Monday, October 31, 2005

Danny's Dilemma Deferred, Distress Destroyed!

For the past couple of years I have felt a calling to ordained ministry which I have tried to suppress because I have always wanted to be an actor. The thought of not being an actor (the only thing I have ever wanted to be since I was 12) in order to be a priest was very scary. I kept pushing it out of my mind, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew God was trying to tell me something, yet I wasn't ready to hear his message. I was certain I was supposed to be an actor. After all, I am a darn fine actor if I do say so myself! But, a couple of years ago I read Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's book God and the World and I fell in love with theology. I wanted to read as much theology as I could in order to better answer questions about Christianity. Ratzinger was the perfect theologian to start off with. Since then I have read as much as I can get my hands on...and I had started to accept what I thought was God's call for me to be a priest.

Then I began to think about the Anglican Communion. To start, the head of the church (the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams) approved a resolution in the Church of England to allow gay clergy to have civil marriages as long as they do not engage in sexual activity. Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd? (I know for a fact I am not.) Also, Williams blessed the marriage of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bolwes, with whom he had an affair with and she was the reason Diana divorced Charles. Good job Archbishop of Canterbury on blessing an adulterer!! (an unrepentant one at that!!!)

I'm not even going to mention ECUSA or the Canadian Church.

Then I thought of the fact that the eucharist means one thing to one priest and something totally different to another priest within the Communion. Funny example here (actually it's not funny in the least bit! It's quite blasphemous.): I went to a Network affiliated Episcopal Church when I first moved to Pittsburgh that was supposed to be very Anglo-Catholic (which doesn't exist...see previous post) in which, when the priest was blessing the bread and wine he also had his thermal mug of coffee on the altar (which he carried with him the whole service and was drinking out of during his sermon) right next to the sacraments! I kid you not. He put the coffee on the altar!!!

Now don't get me wrong, I think the African bishops (Orombi, Akinola, etc.) are godly men who stand firm in their Anglican Faith and do not settle for the apostasy of any church within the Anglican Communion or even that of the Archbishop of Canterbury (by the way, did I mention he is good friends with the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA who is a heretic!), but I have become severely disillusioned with the Anglican Church.

So, I had decided to leave the Anglican Communion for the Roman Catholic Church. But I can't be a priest in the Catholic Church because I am married. Hence the dilemma. I feel called to be a priest, but I don't wish to remain an Anglican. Then God opened my eyes. If I can't be a priest in the Catholic Church, then I will go to grad school at Duquesne (a Catholic University) and get my Masters in Theology and become a theologian. I truly feel that God having me read Ratzinger's books (pre-Benedict XVI) which sparked my interest in theology and then Ratzinger becoming the Pope was a sign that I should become Catholic and be a theologian. It just took me until now to realize it. Sorry, God, but more often than not I am a bit slow in seeing and hearing what your will for me is.

Ever since I have decided to become a Catholic, my stress caused by the Anglican Church has instantly vanished. I feel so much better and happier.

Thank you God for opening my eyes to see your will for me and help me to always do things according to your will, not mine.

Please pray for Laura and me as we prepare to make the transition from the Anglican Church (and leave our familiar and comfortable worship community) to the Catholic Church.

Luke 12:22-31 22
He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?* 26If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? 27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;* yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 28But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you-you of little faith! 29And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 30For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31Instead, strive for his* kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."

3 comments:

Mike L said...

Danny:

Thank you for blogrolling me! I shall reciprocate.

Have you thought about becoming an Eastern-rite Catholic? Most of their priests are married. When I was your age and married my ambitions were very similar to yours; but there was no way they'd let me, a cradle Latin-rite Catholic, go over to an Eastern church in communion with Rome for the purpose of ordination. You however are in a different position. I can't imagine they'd forbid you from becoming an Eastern-rite Catholic if they suspect you actually would seek ordination. Though I suspect some bishops still won't allow you to do what you'd like to do, it can't hurt to inquire.

You might want to talk with my friend Joe Prokopchak, a Byzantine Catholic in your area. His e-mail is byzcath@hotmail.com

Best,
Mike

Danny Garland Jr. said...

Mike,

Thank you very much for your advice! I will definitely look into that.

Danny

Anonymous said...

Hi Danny

And welcome home. I live in Pittsburgh and would suggest that you at least take a look at the Eastern -rite as was suggested--you may or may not know that there is a terrific Byzantine Catholic seminary located in Pittsburgh--on Perysville Avenue.

As a life long Roman Catholic I must admit nonetheless to a bias in favor of the Latin rite. There are many fine parishes in the Pittsburgh Diocese--the best being my own--Our Lady of the Angels in Lawrenceville--orthodox and run by Capuchin friars no less.

Anyway best of luck on your journey and God bless,

RON