To calculate the cost of being a disciple, today’s Gospel gives us a powerful example.
To see how this works out in real life consider the story of the actor Shia LaBeouf.
LaBeouf is known for his starring role in three Transformers movies, but he announced recently that he converted to the Catholic faith while working on his upcoming film "Padre Pio," in which he plays the Italian saint. "I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to him, drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously," LaBeouf confessed in an interview. During the interview, the actor revealed that he had suicidal thoughts before he began filming the movie in Italy and that he only accepted the role to save his career, which had been hit hard by personal scandals. "I wouldn't have had any impulse to get in my car and drive to the monastery if I hadn't thought, 'oh, I'm going to save my career'." On the depression he suffered from, he confessed that at one point he came to have "a gun on the table" and that he "didn't want to be alive anymore." "I felt shame like I'd never experienced before, the kind of shame that makes you forget how to breathe. You don't know where to go. You can't go out and ask for a taco. But I also had this deep desire to hang on," he recounted. In the interview, LaBeouf said that God used the film to draw him to the Church, as the only reason he had to play Padre Pio was to resume his career. "When I got here, a change happened. It was as if someone had tricked me, not in a bad way. In a way that I couldn't realize. I was so close I couldn't notice it. I see it
differently now that time has passed," he said. The Transformers star also said that learning about forgiveness and repentance was fundamental to get out of the depression and to know God's Mercy.
"I saw that there were other people who have sinned even beyond what I could ever imagine and meet Christ. That made me feel like I had hope," he said. In the interview, LaBeouf also revealed his experience with the rosary, the Eucharist, reading the Confessions of St. Augustine, and the peace he found after reconciling with his mother.
If you, or someone you know, would like to know Jesus more closely in the Catholic Church, please let us know.
Rev. Mark Zacker