Rome, June 1996. I was in the middle of my “month long” spiritual exercises (retreat), and two years away from my priestly ordination. We had 5 one hour directed meditations each day, with plenty of time for personal reflection and conversation with Christ. After the first 6-7 days, it was getting a little hard and most of my prayer time was dry, without a lot of inspiration. So, at one point I simply opened my heart to Christ and said, “Jesus, you called me to be your priest 11 years ago, and I said “yes.” I am giving my life to you, and I am fully “in”, but my ordination is just two years away and I could use a little love and affirmation.”
He will help me
In that moment, I felt tremendous peace in my soul and heard these words from Christ, which continue to resonate in my heart today: “Br. Michael, I know this path has been a little difficult for you and that your human nature struggles. I chose you, I personally called you from your girlfriend and your life in the world, to be my priest and help me bring many souls back to my heart. You do not have to do this, but I would be really grateful for your help. Could you please help me?”
I cried at my kneeler. Christ was so kind, benevolent and humble…and this experience of Christ has deeply affected my prayer life ever since. This is the true face of Jesus Christ! He is not someone who imposes himself on us, he is not threatening and he does not hold a grudge. Jesus is a kind and loving God, who want to help us and he also needs our help!