Archbishop of Bourges
Called from his comfort zone
St. William was born in to a wealthy and respected family. He had lot’s of different opportunities available to him as a young man. But William decided to live his life for God in a special way. He was drawn to the quiet, secluded life of a monk. He enjoyed being able to be free of the pressures of the world, and to work and pray peacefully with his brother monks for support. He also loved the very structured schedule of the monastery, and he excelled at his new way of life. In fact, William became such a good monk that he became the abbott (which means father, and is the leader) of his monastery. Soon after, another nearby monastery made him their Abbott as well. Word of WIlliams holiness and leadership abilities spread to many people in the Church. Then, the local Archbishop died. When they needed someone to replace him, the Pope and other local Bishops believed that William was the man for the job. He did not agree. He had grown very comfortable with where he was. He enjoyed his secluded life, and he loved being a monk and caring for the other monks. He had been very successful at this position and was afraid to leave it. But the Pope and other Bishops insisted that God needed him elsewhere. Many other priests in the area were very jealous of him, because they wanted to become Archbishop. This made life difficult for William. But William soon learned that God’s plan is always better for us than our own. His monastic training made him an excellent Bishop. Because of his experience training and caring for other monks, he was able to help and lead the priests of his diocese in a graceful and strong way. He helped to lead many priests who had begun to believe the Albigensian Heresy. These people believed that all physical things were evil, and only spiritual things were good. They were especially outraged by clergy who were rich or corrupt. Because of Williams monastic roots, he was able to persuade many of these incorrect thinkers back to the truth by his lifestyle, example, and training, as well as his love for creation and his fellow man. His deep knowledge and communion with God as a monk gave him insights and wisdom. He won over many of those who were jealous of him and converted many heretics back to the true faith of the Church. William learned that God has a plan for each of us that will lead to far better and fulfilling things than we could imagine for ourselves. He also learned that God makes use of our experiences and the things we’ve learned in life in our future vocations. When God gives us a skill or knowledge, He doesn’t let it go to waste!