In college, I met these two ridiculously awesome guys who became the best friends I’d ever had: Sean and Phil. People called us the “Three Musketeers”. We spent college doing college things. You know how college is: hours eating toast, pondering metaphysical questions, going to daily Mass together, discussing Catholic stuff, praying… Even when each of us went through confusing junk or when we messed up, we challenged each other to continue pursuing holiness.
The photo above was taken after I had dried my eyes. This was a party our friends threw in celebration of Sean and Phil deciding to pursue vocational discernment after graduation: Sean joined a young religious community, Brothers of the Beloved Disciple, to pursue religious life and the priesthood, and Phil joined a young Society of Apostolic Life for lay men, Sodalitium Christianae Vitae. I remember one point during the celebration in particular, when it was my turn to read a Rosary meditation. I stood up, approached the front of the room, opened my mouth, but burst into tears. All I could think was, “I’m losing my soul brothers!! Things will never be the same! How can I celebrate this??”
But all was not lost. Sean is indeed busy with his formation, but he’s still in town. (My husband and I are his token ‘married friends’ who take pity on his secluded life and take him out in public every once in a while.) Phil, on the other hand, lives in Peru and I may never see him again in the flesh. But that’s when I profusely thank God for the Internet.
ALLOW THEM TO INSPIRE YOU:
Phil recently spent part of his formation period in the high Andes. (Not the candies. The mountains.) This is where the inspiring stuff comes in: Phil knew he’d only be working in this (largely poor) community for three months, but he wanted to give a lasting gift to them. After tapping into his great creative abilities, he realized the Prelature (something like a diocese) constantly needs to attract missionaries. So, he decided to learn how to make a website and busted out the best website any Prelature ever had.
He made me promise that I’d include this: “give credit to both yourself and Daniel Calderón, a fellow Sodalit who changed the platform to WordPress and offered me much more.”
Phil also asks that, this week, you especially pray for the community where he served in the high Andes: “Please pray for the people of Ayaviri for the next week or so. There has been some heavy snowfall, and it’s really dangerous for the natives in many ways: poor people can’t get needed means to warm up, crops and livestock dying… We sent out a message within our spiritual family to encourage people to help. Pray that the Holy Spirit inspires generosity, and in us some creative ways to get the word out.” You can read more and contribute here.
Sean sang at my wedding. He has a great gift of music, and he uses it to lead worship in his apostolate with the Brothers of the Beloved Disciple. Their religious community is very charismatic, and they often lead / participate in prayer services — not only for Catholics of all ages, but also together with Protestants in ecumenical gatherings. Sean’s determination to bring unity to the Church is probably more constant than the laws of physics. I have never seen anyone more focused on anything!
Below you’ll find Sean’s original composition — together with the musical group our friends formed during college (yes, they were called “Church Militant” but this was before Michael Voris) — a song called “Divine Mercy.” It was always my favorite of his original songs.
Please do me a great favor and pray for my dear friends Phil and Sean as they continue pursuing their vocations.
Divine Mercy (lyrics by Sean Stilson)
So many times I tried
So many times I’ve failed
But You were always there
Ready to forgive
I’ll never be good enough
To be Your worthy servant
I have nothing to offer You
Only what You’ve freely given me.
Eternal Father, I offer You
The Body and Blood
Of Your dearly beloved Son
Our Lord Jesus Christ
In atonement for our sins and those
Of all the world.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion
Have mercy on us
And on the whole world.
Feeling sick at what I’ve done
Tired of the life I’m living
I want to serve You mightily
But something in me is so unwilling.
You always call me back
Let me know that You still love me
All things You turn to good;
Use my sins to teach me humility.
Unworthy to receive You
Yet You keep offering
Your Body and Your Blood
It’s all that sustains me.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
I place all my trust in Thee.