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Stuck in the Sheepfold

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

By Kevin Joshua B. Cosme

It’s Good Shepherd Sunday! That means it’s time for us seminarians to go around parishes sharing our stories of vocation. Except none of us are actually going anywhere because of this lockdown, so allow me to share a bit of my story here. It’s about how the Good Shepherd has been pasturing this particularly lethargic sheep.

I entered San Carlos Seminary in Makati City ten years ago, straight out of high school. Back then I didn’t know what to expect, just that I felt so sure that God was calling me to be a priest. Unlike some of my classmates, I didn’t feel too homesick in my first few months, maybe because the seminary quickly became like another home to me. I guess that’s what happens when you start living your dream.

But the thing about me is that I’m a homebody. My idea of a good time is staying indoors doing nothing. (Hurray, quarantine). The mere thought of work sends my already low levels of energy plummeting. I’m also really introverted, so prolonged social interaction feels like a necessary evil to me, or at least it used to.

Can you imagine spending a decade in the seminary with that kind of temperament? You never run out of things to do there, and you’re always surrounded by people, exactly the opposite of what I wanted in life. So there was (and is) this constant tension between my desire for priesthood, which entails work, leadership, and social interaction, and my inclination toward a stress-free, go-with-the-flow, solitary existence.

I blame the Lord for complicating my life, but I wouldn’t have had it otherwise! It took some years in the seminary for this to sink in, but I eventually realized that my desire for an easygoing life was untenable. There is no such thing as a problem-free life, and neither is it desirable to have one. I mean, what use is a blunt knife? A chunk of metal is just a mass