What is the most difficult thing(s) you have ever had to let go? How did you do it?
Fid Levri, Glenmary Priest, Reed, Ky.
As a 13-year-old sixth grader, I was a very active guy in outdoor activities and sports: “king of the hill”, capture the flag, flying kites, etc. However at this time I was beginning to experience a deep chest pain that would radiate down my arm when I exercised. The doctor diagnosed me with a heart murmur which he predicted I would outgrow. In the meantime I should curtail my activities especially strenuous sports such as baseball, football, and basketball. This limitation lasted for the six remaining years of school. But I really didn’t adhere to my doctor’s advice. But this did mean I had to re-orientate my desires. I had a great fear that I would die in my youth. Therefore, I bargained with God that if He would heal me of my chest pain I would become a priest.
Upon graduation from high school I did not apply to the seminary, instead I entered a 3 year program of nurse’s training in Columbus, Ohio. I knew I was stalling for time. During this period, the Lord gave me the courage to enter the seminary at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind., in 1956.
I believe this chest pain was a blessing in disguise that eventually led me to become a Glenmary missioner. Oh, yes, my chest pain is gone.