I Do, With the Help of God
“Do you resolve to conform your way of life always to the example of Christ, of whose Body and Blood you are a minister at the altar?”
This was one of the last questions that Bishop Knestout asked me at my diaconate ordination on May 22. To which I promised God and His Church, “I do, with the help of God.” The “Big Three” promises of the transitional diaconate is the promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, the promise of permanent celibacy, and the promise of obedience and respect to the bishop and his successors. However, I found that this promise, to conform my life always to the example of Christ, struck me most.
I promised neither a part of my life nor an occasional duty. I promised to conform the entirety of my life, my being, to the example of Jesus, always. Always. It is easy for me to compartmentalize my life: times when I am a student, times when I am a friend, times when I am a son, times when I am a seminarian. But when I was ordinated a deacon, I promised to make Christ not simply an aspect of my life, but the whole of my life. His example must permeate everything I am and everything I do.
Being a human with many flaws, I know I cannot do this on my own. I am too selfish, to weak. But I believe and trust in the grace of God. The grace of Holy Orders is a gift of God to be received. It is His promise to work through me, despite me. He invites me into a daily conversion to conformity to Jesus. This I will do, with the help of God.