A few weeks ago, on March 11, we hit the one month mark before ordination. Now I have been looking forward to April 11, 2015 for many years, but it always seemed a far and distant goal that was not worth anxiously waiting for, but rather calmly and confidently approaching. That has been my approach for some time now, but on that sunny spring day of March 11th, all that changed. I was on a HOPE service trip in California, working with the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, helping low-income families to construct their own affordable housing. It was a great trip with a phenomenal group of students, but on that Wednesday morning there was a new and overwhelming sense of joy and excitement. It was almost like nothing really mattered because it couldn’t come anywhere near my excitement. But I didn’t know what I was excited about! It wasn’t until later that evening as I was talking with some students about ordination and how close it was that I finally realized how close it actually was! My calm and reserved approach to the waiting that had with me for years simply flew out the window. I compared it to someone as a child’s joy and anticipation on Christmas morning – knowing that something truly wonderful and exciting was just around the corner, and rapidly approaching. The best part for me is that unlike that child, there is no let down. I have had this same excitement and joyous anticipation for over two weeks, and it has not dimmed in the slightest.
In speaking with my spiritual director about my excitement and how it doesn’t matter if I have the best day or the worst day, everything fits into the lens of excitement and anticipation, he laughed, voicing his approval and told me that that is the Easter joy. It took me a second to realize what he had said, but then I realized that he was comparing my feelings of joy and anticipation for my upcoming ordination to the joy and anticipation of all Christians as we await our heart’s deepest desire, union with God in the beatific vision.
I have had many times in my life where joy has found itself at the heart of my spirituality. Many times I have found myself questioning if my joy is flippant or immature gladness. And while of course there are times of that, I have come to learn that in the deepest recesses of my heart is a sense of joy; a sense of the joy and wonderment at the beauty of creation and all the incredible things that we can do with God’s help, a sense of joy and love shared between all the friends and family that I have been blessed to walk this journey with, and a sense of joy and peace in the realization that God truly dwells at the heart of my joy. Not a joy of action or of receiving, but simply a joy of being. A joy of being loved by God and called to follow Him in the way he wants me to. As my ordination approaches, my joy is deep and true, and it is my prayer that God may always use me as He sees fit, bringing his love and joy to our world.
Deacon Timothy Mouton, C.S.C., professed his Final Vows with the Congregation of Holy Cross, and was Ordained as a transitional deacon last fall. He and five of his classmates are scheduled to be Ordained to the Priesthood on April 11, 2015. Deacon Tim is originally from Houston, Texas.