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Turn to Jesus (Article)

“You Are Wasting Your Life.”
Father Adilson Carraro, LC (Brazil)

P. Adilson Carraro, L.C.
Fr. Adilson Carraro, LC

My grandparents on my father’s side, coming from northern Italy, arrived in Brazil a little after World War I. My grandparents on my mother’s side left Poland before World War II, seeking a continent where they could live in peace. Both families were very Catholic. My grandparents spared no effort to go the more than 20 km. that separated them from the church where they went to Mass each Sunday. Throughout the year in their town, they had novenas and afternoon rosaries among the families. It is a tradition that continues in many towns in Brazil.

My parents had no trouble in transmitting the faith they received from my grandparents. Thus, when I decided to leave all my securities and throw myself into the adventure of the vocation, my parents not only didn’t oppose it, but they supported me unconditionally. I say adventure because God usually reveals his plan for us in a gradual way and in the measure that he receives our reply.

God knew how to wait
To say yes to God in a moment when the soul feels spiritually consoled is relatively easy, but to keep this yes in the moments of difficulty and spiritual dryness requires generosity and a great faith. At least this has been my experience.

When I first met a Legionary of Christ I was impressed by the fidelity and apostolic zeal that he radiated. I had several chances to attend retreats, but because of my work situation and my sports commitments, I kept postponing it, waiting for a better moment. At last, a year later, I went on a retreat.

God knew how to wait, and, in the little time I had left him, he acted with determination. I remember it as if it were yesterday: that invisible force that moved me to give God an opportunity. I didn’t know if I had a vocation or not, I had never considered it before, but I was certain that I couldn’t go on as if nothing had happened. I went to the chapel. It was a Sunday afternoon, and there at Christ’s feet I decided to give God an opportunity.

A week later I was beginning the discernment program.

That was only the beginning
When I returned home, I had to think of a way to tell my girlfriend, explain my decision to my parents, quit my job and leave aside slew of miscellaneous things that tied me to this world. That was the beginning of a great detachment. I don’t regret it because from then on I began to see that God was much more than what I had left behind. Like all consecrated souls, my first yes to God was a trial from the beginning. God was in a hurry to form me.

“You are wasting your time,” were the words of the doctor at company where I worked. He said it while he was doing my exams a few days after my yes to God. With time, I understood that was exactly the contrary. Without
P. Adilson Carraro, L.C.
faith, life can be wasted because it loses its meaning.

My vocation has matured in these years of preparation for the priesthood. Christ himself warned us that his path is not comfortable or ordinary. The summit is high, and it is the way of Calvary. But with the help of his grace, we can travel it as brave pioneers.

God never abandons those whom he calls for such a singular mission. It is a way with lights and shadows, with triumphs and failures, with moments of peace and of battle. And through it all, the Lord is transforming us. I have seen this conviction confirmed through the many souls who have let themselves be transformed by him. His grace does it all, but he needs our free and love filled cooperation.

Father Adilson Carraro was born in Guarapuava, Paraná, Brazil, on June 28th, 1972. He studied electronics and worked in electrical maintenance for a paper and cellulose company. He entered the Legion’s novitiate in Brazil in January 1994. He studied philosophy in New York, and is licensed in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College. He did work with the youth in São Paulo, Brazil. He was also a religion teacher and spiritual guide at the Cumbres Institute of Mexico City. Currently, he is working at the School of the Faith, and is a professor at the Institute of Religious Sciences in Mexico.


Translation of the vocation story published in the book "Vivir para Cristo"



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