This blog post is a bit unusual—it’s a personal story I’ve never fully shared publicly. But I felt guided to share it with you today.

As most of you know, two days ago Pope Benedict XVI stepped down as leader of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. His February 9 resignation announcement took many by surprise, within and outside the church.

I’ve closely followed the news about Benedict since that day—that’s uncharacteristic of me, as I pay scant attention to the mainstream news.

Although I left the Catholic Church years ago, I was riveted by all the events related to Benedict’s resignation. The resignation has only added to all the changes, including the scandals and controversies, swirling around the church in recent years.

Last night I was lying in bed mulling over all this, thinking thoughts and feeling feelings I hadn’t had in many years. I felt a sadness I didn’t quite understand. But as I lay there awake beyond my usual sleep time, the answer came to me.

I realized I still carried an emotional attachment to the Catholic Church—a sense of community with it, a sense of love for it—I was not aware of till last night.

My thoughts drifted back to that late summer day many years ago. Father Tom, our parish priest, was a close family friend. Some months earlier, with my consent and that of my parents, he’d signed me up to go into the seminary to become a priest.

I was barely a teenager, and realized I was way too young to be making life-changing choices like that. I told my parents I wanted to back out. With their consent I called Father Tom to give him the news. He was disappointed but he understood.

That was the beginning of the end of my Catholic days. Some years later I completely cut my ties with the church—or so I thought, till last night.

I have no regrets. I love the spiritual path I’m on, the work I do, the wonderful people I’ve come to know and love through my work. I’ve never been happier in this lifetime.

But last night, just for a few moments, I wondered what my life would have been like had I chosen to become a priest. I believe there are no mistakes. But still I wondered….

Related links:
A God of Hatred
Celibacy and Other Vows
On the Wings of Spirit
The Light of God

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Have you ever asked yourself what your life would have been like if you had made different choices, followed different paths when you were younger? Any regrets? Any insights? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.

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