Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen
We were all seated at the conference room. We were a band of brothers who spent months living and studying together. We consider ourselves a family, after all we are a community of Salesian aspirants.
“Not all of you will become priests here. Some of you may have to leave and build their own families. How I wish all of you will become Salesians but that is not the case, not all of you will become Salesians”, Fr. Ronel frankly declared.
Such is the case of all religious communities. Many young people enter the seminary gates with much enthusiasm in their hearts. The same young people exit the seminary gates with bags full of experiences and their hearts full of enthusiasm for things other than religious life. With five years of college aspirancy behind me, I can attest to the truth that not everyone I see in a school year will last for the next. This is how fluid the community is. This is the test of one’s detachment.
Many young people would come to say “yes” but could not keep that “yes”. It’s nobody’s fault that most seminarians would eventually leave the seminary. It’s a play between their true vocational calling, their psychological maturity, family background, and their generosity. Most, if not all, come with a very good intention of following Christ’s call. However, formation to the religious life has been providentially designed to sift through vocations.
I, for example, came from a batch of a meager six aspirants. Now, I am the lone survivor of that batch in the postulancy. Most of my companions have to leave to further other dreams. The perseverance rate of religious life is low. The call of community life remains. This is the bittersweet reality of our life. We act like real brothers even with the possibility of departing from each other. We trust is the community as it is now.
There are many factors that affect vocations, but the most essential things are discernment, prayer, and personal commitment. Seminarians can have the most lucrative venue and amenities for formation, they can have the most talented, wise, understanding, and loving formators, but if they lack the capacity to commit, persevere, and surrender to God’s Will it means a change of choice.