So the time is close at hand when I am going to leave the world and enter the rest of my life. On July 6, I officially begin my postulancy with the St. Joseph Province Dominicans. While this time is quickly approaching, I have had a great deal of time to reflect on my future thanks in part to my participation in the walk thus far.
One amazing thing that I've come to understand a lot better is that through my entrance into the Dominicans, it is not so much that I'm leaving the world, but rather that I'm entering into something so beautiful. My future is now beginning moreso than the current stage of my life is ending. Thus, when I leave
This is what the gift of self is about. It is giving that we receive. So too is it with giving away one's life to the Church as a priest or religious. Through the offering of one's life for the sake of the Kingdom, you begin to step into a new look at how heaven functions. Through your denial of self, you begin to understand what you are to receive in the end. Now, being that I haven't entered yet, I can only speculate about this, but I would venture to believe that this idea is true, especially since it's a main force behind John Paul the Great's Vita Consecrata and his section on "Celibacy for the Sake of the Kingdom" in his Theology of the Body.
Moreover, this principle extends to others as well. By a family member or a friend celebrating the entrance of another into religious life, they get a chance to actually sample heaven as well. Through their denial of their desires to spend time with the person, they come to more fully understand just how God is the goal of life. Through their sight of the person entering for a life of communion simply with God, they too get to experience God and come to more fully understand that heaven is all about union with the Lord. Thus, their gift of their own desires over to the Lord also allow them to receive a great grace – a better understanding of heaven, of the Eschaton!
So please pray for me as I continue to prepare for my postulancy, and join me in this gift of self. Please offer your desires to spend time with me over to the Lord so that you too might come to an even more beautiful understanding of the religious life and of heaven.
In Christ and St. Dominic,