MISSIONARIES of the Sacred Heart Father Peter Hendriks says his life proves that God “writes straight with crooked lines”.
Fr Peter knows this reveals the truth that his heart was difficult to settle.
“I was inherently restless,” he said.
Straight after university Peter joined the Jesuits and was with them for five years.
“I spent a lot of that time discerning if it was for me. I grew a lot emotionally and I discerned. Decided and hoped that priesthood wasn’t for me,” he said.
For the next 12 years Peter wandered through different career paths.
He was a school teacher, completed his Theological studies, did some more teaching, completed a Social Work degree and worked as a probation/parole Officer.
His restlessness was still keeping him in good company.
He continued attend retreats to help discern his vocation and life.
“One day while I was on retreat I was expressing my absolute frustration with God that he was not being clear enough about what I should do,” he said.
“God’s response to my prayer was wonderful.
“It was simply this, ‘Peter if you want to be a layperson and get married then do so. If you want to be a priest then do so. My only vocation for you is to know that I love you’.
“God has a habit of being right. To know oneself as deeply loved by God is the root to any vocation”.
After Peter was accepted into the MSC’s, restlessness was still being a faithful pest.
“One moment in the novitiate when I found myself struggling, God said, ‘The only way out is through’,” he said.
Peter identified that there was often strong feelings of fear and anxiety in his day.
Once those emotions were addressed he found he was able to stop the pattern in his life of “moving on” or “backing out” and was able to settle into a life commitment.
Six years on from being ordained as an MSC he feels grateful to live the charism ‘To be on Earth the Heart of God’.
For all people discerning their vocation FrPeter said: “God has a vocation for you that no one else can fulfill. The answer lies in knowing that God loves you. I love the saying, ‘The one who walks with God always gets to their destination. Keep walking with God, talking with God and listening to God. God will reveal the best path to take, it will be a path of love’.”