A few years back, if somebody had randomly walked up to me and said ‘Marco (Optimus),..’X’ number of years from now, you will be inside the seminary discerning priesthood and your summer will be spent co-ordinating a children’s day camp, ‘ - I would most likely have laughed myself so nutty, that I would have probably busted my spleen…
Yup, myself and my brother seminarian have been sent to a local Parish in the Montreal Italian community and have been given the responsibility of co-ordinating a day camp! Well to be fair, it is actually training us to be better Pastors, by providing not only a secure and safe active environment but assuring that we are able to speak to kids, something that I am deathly afraid of,…as they are probably afraid of me! Being a seminarian offers so many cool chances to present the Risen Christ to any and all, but we often forget that children can be molded a little more easily than adults. As Optimusmastro, yes, I do have a charism (I’ve been told) for young men. But kids??? Yeeeesh! So Optimusmastro turned into Mr Rogers and began sugaring up the four year olds! (By ‘sugar’ I mean speak about love bunnies and squirrels and whatever else,…)
Sooo, here goes, I broke my Catechical blockage and spoke with the younger kids. My brother seminarian looked at me, said I did okay,….For my first time. Well, I was shy, (actually terrified,..) but I guess with time, I will learn to settle it in. Speaking to kids can be the most challenging thing ever. I can’t speak about the Hypostatic Union, or any high Theology, Christology or metaphysics. I need to learn to speak in simple basic language, which for a seminarian can be brutal. My own learning experience saw me experience humility (as I was and am a highly competitive person.) Once again Jesus held up a mirror and showed me a weakness, a huge one with regard to an impending priesthood. I can say I got through it, but still, with some psychological bruises. I can now only hope that the 5 year olds don’t go home and speak about the Arian heresy that had gripped the early Church forcing the Council of Nicea to define the Trinity. The parents will think that I got choked for too long in Jiu Jitsu cutting off too much air to my brain!
To reiterate, a few years back, this event would have been so far removed from my radar that I would have thought travelling to the planet Cybertron a much higher probability. Well, clearly Jesus sees things differently!
Our Lady of Consolatta,……………………………………………..ora pro nobis!