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A Program of Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood

The Lay Monastic Community of Caryana






A father had two sons. The younger one asked for his inheritance and the father gave it to him. This inheritance that God gives to all are reason and free will. God cannot say no to this request.

And the son went to a far land. He wanted to use his reason and free will the way he wanted, far from his father's supervision. As what happens when we use our free will the way we want and not in accordance to God's commands.

There he lived a life doing what he wanted until famine hit that land. This happens when we do our will; eventually we find our lives empty.

So he let himself be employed by a citizen of the city to feed pigs. This employer in the city is the devil. Those who live lives indulging in their desires end up employed by the devil feeding pigs, i.e. eating, living and sleeping with sinners.

In the piggery, he ate the husks that the pigs ate. Husk is the outer covering of wheat or rice; if eaten it gives a feeling of satisfaction but has absolutely no nutritional value. Those who indulge in the pleasures of the world, eat the world's pleasures and get a feeling of satisfaction but do not nourish their minds and souls.

The prodigal son begins the preliminaries of repentance: "He came to himself." We always see the faults of others but none of our own. Here the prodigal son begins to look inside himself and finds his mistakes. He rises up and says I will go back to my father. To repent, we must first rise up from our present state of doing our own wills and propose to return to a life of obedience to Christ's commands. But this is not yet repentance.

He continues: "I have sinned against heaven and against you." Indeed all sins are against love of God and love of neighbor. But merely saying that you have sinned is not yet repentance.

True repentance is shown in the next words. And he said: "I do not deserve to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants." And he meant it. To be a servant requires humility, perseverance, meekness and fortitude. It is the shortest way to holiness. Christ himself said: "If you wish to be the greatest in the kingdom, be a servant to all." Man always wants to be lord and master, a sign of an unrepentant soul.

If we repent as the prodigal son, then God promises He will meet us on our way back to Him and embrace us with a multitude of graces and clothe us with knowledge of Christ's commandments and, with a ring, restore us as His own children once more…if we are truly sincere in desiring to be mere servants.




(updated 02-09-02)

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