity in which each of us is surrounded. The importance of this is expressed in Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man.” When we have friends and family around that encourage us to live a life rooted in Christ, not only do they help motivate us, but in turn, we help motivate them! I found myself back home abruptly without scheduled Holy Hour, Mass, and time of fraternity. Meaning, I had to live deliberately and find the proper balance between online classes and prayer without the guidance of a formator and the rest of the seminary community. This proved to be challenging but continues to be a source of growth as I walk towards God’s call for my life, whatever it may be.
Regardless of the challenges, God’s blessings shine through. The abrupt return home allowed me to spend extra time with my family, whom I would typically only have time to connect with once a week. I cannot help but feel blessed to spend the entirety of the summer with both my human family and my parish family here at St. Thomas Aquinas. Not to mention, Fr. Ben has graciously taken me under his wing and taught me about the life of a parish priest, which serves as invaluable experience as I discern my vocation. I ask for your prayers and know of mine for our beautiful parish of St. Thomas Aquinas!
In Christ, Ben Freeman