My plans versus God’s plan

Have you ever thought of the priesthood?

The thought crossed my mind for years, but I thought I had everything figured out, and that the plan I had for my life was best.

I was working on my master’s degree in music composition, and was going to be a choir conductor and composer. What could be more peaceful than that? But instead, I felt frustration and anxiety, and realized it was because my heart was hardened against the possibility of becoming a priest. If you do not know what God wants from you, there is no better way to stay ignorant than by hardening your heart.

Little by little, thanks to Mass, prayer and the help of Our Lady, I was moved to be more open. I was inspired by Mary’s example of total surrender, giving her perfect and total “yes” to God’s will at the Annunciation, not worrying about what would happen after she said yes. Through this time, God softened my heart, and showed me that letting him mold me into who he wanted me to be was what would make me most happy in this life and the next.

Saying “give your life completely to the Lord,” and doing it, are obviously two different things. I was able to say yes by recognizing that it is not just a one-time yes, but one renewed daily, as Mary’s was. Once I began the process of applying for seminary, the greatest peace and joy flooded my soul. Since then, I have been renewing that “yes” each day, and I hope that in the next six years and God-willing as a priest, I can continue doing that. There is no happier way to live.

Nypaver, who is from St. Rita Church in Alexandria, is in his first year of pre-theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018