As with most people trying to figure out who they are, and what they want to do, I found myself contemplating something I never thought I would. I wanted to become a Catholic priest. I went through all the steps that everyone said I should, my heart and soul were set on service to a God I’m not sure I believe in anymore. I had talked to a priest whose job it was to recommend potential candidates to the priesthood, I had him sold on the idea just like a rich dude in a brand new Lexus. Unfortunately, the Diocese didn’t see it the same way, a few months later I received a letter that stated my application to seminary had been denied because the Diocese did not feel as though someone with my physical disposition “could adequately perform the duties of a Diocesan priest.” Basically they were saying I couldn’t do the job because I was in a wheelchair. Life went on until eventually…
Last weekend, I had the honor of seeing one of my best friends become a full-fledged Catholic by completing his confirmation, with me as his sponsor, an adult version of a God parent. Whilst this was a great joy, it also brought me a great deal of pain being in a Catholic Cathedral again as memories of my denial to seminary flooded my mind. Below is a reflection on that lost love in the form of a letter, a letter to my third almost bride, the church.
It’s been seven years since we last spoke, and not a day goes by that memory ceases to dance across the meadows of my mind. The memory of your embrace and your gentle embrace haunts me still. I remember the words of gentle encouragement you’d whisper softly in my ear, love flowing from every carefully formed and secretly special syllable. I felt a special sense of belonging when I was with you, and that feel remains my love, yet unmatched.
Yet as fond as is my remembrance of you, there will always be a great deal of pain in it for me. For I shall never bear witness to the life and love of our children, and our love will never be consummated in my consecration to you. As I stare at your holy cross and imagine again your warm embrace, and as the tears stream down my face in memory of the day I lost my place in your beautiful body; apparently I wasn’t good enough for you. A broken body outweighs a yearning heart I suppose.
Whilst I shall never again take part in our sacred communion in the same way, a piece of my heart will always remain given only to you. In my own way, I will love and serve you always and forever.