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“Ask a Priest: What If Hollywood Has Me on Hold?”
Q: I’m 20 years old, not a perfect Catholic but at least a loyal one. I’m in the process of receiving a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Hollywood with a coveted role. The thing is that I’m becoming more nervous because the green light has not arrived yet, and unfortunately in some occasions I sort of blame Our Lord and ask why this has not happened yet. God knows how much I want to help millions of people. There are signs that show me that what I want is on the way, and I feel it comes from God to encourage me to believe and don’t give up. But at the same time I get too excited and angry. How should I handle this? God means a lot to me and there’s nothing more I want to do than to make him proud and happy with me. Thanks for your time. – J.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s good that you want to help others. The details about how that might happen can be tricky, however.
We might want to do good our way, but it’s more important that we do good God’s way.
Discovering God’s way might require time and patience and lots of prayer.
Part of our faith is that God can bring good out of something that is seemingly bad.
I won’t try to guess what will happen with this Hollywood opening. But if it falls through, it’s not the end of the world. Rather, it might be an opportunity for you to double down on your prayer life and sacramental life and rely on God to guide you.
Sometimes we can be tempted to do the opposite – we want to guide God and nudge him to do things our way. Not uncommonly we yearn for the glamorous things in life … such as landing an acting job in Hollywood.
But sometimes God has different ideas. A seeming failure can turn out to be more beneficial than worldly success. For worldly success can leave us feeling proud and overconfident — and more open to the devil’s tricks. “Pride goes before the fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
In any case, you don’t have to earn God’s love. He already loves you. If you find yourself blaming him for things that don’t go your way, that is reason enough for you to pause.
Being “too excited and angry” is a sure sign that we’re not quite in sync with the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit is at work there is calmness and serenity.
What you want to do is make as much space for the Almighty in your life as you can. It would be good to dedicate time to prayer, the sacraments, and works of charity.
Grace perfects nature. If you give your heart to God, the Holy Spirit can work wonders through you.
And that’s the point. You want to put your life in the hands of the Holy Spirit, not a Hollywood producer.
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