Our choices impact people’s lives here, now, and into eternity. Think about it, who was your common ancestor ten generations ago? Who really knows? Some might even say, who cares? But the reality of this is that if you were to remove that one person from your family tree, what happens to everyone after that person? They don’t exist. The profound truth for every couple who marry, is that their decisions about life, love, and family will impact countless people’s lives—their quality of life and their very existence. This example helps us to consider how important it is that when we make our life choices, we do not make these decisions without discernment and prayer, because so much is at stake .
We see only the immediate future. If we could see how our choices would affect people far into the future, how would that affect the way we make our decisions? How can we treat our choices about life, love, family, and vocation as a private choice when the reality is that our choices will have a direct and indirect effect upon countless thousands over time?
Thus far we have only referred to how our choices impact people’s existence and quality of life. What about the spiritual consequences here and into eternity?
Let’s move from the marriage example to priesthood. What impact did Pope John Paul II’s priesthood have on the people of Poland? The universal Church? What impact has and will his Theology of the Body have on present and future marriages throughout time? He was the most known pope in history. What impact did he have on formation in seminaries? How many young priests refer to themselves as “John Paul priests” because of the way in which he inspired them to give their lives so totally back to God in the priesthood. When he died hundreds of millions watched his funeral from around the world. It was an experience of a New Pentecost to see people of every nation and language come together in prayer and thanksgiving to God for the priesthood of this Pope. How many people have been affected and helped through the sacraments celebrated by Pope John Paul throughout his priesthood? How many have been impacted by his prayers, preaching, and his writings? How many were brought back to Christ and the Church? How many lives will be influenced by the holiness and writings of this Pope into the future and to the end of time? The number is beyond our ability to calculate.
We can use much simpler examples too. Who baptized you? Who was the priest who heard your first confession, gave you your First Holy Communion? Who was your greatest priest role model thus far in your life? Explain. Where would you be if those priests would not have been in your life? Just as we can think about how different the world would be if a biological father were removed from history, so too, how different the world would be if a man does not fulfill the spiritual mission that God has for him if he is called to the spiritual fatherhood of the priesthood. If the Lord is calling you to be a priest, don’t be afraid of the Call. If the Lord calls you to be a priest, He is calling you to a very unique and essential spiritual fatherhood which will help guide, nurture, and strengthen people to come to the Father in this life, and your ministry will be the bridge for them to meet Christ in eternity.