Some time ago I had an idea, a thought, a feeling. Someone was whispering a path to me from deep within. The way of following Jesus, the way of living in the manner of Calasanz, the way of the Piarist priesthood. This feeling was very scary, but at the same time it gave me a lot of peace. It gave me the peace that comes from God and it gave me the fear that comes from those who see how their life can change.
The fear that life will change, that it will take a radical turn, that it will take me on paths that I do not know is something that overwhelmed me. It is something I still feel at times. But that fear, with Jesus, has no power over me. It’s incredible to see how something that I believe comes from God can make me so afraid. But it is even more incredible to me to see how by leaning on Jesus that fear does not overcome me, does not prevent me from continuing on my path, does not prevent me from having life.
Once the fear is overcome, it is time to decide. To decide if what I feel and think comes from God and I want to live it. Or to decide if I let fear catch me and decide not to live what I have felt. I lived a year like that. A year defeated by fear, defeated because I didn’t see myself capable. And after that year I hope I never live like that again. That year I lived in fear and darkness is something I do not want to repeat, is something I wish that no one has to live, is something that stole my life.
With the experience of having let myself be overcome by fear and having the certainty that I did not want to continue living like that, I stood up to it. I decided that this idea, this thought, this feeling that I had had for so long, and that had not abandoned me, was a gift from God to live in fullness. After deciding to bet on following Jesus, I lived a full happiness.
This happiness of living the way God wants for me is extraordinary. Fear has not disappeared, I suffer like everyone else and sometimes I fall and get hurt. The difference is that the encounter with Jesus, living united to Him, changes my way of living fear, suffering and wounds. Sometimes I continue to fail, I continue to be dominated by fear and by what I want to do; I am not a superhero. But living my weakness with Jesus, leaning on Him in prayer and the Eucharist, and living what I believe I am called to live, makes me go to bed every day giving thanks. Giving thanks because I am happy. Giving thanks because I live with Jesus and as He calls me to live. Giving thanks because even if sometimes I do not live like this, Jesus does not leave my side. Giving thanks because I live my fears, my wounds and my suffering from a Love that does not let it have power over me.
Roman, 22, Piarist prenovice.