Two Months Down, Only Five More To Go

I am now a little over two months into my class term with the Laboure Society and already it has been quite the journey.  I have been surprised and humbled by the generosity of close friends and strangers alike.  As a result, since June, approximately $3,000 has been given or pledged to the Laboure Society in my honor.

This experience has been one of the hardest and one of the most rewarding at the same time.  I am constantly reminded that my vocation is a gift from God and meant to be given back to Him and in service of others.  I tend to be more introverted and stubbornly independent, so reaching out to others, sometimes perfect strangers, to ask for assistance is not natural or easy.  But, following the advice of St. Augustine, I try to work as if it depends on me and pray as it depends entirely on God. 

I am reminded too, that God is using me to invite others to offer the gifts and talents God has given them in support of vocations, as part of building the body of Christ.  And God is using my experience, and those of my classmates, to contribute to the building of a culture of vocations where we are.  I’ve had many experiences where, in sharing my story and struggles, other young men and women come to me and say they thought they were the only ones.  The gifts to Laboure Society, no matter how great or small, are seeds God will use to bring fruit to vocations that would otherwise be delayed or perhaps lost. 

This past week, I had a conversation with a mom who has a son discerning the priesthood.  She works hard, has other children, and is so proud of her son; she would give anything to be able to pay off her son’s educational loans so he may be free to become a priest.  This mom asked me how my discernment was going and said she prayed for me daily.  Such generosity of spirit on the part of this one woman is humbling and beautiful.

I also received a message from someone who had initially said they were unable to help financially at this time.  The message was a blessed surprise as, after some prayer and further reflection, the couple changed their mind and made a generous pledge to the Laboure Society.  Once again, God reminded me, “He pours out gifts on His beloved while they slumber.”  You see, I had come down with a head cold and was taking a nap at the time the e-mail hit my inbox.

Then, there are the gifts of prayers and financial support from other friends and strangers.  All I can do is smile, and offer my thanks to God and to these people God has placed in my life.  Each of them will remain in my daily prayers.

I still have a ways to go to reach my goal of $45,000.  But I have no doubt God is stirring hearts this very moment to be generous.  Many through their prayers.  Many through offering financial contributions.  Many with referrals to family, friends, and acquaintances who would also be interested in supporting this work.  Perhaps you or someone you know?  Here’s how you can help:

1)         Please remember me and my fellow aspirants in your prayers.  When Jesus looked out and saw the multitudes, he remarked to his disciples, the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few; so pray to your Heavenly Father that he would send more workers. God moves mountains through prayer.

 2)         Consider what you might be able to offer as a financial gift.  If 450 people gave $100, or 45 people gave $1,000, that would equal $45,000, the fundraising goal for each aspirant.  Some are not able to do that much, some are able to do more, but the point is, if we give generously as God asks of us, He loves to work through divine multiplication and He will never be outdone in generosity.

3)         Help spread the word.  Every person knows at least two or three others who would be interested in supporting vocations.  Consider who you know and then like Facebook posts, share blog entries, spread the word about the Laboure Society and invite your family, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues to check it out.  Better yet, I know how hard it can be to initiate contact with a stranger; if you e-mail or PM me contact information, I am happy to take that first step in contacting others.

Again, I am more than happy to provide anyone more information about my vocation and the Laboure Society and answer any questions.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  Deo gratias!

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