Fr. Boniface Hicks: Unique And Unrepeatable

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By Fr. Boniface Hicks, OSB,, Feb. 3, 2020

Father Boniface Hicks, OSB, is a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Since his ordination to the priesthood in 2004, he has provided spiritual direction for many men and women, including married couples, seminarians, consecrated religious, and priests, even while completing his PhD in computer science at Penn State University….


As a spiritual director, I regularly journey with people who are seeking God’s will in their lives.  Young people frequently ask the question of whether they are called to marriage, religious life or priesthood.  Young people who are already dating ask whether this is “the one”.  Young people who are drawn to religious life ask which religious community is the right one for them.  These are all important questions, but they often lose sight of the more foundational question.

When we group people into huge categories such as “priest” or ”religious” or “married” we sometimes overlook the more fundamental question of our individual uniqueness and the unrepeatability of the way God made us.  Pope Francis captured this beautifully in his exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate using the concepts of mission: “Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel,” (#19) and message: “Every saint is a message which the Holy Spirit takes from the riches of Jesus Christ and gives to his people.” (#21) Using the terms of mission and message, Pope Francis reiterates what Pope Saint John Paul II expressed in his Theology of the Body that each person is “set into a unique, exclusive and unrepeatable relationship with God himself.” (TOB 6:2)

Each person has a unique message to share with the world.  Each person has a unique and unrepeatable mission to carry out.  It is insufficient to reduce this to “marriage” or “priesthood.”  Those are two wonderful paths in life and one of those may be the path on which that mission can be carried out, but the most important thing for each one of us to develop our own unique and unrepeatable relationship with God starting wherever we are today.  That is the first take-away from this post and the reader may want to stop right here and contemplate what this means for you.  ….


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