The Beckoning Call of the Holy Trinity
Dexter, tell us more about the first time you heard God’s call.
When I first received God’s invitation to discern this call to priesthood, I was actually quite shocked because I never wanted to be a priest. In fact, I always frowned when people said that they were praying for me to become a priest, as I’ve always dreamt of having my own family. Even after experiencing His love, mercy, and forgiveness at a conversion retreat, priesthood was never once on my mind. But this invitation soon led me to find out more about the priesthood.
There was an occasion where I unintentionally visited the old seminary website and chanced upon then rector, Bishop William Goh’s comments about the signs if one was called to the priesthood. As I went down the list, I found myself nodding my head at every point he listed. At that instant, my mind went, “No way! You can’t be serious?! I’m called to the priesthood?” So there were lots of doubts when I first received God’s invitation to discern this priestly vocation. Initially, I doubted God’s choice, then subsequently, I doubted myself most of the time.
Any spiritual encounters or God moments during your journey that you’d like to share?
I think it is very common for any young man or woman to doubt themselves when they first hear God’s call to the priestly or religious life. The root of my doubts stemmed from my sinfulness and feelings of unworthiness. Therefore, as I discerned this call with my Spiritual Director and through the Vocation Discernment Recollections and Retreats, I started to realise that no one can call themselves worthy of this call, nor can they say they are sinless. Just look at the Apostles, St Peter, for example. He denied Jesus three times, yet he became a saint and was our first Pope. Thus, “God does not call those who are justified, He justifies those whom He calls.” This was one of the God moments during my discernment journey that has kept me going. Even up till today, I still have those feelings of unworthiness, but I have learnt to make a choice not to allow that sense of unworthiness hamper me from fulfilling God’s dreams, plans, and ambitions for me. On the contrary, it is now my driving force in striving to be a better person, a better disciple of Christ.
What advice do you have for those who are discerning their vocation?
For all young men and women out there, the world has become very ‘noisy’. The world offers instant joys and happiness in the forms of achievements, but these only last for a short while. The dreams, plans, and ambitions that God desires for us offer a joy that not only lasts forever, but it is also the fullest. Hence, do make time to get away from the ‘noises’ around us to seek God and His dreams for us. Do also get a Spiritual Director to journey with you. It is almost impossible to discern alone. Find a priest, nun, or someone whom you are comfortable with so that they can help you reflect upon your thoughts.
For parents, do encourage your children to seek God’s will and try not to be that stumbling wall between your children and the fullest joy that God has in mind for them. As parents, I am sure you have always wanted the best for them, right? What more God, our creator. He not only knows us better than we know ourselves, but He knows what would make us happiest and what would not. So encourage your children to realize God’s dreams and ambitions for them.
Contributed By: Dexter Chua
Prepared By: Charlene Sng