'Come Follow Me': Grant Desme Lays Aside Oakland A's Baseball Career and Responds.
This young Catholic athlete has decided to pursue the Lord’s invitation. His story reminds us all that the Lord still calls all of us.
Oakland Athletics prospect Grant Desme is retiring from baseball to enter the priesthood.
However, something happened to Grant Desme along the way. The same ‘something’ that happened to the original Twelve, prompting them to lay down their nets, or their other implements of trade and career, as well as their own plans for their own future. That some-thing was Some One. His name is Jesus Christ. The Apostles - and now Grant Desme - responded to his voice.
Desme is quoted on both the San Francisco Chronicle and Major League Baseball’s website as saying: "I'm doing well in baseball. But I had to get down to the bottom of things, to what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. Baseball is a good thing, but that felt selfish of me when I felt that God was calling me more. It took awhile to trust that and open up to it and aim full steam toward him ... I love the game, but I'm going to aspire to higher things."
Desme spoke with great candor in an interview in November of 2009. His response was telling - and instructive for what it revealed. It reflected the thinking of a young Catholic Christian who lived his life reflectively, open to hearing the Lord call.
He spoke with Sports writer Bill Mitchell of “Baseball America” concerning the effect that a separated shoulder injury had upon him in 2008. Of course, that injury was painful and constituted a possible career setback. However, Desme, with the eyes of faith and the insight which only faith can provide, said this:
"I think it needed to be. As a person, baseball was really the one and only thing in my life. With the injuries, it kind of put everything in perspective. There are much bigger things in life. Baseball could be taken from you at any moment . . . You step on the field and that could be your last game. There are a lot of other things that matter more . . . baseball's just a game."
So, Grant Desme has now heard within his “heart”, the center of the human person where the Lord comes to reside, the same call which has echoed for over two millennia in the hearts of millions of others. This young Catholic athlete has decided to pursue the Lord’s invitation.
His story reminds us all that the Lord still speaks to those who take the time and cultivate the capacity to hear Him. Grant has entered a Catholic Seminary in Orange County, California. There he will give himself to a rigorous and adventurous process of discernment. His hope is that he has a call to the priesthood.
Thus far, this wonderful story has received coverage only in local Press venues. We hope that by calling it to the attention of our global readership, it becomes a National and international Story. When one reads the writings of the last three successors of the Apostle Peter, our Popes, there is no doubt that they are telling us that we have entered into a New Missionary Age as a Catholic Church.
Our call now, as it has always been, to “go into all the world” and proclaim the Gospel. That wonderful Gospel is fully lived out within the Catholic Christian Church. She is the Risen body of Christ and the home of the whole human race. The Lord is calling messengers to issue the invitation to come home.Grant Desme is responding.
We have always admired athletes. In fact, the Apostle Paul borrowed from the imagery which athletic competition provides in his letter to the Christians in Corinth: “Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:24-27).
No matter what our state in life, by virtue of our Baptismal vocation, we are all called to participate in the ongoing redemptive mission of the Lord. Within that Baptismal call, we all have specific vocations.
Of course, those who hear the call to the Priesthood have a special and irreplaceable role in the Church and are essential for her saving mission. We need holy Priests for this New Missionary age. We ask our readers to pray for Grant Desme and for all who may hear that same call from the Lord, our High Priest. He still calls “Come, Follow Me.”
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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