A question for Catholics

I was talking with a few Catholic friends of mine a few days ago and I heard a statement that I have heard many times “God calls enough men to the priesthood, it is just that people aren’t listening” as an excuse for the lack of priestly vocations.

A thought occurred to me later and I thought I would run it by you people and see what you think. Could it be that God desires reform in the Catholic priesthood and is therefore not calling people in order to force changes?

Well, either God is ordaining it, willing it or permitting it.

There have been periods of priest shortages in the past. What resolved them were societal changes not changes in the priesthood. And some of the greatest reforms in the priesthood have occurred during periods with plenty of priests.

So, it’s possible but I wouldn’t go there as my first guess.

It’s possible that this is true, since men who have felt called to the priesthood, who don’t follow that calling, seem to end up very, very unhappy. On the surface, the priestly life seems very difficult, but God chooses those who would find happiness in it.

We have to keep in mind that God would never create you to do something that you aren’t suited for. He builds the elements into your personality that fit you for the work He wants you to do, so that you’ll be happy doing it. (Kind of like how He makes birds to fly, and flying makes birds happy.)

A thought occurred to me later and I thought I would run it by you people and see what you think. Could it be that God desires reform in the Catholic priesthood and is therefore not calling people in order to force changes?

I don’t think God really works like that. God wants us to be conformed to His ways; He doesn’t force His people to conform to the materialistic and hedonistic ways of the world.

Perhaps I am not familiar with the status of the priesthood in the entire world. I see what I see locally and what I see is that the priesthood is alive and well in the world, but is not doing so well in the West. That may or may not indicate a need for reform.

I suspect the decline in vocations in the West is more the result of the predominate culture of the West which is far more “ME” and not so much about “THEY”. Priests need to be more concerned about “THEY” than themselves. If they are cultured to understand and believe something else, vocations become that much harder to achieve.

What change are you suggesting?

There is no priest shortage in the Catholic Church.

There is a shortage of priests in some particular parts of the world. The United States is one of them. And, that is likely what your friend was referring to.

I’m not going to address the lack or abundance of priests, but the idea of God calling someone to something.

I can relate to the statement made that God calls people (for a vocation, to join the church, or just come back to church, or whatever) and people ignore it. I don’t think everyone ignores their calling, per se, they’re just not open to it, some don’t even hear it, and some don’t even realize any of that is what’s happening. Not everyone is … how shall I say this? Situationally aware, so to speak.

I know that for the longest time I ignored God’s call to come back to the Catholic church. I was more into self-will than anything. So if I was ignoring his call, I’m sure many others were, and are, as well. So, the idea of there being a priest shortage because they’re ignoring God’s call is one way to look at the shortage of priests. It may be that the person has something else they want to do.

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