A vocation call after my sincere repentance.
It all started when I picked up the Rosary again….
Sometime in Jan 2013, something in me started to stir. A longing to start praying the Rosary again. And I started and as I pray, I started to fall in love with the Rosary again. As I continue to pray the Rosary, the guilt in me started to grow. I started to recall all the sinful acts that I have done and how like a devil, I had even led friends to also committed those sinful acts with me, “embracing the YOLO (You only lived once) spirit”.
One night, after praying the rosary, the disgust in me became so overwhelming that I started to feel so disgusted with myself. Tears started to flow and I cried so hard, asking God for forgiveness. After a night of sincere repentance, that’s when my vocation story really begins…
Parishioners at St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) prayed the vocation prayer on every 2nd Sundays of the month. After a sincere promise to change my lifestyle, the prayer somehow grew more difficult to pray and I started noticing myself praying softer and softer, worrying. What if I am the one called? This anxiety has never happened before and my behaviour got me worried about this. I would subsequently avoid the prayer altogether whilst the rest of the congregation were saying the prayer.
Sometime in Apr 2013, after a good dinner with my Dad and sisters, we went to the living room and as usual, we would chit chat after lunch over a plate of fruits. Out of the blue, my Dad said this, “Your brother will make a very good priest.” My first reaction was “What is he talking about!” The conversation then abruptly changed to another topic. We did not spoke about this till I shared my vocation story with Dad much later.
It was also during this time, there was a new friend that I had met and we started sharing a lot of our past stories. His stories were full of God’s moments. He too shared his vocation story. He felt strongly and was pretty certain that he was called to be a priest. Even his future sister in law was pretty certain that he was called to be a priest but somehow, he did not. During one of usual gathering, he urged me saying, “Andre, you have many attributes of a priest. Have you considered being a priest? You should, and see whether God is indeed calling you”. Oh Geez.. the second time.. How can that be? And that’s the second person mentioning to me that I would make a good priest. This time it got me seriously thinking, do I really have the qualities to be a good priest?
And last, an email by my aunt (Dad’s second sister), who is a nun in the congregation of Little Sisters of the poor. She did not send me any vocation story before, but during that time, she sent me a vocation story of a priest from KL Diocese. I was inspired by his vocation story but at the same time very disturbed. Is this really God calling me to the priesthood? I wanted to know why my aunt sent me this and she answered that she had been praying for me to be a priest ever since I was born!
I then realise that there might be some serious thing going on here. Many thoughts went through my mind but I decided that the best thing to do was to check with a priest and see how things go. He directed me to the Vocation Director who I met and later became my Spiritual Director. After two and a half years of journeying with him, and after many and many God’s experiences and positive signs during my discernment period, I find myself growing in certainty that there is a vocation call to the priesthood. I started journeying, with the approval of my Spiritual Director, with the seminary fathers from Jan 2014 onwards. After about one and a half years of journeying with them, the Seminary invited me to apply for admission in Oct 2015. I enter the seminary in Jan 2016.