|1. Describe someone you know who has the Divine Mark. What set them apart?|
I have met such people, one was a cousin, cousin to my mother actually, who was a priest and that was the first person I ever was drawn to in memory. Another person was a spiritual guide at a point in my life when I was lost; he is now a priest too. But I must say, when I think of the Divine Mark, the first thing to pop into my mind is the eyes of Savannah, my four legged companion who passed away a decade ago, for that matter all dogs, when I look into their faces I see the Divine.
2. Has anyone observed the mark in you? Write down what they have said.
Since I was 6 or 7 I've been told I would grow up to do great things. When I graduated from High School and announced that I wanted to enter the Catholic Seminary, only my parents were surprised, not being very religious themselves and hoping I'd become a doctor or lawyer. My cousin, the priest just told me it was a matter of time as he could see from when I first asked him to baptize me. Later, when I was lost I was steered into joining a religious order as they felt I had something special to give and to this day I am still invited to join various Catholic orders (could be more of a need on their part these days than any recognition of the Divine Mark on myself.)
3. Consider your calling. Describe it in a paragraph or two.
I knew I wanted to be a priest when I was 7 or so. I knew I was called by the time I was in my early teens. Things were ugly growing up, I usually win the, "My childhood was so bad…" game. Somewhere in my later teens it occurred to me to barter with God using my calling as leverage. That didn't work, bur rather did my desire to enter a contemplative religious order and become a priest.
My anger and resentment with God, people and the world led me to many dark places, places where most aren't ever expected to return. Somehow I surfaced enough to exist but not live, in the twilight between Life and sub-life. And there I existed until recently.
Recently, I was diagnosed with cancer and have been treated and am in remission. Through this I've risen enough more to feel and breathe the Light again and the Calling, except this time I'm not being called to a reclusive contemplative religious life, though I would like nothing more, but to one of working with those who feel lost, troubled teens, men and women displaced by our economic times and especially those in hospices and dealing with end of life issues. The call is clear as day and springs forth from the foundation of my being.
Rev. Billy Jef
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