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My grace is sufficient for you

Not even a year ago on Sunday, Aug. 18, I arrived at my new home, St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington. A million things were going through my head: excitement and fear, joy and anxiety, certainty, and uncertainty. It almost did not seem real that I, a teenager who’d spent my whole life being home-schooled in rural Front Royal, was going to study at a seminary and university in the country’s capital. I had no idea what to expect.

This new life experience seemed overwhelming, and a drastically different challenge from any I’d faced before. I was living in a completely new environment, with new people, in a new setting of formation and school. Fortunately, I recognized that trust in the Lord was the only answer.

In my prayer I felt that he wanted me to be in seminary, and I had clarity that if he wanted me here, he would help me. Trust was the biggest gift I prayed for and tried to put into practice during this time; I knew if I tried to take a step in any direction on my own, there would be only fear and anxiety. I experienced exactly what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians of what the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). I knew I had many weaknesses, but if I only trusted in his grace it would be enough for me. He is the all-powerful, knowing and loving one who will not abandon us, but desires to accompany us in everything  we face.

Like so many things in life, trusting in the Lord is easier said than done. I could not just pray to the Lord and trust that he would do my schoolwork for me, but rather I had to trust in the gifts that he has given me and the people he has put in my life to assist me along the way: in this case the faculty, brother seminarians and my professors who were always there to guide and support me.

Trusting in the Lord also brings the fruit of surrendering to his will by recognizing that we are mere creatures and he is the creator. Experiencing this in my first year has been such a grace because I know the Lord is my strength in all, be it an overwhelming challenge or the simple gift of a new day. He is the source of my strength, grace and love that will never die, if I but trust and humble myself before him.

D’Andrea, who is from St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, is entering his second year of college seminary at St. John Paul II Seminary in Washington.

 

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020