God Gets a Draft Pick
By Matt Smith
Grant Desme just became the #1 draft pick on the softball team for whatever parish he may serve after the seminary. A top prospect in the Oakland A’s minor league system announced during a conference call with reporters that he is entering St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange County, California this August. Desme, the 2009 Arizona Fall League MVP and a top-40 minor league player, decided to give up hitting curve balls for hitting Knights of Columbus chili dinners.
When asked about his calling, Desme is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle and Major League Baseball’s website as saying:
“I’m doing well in baseball,” he said. “But I had to get down to the bottom of things, to what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. Baseball is a good thing, but that felt selfish of me when I felt that God was calling me more. It took awhile to trust that and open up to it and aim full steam toward him.
“I love the game, but I’m going to aspire to higher things.”
Pope John Paul the Great in Los Angeles on September 14, 1987 said of his call to a vocation: “I am often asked, especially by young people, why I became a priest. Maybe some of you would like to ask the same question. Let me try briefly to reply. I must begin by saying that it is impossible to explain entirely. For it remains a mystery, even to myself. How does one explain the ways of God? Yet, I know that, at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he had said to thousands before me: ‘Come, follow me!’ There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own. Christ was calling me to serve him as a priest.
“And you can probably tell that I am deeply grateful to God for my vocation to the priesthood. Nothing means more to me or gives me greater joy that to celebrate Mass each day and to serve God’s people in the Church. That has been true ever since the day of my ordination as a priest. Nothing has ever changed this, not even becoming Pope.”
John Paul the Great was probably not only thinking about himself but also men like Grant Desme. Instead of taking one to left off a Cardinals’ pitcher during inter-league play, he will join the Princes of the Church as a successor serving people of faith. Grant Desme has passed on being called up to the big leagues for the calling of making difference in the spiritual lives of a parish family. He can serve as a role model to all to live some form of a vocation and greater discipleship in our lives.
Matt Smith is a consultant in Washington D.C., avid baseball fan, and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison under President George W. Bush where he was the sports liaison among other duties.