|Father Francisco Aguilar, LC|
This may sound strange but the story of my vocation
begins at a funeral. I was fifteen years old at
the time, and my dream was to be a great
entrepreneur or an important politician. The funeral was for a
man who had been a tremendously successful businessman. I remember
when they were lowering the coffin into the grave, one
of the ropes got entangled and tipped the coffin to
one side. I will never forget the sound of the
body rolling around within that box. He was once a
powerful and influential millionaire but now he had nothing. He
was just an inert cadaver.
Shortly thereafter, all within four
months time, my grandmother and three uncles passed away. I
was soon overwhelmed by a sense of uneasiness with death,
the brevity of life and the apparent uselessness of whatever
we do here on earth. From this time on I
experienced first-hand the perishing nature of material things and physical
pleasures. I decided not to look for successes that ended
with this short life, while realizing that God was who
was really important because only God is forever.
later I met the Legionaries of Christ and the
groups of young people that they direct. To put it
briefly I was just plain impressed with their conception of
apostolic work as a desire to undertake significant projects for
Christ, systematic and organized work, clear objectives, etc. I decided
to map out the project which would be my life:
become a leader in my field so I could lead
people to Christ.
In February of 1990 a Legionary priest
invited me to a get-together for those considering the priesthood.
I had never really even considered the priesthood but I
decided to go anyway. I attended the weekend get-together and
went home totally at peace, firmly believing that God was
not calling me to be a priest but that my
vocation was to marriage following the above-mentioned plan.
enough, during this same period of time I began to
experience a great interior emptiness. I began to realize that
all the things that used to fill me and excite
me beforehand no longer could. Those things seemed more and
more insignificant. I felt the need for something greater, something
that would never end. On the other hand that same
year I saw many of my dreams and plans come
true. On a human level I was satisfied but ...
they didn’t fill me anymore.
I sought to fill my
emptiness with parties, good clean fun, but it didn’t work.
The sensation of emptiness just got stronger. After a year
like this, in January of 1991, I went to a
church to “file my complaint” with God about this unending
void that I couldn’t satisfy. For an hour I told
God that he could ask of me whatever he wanted
and I would try to come through, as long as
he would take care of this situation. God didn’t tell
me anything during that hour but that night when I
went to sleep, God responded. I perceived with an inexplicable
clarity that God wanted me take part in the summer
vocational program. How I came to that conclusion I cannot
say but I was certain of it. God had made
himself present to my soul.
The temptation to run away
from God was not far behind, because I knew that
if I went to the summer program there was the
possibility that God would ask me to enter the novitiate
of the Legionaries of Christ. I sincerely didn’t think
that would happen, but being that I had already promised
God, I couldn’t go back on my word anyway.
soon as I said yes to God, the void disappeared;
now there was an interior war in its wake: God’s
plans or mine. I sought to convince God of the
fact that my plans were better than his, that I
could get more done following my plans than his.
the end I went to the candidacy program that summer
and later entered the novitiate of the Legion of
Christ. As the days passed, it became more and more
clear to me that God wanted me as his priest.
Now I am a priest and I can categorically say
that the best thing I ever did was to follow
God’s plans before my own; his will before mine. At
the beginning not everything was clear. Little by little, the
reasons behind many things have come to light. There is
no doubt in my mind that the only way to
have assured success is to always follow God’s will.
Francisco Aguilar was born on May 13, 1970. He is
the oldest of four children. He lived the first seventeen
years of his life in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He majored in
Industrial Engineering at the Technological Institute of Monterrey, Mexico. In
1991 he entered the novitiate of the Legionaries of
Christ in Salamanca, Spain. He studied philosophy at the Pontifical
Regina Apostolorum College in Rome, Italy.