Every priestly vocation is a great mystery. It was May of 2009 when I read these words. I was on the high-speed Frecciarossa train surrounded by the green of the Apennines, returning from an important meeting with the superiors of the Fraternity of Saint Charles. I had just confirmed my decision to enter the seminary that September. Fr. Jonah Lynch, who was in those years vice rector, had brought me to pray at the tomb of John Paul the II, and, before leaving me at the station, had given me Gift and Mystery, the vocation story of the Pope who is today a saint. In front of the word “mystery” my heart finally found repose after months of difficult decisions. It’s true; because you can try to explain a vocation, to recount its’ story, but, at the end of the day, it remains something comprehensible only to God, and, with time, to those with the eyes of faith.
During my childhood, I did not once think about becoming a priest. I saw my family and my friends living happy lives and I thought that my life would have been similar to theirs. I remember only that I asked my mom once how a person could know if he had to become a priest. She responded that, if one is called by God, then he will know at a certain point.
My first encounter with the Christian community outside of my home was in middle school. My teachers invited their students to weekly meetings made up of games, prayer, and songs. The most awaited moment was the summer vacation, from which I would return every year as if drunk from all the beauty. Even if I was still small, I had the intuition that only the communion in the name of Jesus could truly transform and fulfill my life. This experience of the Church continued and matured during high school and college, but the hypothesis of the priesthood was still a long ways away.
Then, during my first year of college, the choir of the university students of CL in which I sang came to Rome to sing at the ordinations of the Fraternity of St. Charles. I already knew some priests of the Fraternity, but I had never before assisted in such a beautiful liturgy. I was struck by men that young who were willing to give their lives completely so that God might arrive to everyone through their hands, their voices, and their friendship. What lit me up was the splendor on their faces and their joy in front of this great responsibility. They were sacrificing everything so that they might gain everything.
At the end of the Mass, while approaching the sacristy, I saw the newly ordained men as they embraced and congratulated one another. In that moment, a joy was born in me, profound and full of peace. I remember clearly that it was there, for the first time, that I consciously thought that I would like to be one of them.
Eight years passed from that moment of intuition to the moment in which I decided to enter the seminary. They were years full of wonderful gifts, but also full of pain, because when, at a certain point, God calls you, you can’t put off entrusting everything you love in his hands.
Today, I am on another Frecciarossa train, and, like that other journey, a panorama filled with light is scurrying by quickly outside the window. Every priestly vocation is a great mystery. The words of John Paul II continue to be true. But if at the beginning that it was a promise yet to be discovered, now that mystery is revealing itself to me in all its’ beauty, through the house that He has given me and the path on which He wants to watch me walk.
In the picture, Giovanni Fasani during a moment of singing at the stand of the Fraternity of St. Charles at the Meeting of Rimini.