Deacon Max Carson

2020 - 21: Theology IV
Pontifical North American College, Vatican City

The idea of priesthood came very slowly. My mom brought home this card that had a vocation prayer on it years ago. I never prayed it because whenever I thought I should pray it, I would get scared. I would get scared because I would think that God would want me to give up my rock band to be a priest. Whenever that thought would come into my head, I would completely stop thinking about it and move on with whatever I was doing.

God got a hold of me in a different way though. I joined a group at Dowling Catholic High School called Legion of Our Lady. At one of the meetings I stayed after and asked Father Kautzky what it was like being a priest. I never thought about it before. Something made me feel like I should talk to him so that question of what being a priest is like just fell out of my mouth. After that, I didn't think about it much for a while. I just told myself being a priest wasn't for me and that was that. A couple months after that, the thought of being a priest would keep bothering my conscience. The thought would get stronger and stronger. The thought of being a priest, only left my mind twice in the course of 7 to 8 months. It finally got strong enough that I told my band I wanted to go into the seminary next fall.

I think the religious life is about being in a very unique, intimate relationship with Christ. Not that it is better than matrimony, but it's just different. The thing that fascinates me about the priesthood is that priests are "in persona Christi". I can't really fathom what it is like being in the person of Christ, but it seems beautiful to me. This kind of life will take me to new levels of service. By new levels of service, I mean really helping people become closer to Christ or even help them come into a relationship with God. I think following God's plan for me will make me as fulfilled and as happy as I can becoming a priest or not. I want to be able to bring Jesus to people and people to Jesus. I want to be able to say "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me". I think this is the only way I can live to be fully happy.

I want to enter this lifestyle because it is totally centered on Christ. To me, I can't live for anyone or anything else. It wouldn't be worth my time or effort. I'm looking for fulfillment and happiness and I really think God is calling me to a closer relationship with him.