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More on Grant Desme

January 28, 2010

I’m still very inspired by Grant Desme’s decision to choose to enter the Norbertines over the game of Baseball. I love baseball and there was a time in my life where I would have killed for the opportunity to play professionally. I’m honestly not sure that my faith is strong enough to have made the decision he did.

This isn’t a bad interview from Dan Patrick. I think a word I like to describe is honest. A lot of the questions that Grant was asked have been asked all over the blogs – Catholic related and Baseball related. There are a lot of themes running around and this interview does a pretty good job of addressing them, and the discussion afterwards between Dan Patrick and his co-hosts is pretty fascinating as well.*

During the discussion afterwards, Patrick points out that Grant didn’t seem too comfortable. I think his exact words are that he sensed an inner struggle in Grant. To tell you the truth, Grant did seem a bit timid. Now, maybe thats just his personality. But I think there are some other things I can certainly relate to. One thing is that our vocations -whether toward marriage or to religious life or priesthood- are mysterious. Very few newly weds can really describe why they love their spouse without trying hard to find the right words. I can’t always find the words to describe how I arrived where I am. I’m not sure there even are words. I’m already dreading any interview I’m asked to give for my ordination because I’m just not sure I’m going to be able to say what I really feel. Actually, I just told my “vocation story” at a lunch table the other day and I had a rough time explaining why I am where I am. So I’m not surprised that Grant sounded like that, just a few days after he answered the call.

Another point brought up was the Tim Tebow comparison. Tim Tebow, a devoted Christian, uses his gifts to play football to his advantage to preach the Gospel. That is certainly noble and great to see. But Grant Desme is not Tim Tebow. As Grant stated in his interview, he isn’t even sure he’ll make it to the big leagues. And even if he did make it to the big leagues, it is far from certain that he will be a good enough to impact people on a stage like Tebow can right now. But for right now, Grant Desme is as big of a story, if not bigger, than Tim Tebow precisely because of his decision to leave his bat, ball, and glove behind to follow the Lord.

Still, a rather bzaar point is being made that Grant is somehow acting immorally by joining the priesthood because he is not using his God-given gifts to play baseball anymore. First of all, Grant did not lose his gift and abilities to play baseball. He still has them and I would be shocked if he did not use them in some way in the future. I expect that it will be through the Norbertine’s apostolate at J Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. What an asset to that baseball team and school! A young, morally upright Catholic guy with major league talent coaching at your Catholic school? What a help he could be to form young men, on and off the field!

I mean… seriously… I went and kicked a ball over a fence twice a week last year during the fourth graders kickball games and that won them over for the rest of the year. Grant will be able to evangelize high schoolers (and hopefully a few of their dads) in a way that only he can. I’m thrilled he’s answering the call to priesthood, but he will need all of our prayers. He has unique gifts, and it will bring about unique challenges for him. Joining an order and living in a monastery is way harder than diocesan seminary, where I’m at. He will rely on our prayers to help him persevere.

Oh, and Grant… I’m at a seminary in Southern Cal as well, so if you want to grab a beer sometime let me know. Email me.

*To hear this part of the show you’ll have to click on the show’s third hour. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to do that by the time you read this.

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