By Fr. Byron Macias, CMF
Never had I imagined that being a Claretian was going to fill my life with such meaning, adventure and many ways to see God’s love for people.
I wanted to be a journalist in my teenage years, and I became one! I was doing what I loved, but it didn’t feel enough. Somehow I felt a void in my heart; it was like a voice asking me: “Do you feel fulfilled?” That is when I did some serious soul searching to find out what gave my life meaning. By then, a good priest and mentor, Fr. John Thomas, invited me to do Hispanic Ministry at his parish in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. That is when I found out that what really gives meaning to my life is to talk about God and to serve God’s people 24/7!
But, how would I start? Where should I go? I just offered it up to God. If God is calling, God will show us the way. And, although the road had many curves, God led me to the Claretian Missionaries in Chicago. When I saw their kindness, creativity and humility, I knew I wanted to be like them.
I joined the Claretians about 10 years ago and I have felt at home since day one. Once you join the Claretians, you start ministering from day one. As a seminarian, I was sent to minister in California, Missouri, New Jersey and Georgia. I could see the grace of God through the faces of the many people I have met along the way: people who have taught me about faith, prayer, persecution and hope. In the midst of this, one day I realized that my life makes sense being a Claretian Missionary.
That is the question I want to share with you: what gives meaning to your life? If you know what it is, go for it with all your heart, your energy and your hope. It is not easy, but in Christ we can do all things! If you want to know more about the Claretians, read about Saint Anthony Claret, come and visit the Claretians (there are 3,000 of us around the world) and offer this entire journey to God, who will surely show you the way.
Indeed, I had never imagined that being a Claretian would fill my life with meaning (I am doing what I love to do all the time), adventure (you will be seeing places, cultures, foods and peoples) and many, many ways to see God’s love through his infinite ways to show his love for his people!
To learn more about the discernment process, talk to our Vocation Director - https://www.myclaret.org/contact