The other day, while on my ''tea-break'' at work, I was reading a book called Fairy Tales in Latin, which is very amusing. It is a collection of twelve familiar fairy stories, in Latin, for use both as a means of comprehension and written translation. Since I don't want to bring a host of dictionaries and grammars with me to work, it is a good easy exercise for me to keep my Latin up. I had only passed the first page of Bella Dormiens when a woman from the Grocery department walked in, got a drink from the vending machine, and sat down on the adjacent table. She looked over at me and asked what I was reading, and so I held the book aloft. She then said ''gosh, that's clever, are they really in Latin?'' I said ''yes,'' and showed her the page I was reading. She then said ''can you understand it?'' I said ''yes;'' and she then asked me to tell her what I was reading, so I went back to the beginning of the story and did an extempore translation for her. She seemed impressed with this, and asked why I studied Latin. I said that until recently (since it has become associated with ''elitism'' and absurd things like class-distinction - knowledge of Latin is not very egalitarian is it) knowledge of Latin was the litmus test as to whether someone was properly educated or not, that I greatly enjoyed Latin, was fascinated by the form of the words, found it aesthetically gratifying etc. She then asked me whether I wanted to be a priest. I promptly said no (well I actually said ''ugh, Lord no!'')
You may be surprised by my reaction, but there are various reasons for it. When I was very little, my grandparents thought that I was going to be a priest one day because I went eagerly to Mass every Sunday (twice on a Sunday in fact, with my mother in the morning and then with my grandparents in the evening, after which I would have Sunday dinner at their house), prayed the Rosary, was very courteous and grave (except to people who exasperated me) etc, etc (I may never tire of ''blowing my own trumpet'' as the saying goes, but to others this may seem conceited - at least that's what my mother says when I boast of things). In fact one day, my old parish had a visit from a prelate of some sort (I thought he was a Bishop, but my nanny said he wasn't, and so I guess this was the Archdeacon; that is, the modern day ''Vicar General''), and I was rather put out when my grandparents told him that I was going to be ordained priest when I was older, and that this was in accordance with my personal wishes and vocation. I said to the Archdeacon that I had no such wish and that I would be no good as a priest.
As I grew older, this false assumption went with me, through school, Sixth Form College, work and even University. I do get tired of being asked this same question by people, and the more I am asked the more I am put off by ordination. Why don't people understand that one can be a religious young man and not have a vocation to the priesthood? It is just as well that I have no such vocation anyway, since I cannot canonically be ordained. And anyway, why be a priest when you can boss the priest about as an MC?