Friday, August 16, 2013
Why I'll Never Be a Deacon
For several years I had considered a call to the permanent diaconate. To be honest, I wasn't sure how much of it was a genuine call, and how much of it was my ego. But then, that's part of the purpose of discernment!
Ultimately, because of some dumb decisions on my part a few years previously, I had an impediment that required an appeal to Rome if I wanted to continue. I took that as a sign to give up. Instead, I began formation with the Secular Franciscans, professing two years ago.
Of course, being me, I always wondered in the back of my mind what would have happened had I appealed to Rome. If Rome had said yes, I might now be a permanent deacon. But would that have been a good thing? (For me or the Church.)
I'm not a social being - my hermit tendencies. That's one of the things that kept me out of the priesthood (along with that celibacy thing!). I also tend to be kind of blunt and outspoken.
Think of what I'd do! I started making a list of activities or words that would show why I'll never be a deacon:
I'd suggest people put in the collection in church at least as much as they spent in the last week on beverages and treats.
I'd name names of local Catholic politicians who supported and/or voted for measures counter to clear Catholic teachings.
I'd talk about what kind of clothing is not appropriate for Mass.
I'd remind all unrepentant couples who used artificial birth control that week they shouldn't receive Communion.
I'd tell people who miss Mass for Sunday morning sports leagues that they are committing a serious sin.
I'd remind people who chew gum during Mass that they are violating the fasting rules.
I'd preach a homily in which I mention consistently arriving late or leaving Mass early is wrong.
I'd remind people that 1 or 2 p.m. Saturday wedding Masses don't fulfill Sunday obligations (even for the bride and groom).
I'd tell newlyweds that if they use artificial birth control on their wedding night they've begun their married life with a serious sin.
I'd go ahead and do things because I lack the patience to wait for others to be empowered to do them.
I'd refuse to do marriage prep for a couple that was living together until one of them moved out.
Maybe it's a good thing I never became a deacon and will likely never do so!
Pax et bonum