Saturday, May 20, 2006

My God or the Girl Review

My god-parents called me the night after my Confirmation asking me if I was watching this tv show on A&E that I later found out to be called "God or the Girl". I hadn't been, so they recorded them and sent it to me. So here are my thoughts on it (but pretty exclusively on the guys themselves).

I'm pretty sure I could count on one hand the amount of times Mike said anything about the priesthood. He was far too caught up in his girl for it to be believable that he was actually considering the priesthood. I was hardly impressed with his story. Also, I didn't like how pushy his mentor was (Fr. Pauselli if I remember correctly). I would have hated that because I would inevitably be letting him down if my vocation wasn't to the priesthood. Fr. Pauselli should've seen a mile off that this guy wasn't destined for the priesthood, or at least that it wouldn't have been for a long time.

Do I feel sorry for this guy! If Fr. Pauselli was pushy, I'd hate to think what Joe's parents qualify as! Joe might have had some commitment issues, but his mom constantly ragging on him to go back to the seminary couldn't have helped anything.

Joe's story was at first kind of boring because of his story with his girlfriend. I was just thinking "gosh, move on!" Personally, I think he made the right decision. Go out into the world and if you are called to the priesthood, time will carry the message.

I had just finished serving the Tridentine Mass when the other altar server was talking about this show. He mentioned that this guy had carried this eighty pound cross for twenty miles. I thought to myself, "he's not going to go to the seminary." Sure enough...

For wahtever reason, I could tell exactly which of these guys was and wasn't going to go to the seminary. I had one look at Mike and, while a great guy I'm sure, knew he wasn't going. Joe seemed like he'd be a great person out in the field but that it was unlikely that he'd go to the seminary. As soon as I heard that Dan had done this cross-carrying undertaking, I could pretty much tell he wasn't going. Just instinct, I guess. It just seemed to me that carrying crosses around and doing extravagant things like that it not the soil in which the vocation seed grows in. If the challenges of the priesthood consisted of a few macho tasks, anyone could do it. But it's not.

Dan was and I'm sure still is doing a lot of good, but as he said, he might be a priest but he's not going to be thinking about that now and that if he is called that way, time will tell.

Okay, the last one, Steve. Steve is from the Diocese of Arlington, his home parish is one I'm very familiar with and which is one of my favorites, and he is a friend of a friend. Leaving all that aside, I can say without bias that he was by far the most interesting of the lot. He seemed to have the most down-to-earth approach to everything. Also, he gave up a hugely promising career to pursue the priesthood.

When just about to leave for Guatemala, he asked a very good question. He was pulling in a load of money...why wouldn't he go back to pulling in a ton of mon' and give a whole lot of money towards sending missionaries and relief efforts to these people instead of just himself? A good question answered only with a deep breath and a leap of faith.

Also, you could connect to Steve best of all. I hate to hear myself talking like that ("connecting" and all that), but it's the best way I could describe it. When he's about to leave to go back to the United States, one of the guys from Guatemala asks him "when will you come back?" You can see his heart sink right there. As soon as that question was asked, I as a viewer had what I think was much the same reaction. Here he is having done about a month of missionary work in Guatemala, in pretty bad poverty, he's returning to the United States and happy to do so. Then that simple question is presented to him that hits him emotionally and which reminds him of so much. I was very impressed with that simple bit of footage.

Back in Arlington, it was great to see footage of his home church, St. Leo the Great in Fairfax, VA. It was also great to see his mentor and mutual friend, Fr. Terry Specht who I got to meet last December along with Fr. Bashista (for a second time) and Bishop Loverde.

Like I said, it just seemed like he approached this much more realistically, and I wasn't surprised that he went on to the seminary.

A&E was certainly respectful, which is very good of them. All in all, I liked it.