I’ve found a little group really living out the Christian life–going outside themselves and giving to others. It’s a pleasure to see people making their everyday actions purposeful, and a pleasure to watch the joy that grows in their life as the “hundredfold reward” comes rushing back. Mothers make their home and hearth a gift to God, fathers offer their work, and we’re always reading in some Saint or another’s book that children, too, can make their daily life a gift to Christ. Sound kinda gooey? Unlikely? Norman Rockwell-esque, maybe? It doesn’t have to be.
I challenge you to find a self-gift any more rock awesome fun than this one.
A group of North Carolina high school/elementary school brothers has taken the task of praying for vocations to a whole new level. Through their local diocese, the boys chose one young man as their personal project, praying for him every day for a year–since you get a picture of him to hang in the house and not his actual person, he’s obviously flat. Thus, the “Flat Seminarian Project.” Area homeschoolers started the project at the beginning of the school year, asking families to take their seminarian into their lives (literally carrying around the picture if they wanted) and pray for him daily, taking pictures of themselves with the Flat Seminarian in order to compete for a prize.
Praying for a stranger for a year and making part of your family life by hanging him on a wall or taking him to church isn’t enough for these guys. Nope, “Michael” the seminarian has achieved 3D greatness through the medium of LEGOs–one seminarian, one camera, 365 days of plastic adventure and prayerful support. Originally inspired by the online project of a high school science teacher, who took a photograph of his own LEGO figures every day for a year, the boys decided to integrate the obvious fun of taking pictures of your toys every day for a year (woo-hoo, religion class!) with the worthy Flat Seminarian Project. And so the black-suited, Bible-toting LEGO Mike was born. Starting January 1st, the brothers brainstorm once a week about coming models, do a photoshoot, and post the photographic evidence of Christian brotherhood to their blog daily.
This morning Simcha Fisher has a post about the “priest type,” noting that the universality of the Catholic Church makes for pretty broad variety in her ministers. Specifically mentioning seminarians in her post (I love it when a plan comes together), she does highlight the one thing they all seem to have in common:
They all—even the ones who had dreamed of the priesthood since childhood—had to turn their backs on something, in order to say “yes” to God.
Turning your back on something can make life hard and lonely. The solitary walk of a Priest is long, and the intercession of other Catholics on his behalf is a vital part of his sustenance. Contact your own parish or diocese for information about seminarians! Or, stop by this little blog to add your prayers for Michael to the boys’ spiritual bouquet. They’re only 5 days in to the project, but I know these kids will stick it out, and that their “fun” is completely matched by their sincerity of prayer and love for a young man they might never meet. Mystical Body of Christ? You bet.
The diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, has their seminarians “available” now, if you want to adopt a young man who already knows he might get turned into a Flat Seminarian. I encourage everyone to approach their own vocations office about this fun idea, and spread the idea to new places.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Joseph-and-Jennifer-Mazzara-e1313150981219.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Joseph and Jennifer Mazzara are a young, married Catholic couple. Meeting at Christendom College, they wed soon after graduating in 2008. God has blessed them with one son, and with another kid on the way! Jennifer now raises that one son, teaches piano and runs the local chapel’s RCIA program. Joseph joined the Marines. Their websites are The Three B’s, Midnight Radio.[/author_info] [/author]