Thursday, 9 February 2017

Dynamics of a call

Fr Sebastian used to say that one never knows for what reasons a youngster joins the aspirantate and says that he wants to be a priest or a brother.  The reasons could be varied and at times even idiotic - that is to us, grown ups.  But for the boy it means everything. Fr Sebastian would then ask us to recall and see what exactly brought us to the aspirantate before we rubbish or trivialize the motivation of a youngster.

I still remember my brother's great craze for riding the 'red bike' of Fr Jacob, the Parish Priest.  The only problem was my brother was only 8 or 10!  So his eagerness to grow up was that he could ride the bike.  It was a red yezdi and for him it was nothing short of a wonder.  (Somehow I don't even remember having looked at it a second time!)  His fascination for the bike went on for quite sometime.  Then Fr Jacob met with a series of accidents within a short time while riding the bike.  It was during one of these days that we visited him in the hospital.  He was badly wound up.  My brother's sole plan for future evaporated even before we left the hospital premises!

I know of someone who openly admitted that he joined the aspirantate knowing well that he could eat better breakfast than the one he rarely got at home.  Another confessed that he joined because he liked his parish priests car and one day wanted to drive a similar one.  Then there is Fr Ajay, a newly ordained priest for the Province of Mumbai who spoke of his dream of one day seeing the actor Aamir Khan and Rani Mukherji who were in Lonavla (as per a song in the movie, Ghulam).  And when he heard that the Salesian aspirantate was in Lonavla, there was no doubt, where he wanted to be!! Read about him and the story about others who were ordained with him recently here.

Looking back we laugh at those reasons.  However, if we were asked when those reasons were replaced with others, we would not know.  What exactly were those latter reasons, not all of us could spell out.  But that some of us continued to stay on and professed as religious or priests is nothing short of an interesting tale.

True indeed, every call is mysterious and different.

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