From the Sminary: Evangelizers of Everyday Life

Por: seminarista Rafael Cruz Dévora

Passing through Monumental Avenue, there are many who are trapped by the beauty that shows the property where our house resides since 2010. A large upright cross over the central building greets all who are on their way, very few know where it is. Seminarians are used, especially on weekends, to go out or return to the seminary in one of the public guaguas that pass through that area, the A21 and on many occasions we have been asked “what is that place,” who lives there?” without missing the already knowledgeable of the matter that ask us directly: “Are you the ones of the convent?”
A large poster clearly announces Seminary San Carlos and San Ambrosio, but not everyone understands that. We almost always explain that we are seminarians, and since that does not usually leave people happy, it must be said in the most popular way: “those who study to be priests of the Catholic Church”. So you do understand us, but the questions don’t stop: “Cures, and that still exists in Cuba, isn’t that studied in Rome, are you the ones who can be popes?”
The people are astonished at the news of God’s man and we are astonished at people’s widespread disrecognise about the matter. Before, much earlier, everyone, at least by hearing, knew what the seminary was, and what it was studied for. But the reality of our times is different; the people know that priests exist and some listen to us even ask us to bless them, or say, “How beautiful is that race!” But there is no depth in understanding why a man wants to give himself totally to God. In fact, when you talk about the priestly vocation with some encounter, the dialogue often ends in an interview and immediately the classic questions: “And can’t you get married, and can’t you have children?” It’s like a storybook you can imagine the end of, always the same.
And again to begin: “No, we do not marry, we will have no children, we are men of and for God with the whole of our being”. This may seem scary, after all when the other asks you about the wife or children is crucifying the transcendence in advance, he is telling you, also with his unconscious: “Aren’t you going to have someone tangible to cry with or laugh at the bed?” or what may seem scarier to man, perhaps not only today’s but that of all time ” “at the end of your days, will there be no one to take care of you, you will have to go to a nursing home, you will die alone?”
The priesthood is a vocational journey, which we have not begun but the Lord Jesus and that with his help we gradually walk. This journey is done daily, when the Father by the action of the Holy Spirit multiplies and transforms our piece of bread and our little wine, to give meaning to this life that lacks essence without the real and personal presence of his beloved Son, our Savior. Priestly life is also the continuous offering of celibacy and chastity, of not marrying, of having no children, not as an imposed obligation but as a foretaste of eternal life where we will be like angels. It is an offering of obedience and poverty to be like Christ. The priesthood is the gift for which the Godhead continues to bless creation through the sacraments. The priest is not a man with absolute and supernatural abilities, but a man called by the Absolute and Supernatural, who helps him with his mercy so that he can remain faithful to the vocation to which he has been invited.
Seminarians go through life proclaiming from now on what moves us and overwhelms us with joy, telling everyone that god’s grace cannot be thrown into a broken sack and inviting them to live with intensity their common vocation, that of holiness, that which invites us to be better every day for the love of Christ and the brothers and sisters , no matter where we are or where we’re going.
Let us always be sowers of hope in the world, although some of us, by our call, opt for celibate life. And it does not matter if we have to be reading the same book of stories in the multitude of a guagua, where we are also invited to evangelize and help others to meet the person of Christ, comfort of our sorrows and cause of our joys. Ω

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