Not long ago, I received a phone call from my financial advisor. He calls regularly to check in and go over any changes to my portfolio and so I didn’t think too much of it when I first took the call but that changed moments into the conversation.
He said something about having some news to share with me and I knew right away that he was moving on to bigger and better things and my investments would be turned over to someone else in the firm. Immediately I began to think selfishly about who the new person might be, would they be as competent as Alex had been, would we hit it off as well with him or her, would we be as impressed and as confident with his replacement.
But all that changed when Alex answered my question as to what he was going to do next.
“I’m going to join the Seals,” he said.
“The Navy Seals?!” I asked somewhat incredulously.
“Yes, the Navy Seals,” he responded with a grin I could hear over the phone. “It’s something I’ve thought about doing for some time, something I feel called to do.”
“Whoa dude!” was all I could react with initially but I recovered enough to engage him about his move, talked about staying in touch and I let him know that I was inspired by his decision. I also told him that I’d be praying for him regularly, something I’ve done daily since.
It was a couple of days later, while praying a Rosary no less that I thought about Alex again. I thought about him and all young men who choose to potentially sacrifice their lives for the sake of others. Men willing to engage an enemy for selfless reasons. Men driven by an internal force purposed in principled good. Men who seek justice at all costs. Men who quietly do what most won’t. Men for whom thinking people are grateful. Men unthinking people too often despise.
I then had an unusual follow-on thought.
My respect and admiration for Alex was high before I took his call and even higher after taking it but the thought that cropped up, seemingly out of nowhere, was how much more respect and admiration I’d have for him if he’d said, “Hey Rick, I’m no longer going to do what I’ve been doing because… I’ve decided to join the priesthood”.
Yea… that’s pretty wild I know, particularly when Alex and I had only had surface level discussions about the divine and he had not in any way suggested to me that priesthood was even a possibility but… think on it.
Priests sacrifice their way of life for others. Priests engage the enemy of all enemies for selfless reasons. Priests are driven by the Holy Spirit to bring about principled good. Priests seek justice no matter the cost. Priests quietly do what most men do not. Many of us are most grateful for our priests and yet, many despise them.
I’ve come to believe firmly that we are all called by God to fulfill His purposes and I believe as firmly that this call can too often and too easily be drowned out by the noise and distractions of the world. I of course can’t say with any certainty that Alex is called to the priesthood nor can I deny that becoming a Navy Seal might be exactly what God desires Alex to do but I am struck by the similarities.
In this life, circumstances are such that Navy Seals are necessary yet we’d be foolish to not recognize the necessity of priests and the battles they fight for us.
God bless and keep Alex and all our Navy Seals. God bless our Catholic priests and grow them.
Crossposted at Brutally Honest.