Hope you are doing well. With the weather little by little warming up, you should be enjoying the warmth as I do. The farmers are hoping to get out in to the field and begin the farming. Best luck to all the farmers. Though bit late, it is better than never. Keep going.
With the 4th of May I have completed 18 years of my priestly life. It looks as if I had entered the minor seminary just yesterday. But years have passed so fast and I am a priest of eighteen years! Unbelievable! With all up’s and downs in my priestly life, the life as a priest is still in progress. At this juncture, I would like to appreciate you all for having accepted me to be your pastor. I try to live my call and your prayer and love is very much needed. I can use any amount of your prayers for me and be assured of my prayers for you too.
When I went for the vocation camp (the camp in which the candidates for priesthood are recruited) during the summer vacation after my sixth grade, I was very anxious about being selected for the seminary as a seminarian. But something that I did not want or something I did not expect happened. The Rector and the vice Rector of the seminary wanted to form a choir for the mass and other liturgical activities during the camp. They started testing the voices of all the boys who attended the camp. Some boys sang well. I too was tested for my voice and I sang too. But I was not selected for the choir, because they said my voice was too low (base) at that age. I was disappointed.
After the voice selection the ‘choir’ started practicing songs for the upcoming mass. The other boys who were not selected for the choir were asked to go and play. But naughty and mischievous as I was, I did not go to play but wanted to see how the practice went on and also wanted to learn some new songs too. So, I was peeping in to the hall where they were having the practice. The vice Rector saw me and called me. He said, “I told you to go and play, but you did not go and you were stealthily peeping into the choir. You are disobedient. This is going to be the end of your seminary life”. I was really scared and extremely upset. I started thinking about what reason I could give my parents for not being selected for the seminary, because the way the vice Rector spoke to me looked like I was not going to be selected for the seminary at all.
Fear and worry engulfed me so much that when I came home I fell sick for fear of telling my parents what happened. I was admitted in the hospital when my parish priest came and told me that I was selected for the seminary. He seemed happier than myself. That news gave me relief from the worry and the sickness. This happened before almost thirty-six years ago. Here I am with you now as a priest of eighteen years. I am not bragging about myself (Though I have the reasons to do so), I am trying to retrospect and share with you how God works in mysterious ways. God’s ways are sometimes not at all comprehendible. They are really mysterious and gracious. All His works are aimed at our well-being. We need to believe that and accept that. There may be times when we would feel low and dejected because of something that may happen in our lives. But eventually they will end up in something good that we might not even have thought of.
Yours sincerely in the Risen Lord,
Fr. A. Antony