"All for you", the testimony of a young seminarian

A young man who leaves his job and enters the seminary, in love with God, vocations and the Eucharist. Diego de La-Chica tells in Omnes his testimony as a seminarian.

Paloma López Campos-January 10, 2023-Reading time: 5 minutes

A group of seminarians in Detroit, U.S.A. (CNS photo/Marek Dziekonski via Detroit Catholic)

"If we had faith, we would see God hidden in the priest like a light behind glass, like wine mixed with water." This affirmed the Saint Curé of Ars. Diego de La-Chica, a young seminarian, has a heart in love with God that he has given completely to be that crystal that lets the light pass through. In Omnes he recounts his testimony in the seminary, explaining his day to day life, what impresses him most about his vocation and his relationship with Christ.

How do you go from being a psychology student to a seminarian in Navarra?

I was already working, I had finished my degree and I had done my master's degree. Before starting the master's degree, I already saw it more or less clearly, but I was quite dizzy. Before finishing the master's degree, which lasted a year and a half, when I had been there for a year, I took the plunge. I talked to the rector and I did a year of propaedeutic, which is an introductory period that is mandatory in Spain.

During the propaedeutic year, I was becoming more and more eager because I could see that the Lord was calling me. The hardest part was leaving my job. I had been working at Proyecto Hombre for five months, I was in the residential part, with people who spend nine months there. I learned a lot from them, I had a lot of fun. It was a very nice job that I really liked and it was the hardest thing for me to leave.

Does your work as a psychologist and your studies help you to understand things or allow you to project yourself better in your work as a priest?

Of course they have helped me, in the seminar We have two psychology courses. In Proyecto Hombre I realized that many people had problems that were not psychological or physical, but spiritual. 

I believe that psychology is very important. In spiritual direction, in confession or for the work in parishes, it is convenient that you know about psychology, to be able to enter well, to know the causes.

Nevertheless, the mercy of the Lord is the only one who knows, but you can help them to see from the point of view of psychology. This needs to be nuanced, but I think that studies can help.

What is your day-to-day life like at the seminary?

The schedule changes a lot from Monday to Friday but we, except for Monday, have personal prayer at a quarter to seven. At a quarter to eight we have Mass with Lauds, and at half past eight we have breakfast. Then, from a quarter to nine o'clock until five past one or ten to two o'clock, depending on the subjects, we have class.

Then we do the intermediate hour, a prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. At the end of the hour, we eat, clean up and clean up. From three to four o'clock we usually have free time, which is almost always dedicated to sports. At half past five we have a snack and after that, depending on the day, there are lectio divina, adoration, formation with external visits, etc.

After dinner, some of us prayed the RosarioThen we make compline (another prayer) and after ten o'clock there is silence until the next morning.

In your hands will be the Body and Blood of Christ, you will be another Christ, how do you react when you know that?

It depends on the moment. Sometimes you think about it and it's crazy. There are times when I have a feeling of vertigo and fear because I am a sinner, I am still a sinner as always. Many times we are not aware of it, but in some course, in which we are talking about the parts of the Mass, we have deepened in the mystery, in the apocalyptic language and its way of being expressed in the Mass. Holy MassYou think about it, you live it, and when you see it, you hallucinate.

There is a silly thing that happens to me a lot and that is that there is a moment in the Mass when I am aware that there is Christ, behind Christ, holding Christ. When the priest, who is Jesus, raises Jesus the Eucharist behind Christ the altar, it's crazy.

The more you are aware of what the Mass is, of what each thing means, everything becomes more beautiful and, at the same time, you realize that it is something serious. In fact, I believe that the devil often attacks with this, making you think that there is nothing more, that the only important thing is the Eucharist and that everything else is the same; or he makes you see that you are nothing and that you don't deserve any of this. While it is true that we do not deserve it, we cannot do anything that would make us deserve to hold Christ, and even less to consecrate his Body and Blood.

Is knowing that you are going to consecrate what impresses you most about your vocation?

I would say yes. That and forgiving sins which is also crazy. Or baptizing, making someone a child of God. A lot of times we see it in glimpses, but all the sacraments are a hoot.

What must a boy be clear about before entering the seminary?

There is nothing that can be imposed, of saying that he has to be 100% clear about it, because then no one would enter the seminary. The only thing is that the person, to a greater or lesser extent, is really aware that God is saving him and that the vocation is not a thing for you. Now I'm not just talking about the priesthood, any vocation is one of surrender. The marriage is clearly a complete surrender to God through your husband or wife.

You have to be clear, to a greater or lesser extent, about your dedication, and that vocation is a gift that you do not deserve, that it is to serve God and to know that He has saved you. If you do not see Christ as savior, it makes no sense for you to enter the seminary.

It is also important to be able to love other vocations and to be open to whatever the Lord asks of you. In general, to know what your vocation is, to be able to listen to God and to know what he is really asking of you, you have to be open to whatever vocation he is calling you to. For that you have to love those vocations. Another thing is that you see that it's not your thing, that's normal.

Has your relationship with Christ changed since you are in the seminary and you know you are going to be a priest?

Partly yes and partly no. The prayer It's getting easier, there are more and more issues, just like with a friend. In that sense, I would say that the relationship has changed in that it is more, but not in that it is different.

During the lectio divina We take the Sunday readings, meditate on them and share with each other what the Lord tells us in that prayer. There I do notice that God speaks in many ways and one of them is through people.

When I was in Proyecto Hombre there was a man, an avowed atheist, who teased me a lot for being Catholic. We got along very well and one day he asked me to baptize him. I told him that I could not because, without being a priest, I could only baptize him in danger of death. He replied that because he was not baptized, he was already in danger of death. God speaks a lot through these things, and I notice that especially in the lectio.

This is one of the points that helps me the most and that I like the most about the seminar in prayer. It is crazy that when you are in church helping, you listen to the readings several times, you remember what your companions have said because the Lord has inspired them and that also speaks to you. You enjoy the Mass very much. You pray and you are very close to the Lord.

To be an acolyte, to be an altar server, is madness. You have God two meters away at the moment of Consecration. You see, you understand the things that God wants to say to you.

In the end, prayer is knowing and talking with God who knows you and loves you. You get to know Him, you let Him know you more, you get to know yourself more and you are surprised at how God has been helping you at every moment. You become aware of the signs and signals that He has been leaving for you to realize what your vocation is, which can be very small things but which are for you, which is the language you need. The Lord does everything for you and it is wonderful.

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