This is an excerpt from the full interview on The Life of a Priest, a podcast available in the Tabella Catholic App.
Father Fiel Pareja is a priest serving in the area of Pampanga, in the north of the Philipines. He is also known for his strong presence in social media. Below is the transcript of this segment:
I had this situation where I’m inside the seminary, but my mind is in my house. Maybe God is calling me to stop my seminary formation, not become a priest and just to focus myself in helping my family. But I prayed to the Lord: “If it is your will let it be so, but if I am just being carried away by my emotions then, teach me how to overcome it.” But [sic] I tell the Lord: “Let’s meet halfway, I can go out, I can work for them. But I will just give a year, [sic] and I will follow my heart. I will follow my heart and I believe that you speak to me intimately into my heart. You are the voice who brought me here. This is not my dream, it is a short dream for me. I am surviving because I am holding on to this dream, to this voice that continuously shouts into the voice of my heart. I know you provide the strength as I go each day here in the seminary and you will provide, also the strength as I go and take my agency [sic] to help these people. To help my family. I am their blood relative. They are dear to me and my vocation and my dream is also dear to me, by your calling. Calling me to this kind of vocation is so dear to me, but we need to meet halfway, Lord.” I did bargaining [sic] with the Lord. I consider calling it holy bargaining. It was on that time where discernment became fully alive in my heart. Because in making discernment, you need to choose one and live one but I did it in a different way. Let’s meet halfway Lord, I’ll choose both and provide me the grace so that I can go on, this decision that I made. I did the holy bargaining with the Lord, and at the end of that year, I went to the seminary back holding on, once again, to the voice that calls me each day. And I think I made a good decision, and I consider that a discernment on [sic] that particular situation.
Listen to the entire interview with Father Fiel Pareja on the Tabella Catholic App.