A few days before Christmas, I prayed to Jesus, seeing Him crucified in front of me and I asked Him:
Lord, what do You want me to do? Be a layman? A priest? A deacon? Teacher? Writer? Actor?
I go out to my car to drive to work, and the first station on the radio is a static iPod one. I switch over and I hear an advertisement from my diocese’s bishop, Michael R. Cote, speaking about God nad Christmas, and the ad was sponsored by the, wait for it, office of vocations!
I am not sure that you are being called to the priesthood, if you are not sure that you are being called. After some soul searching, those who are truly called by God usually know that they are being called.
However, there are also a few signs that can help you determine the authenticity of your vocation
You are strongly attracted to that way of life.
You have the necessary intellectual, physical and spiritual qualifications to be a priest.
You have the right intention.
You will note from the above that attraction to the priesthood (although a first sign of vocation), is not sufficient. There are two other important requirements that must be met. For this reason, I think that your best course of action, if you need help in discerning what God’s design is for your soul, is to talk to the director of vocations in your area.
Please note that I am not a priest, and what I stated above is just from my knowledge as a catholic.
Yes, I think your being called. To the married life, or the single life, or the religious life, I don’t know. Discernment is not a process of collecting coincidences and using them to build up our idealized fantasies. It’s about encountering God’s Love on a very real level and being sent by that Love out into the world to love others in a specific way.
Regardless of that incidence, if you feel something deeper in your soul pulling or tugging or crying out, go to a vocation awareness retreat or meeting, or get an appointment with the vocations director or another priest. Pray :gopray: and love. :hug3: That’s really how you discern, because it stretches you and uncovers parts of your heart you never knew were there.
Also, if you haven’t seen the video “Fishers of Men” before, it’s absolutely splendid. It was produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Grassroots Films. Part One Part Two
God’s called me to do something twice in my life. This is how you know it’s a call: God is a nag. You’ll feel it and push it away and it’ll come back. And you say, “But that’s stupid.” And it comes back. And you think you must be imagining it but… it comes back. It can take years to go from first notice to acceptance to opportunity. Though the next one is easier because know you know what it feels like.
Could the radio have been giving you a clue? Possibly. But you don’t know what it means. It could mean: “Go explore with the Vocations Director so you’ll know this isn’t part of your path.” Or: *“Go explore with the Vocations Director and you’ll know for sure this is your path.” * Or: “Go explore with the vocations director and stay on that path for a while, I’ll be calling you away later, but you have things to learn there.”
Here’s a question: When you heard it and thought it might be an answer, how did you feel? Peaceful and happy? Surprised and scared? If you could know for sure the ad would be a sign, what would you hope it was for? Open auditions? A writing class? A public service message for teachers?
IMO, the trick to a life of faith is this: you give God your life and then quit worrying about it. He will use you as a busboy or a businessman, if you put Him first. You are called to show forth the face of God. To love, charity, compassion, humility and sacrifice and you might do the most important job God has in Mind for you standing in line at the ATM having a casual conversation and never know your words changed someone’s life and saved their soul and you weren’t even talking about Faith.
Spend your life following Christ. Love one another. Start with the very next person you come into contact with. Give God your life, do what you love and are good at as well as you can, and take being a Christian seriously.
If God calls you directly to something, I promise, you won’t have any doubt, or at least, not for long.
Eh…I don’t know about that. Might have just been a coincidence. If the Bishop came up and asked you when you are going to be a priest, that’d be a tad different But I don’t know about this. You definitely are being called to something. It very well could be the priesthood, but you don’t want to base your decision off of something that could have just as easily been a random coincidence. Do a lot more praying, and speak with the vocations director or a spiritual director. Let them help you decide if that is what your calling is.
I Think You may be, this would definetly be something I would explore with the Vocations Director of Your Diocese. I would request an appointment, and in person (Email isn’t always the greatest thing to communicate vocations) I would tell him how you feel about the Priesthood, any desires You have etc. As a vocations director, I am sure that He will spot some tell-tale “signs” if He sees them. I will pray for You and hope that You do become a Priest and a Saint for our Holy Church!! We need more Priests!!
May the SACRED and MERCIFUL HEART of OUR LORD JESUS, Bless You!!
would it be possible to find out how many posts such as the opening post have actually made it all the way into Priesthood or joined some Holy Order. It would be interesting to know and I do know that for some men, they have tried hard to ignore calls into Priesthood and gone onto other occupations before enterring. But God has a way, somehow, of softly, softly guiding you if that is then intention.
First line of call though is to contact your Parish Priest and discuss it with him and he will guide you through the next steps. I believe you will need his agreement or something to be forwarded into any next steps anyway. Be open to what he suggests. Ministry isn't easy and I know through simply by being an anglican parishioner, I am not easy to work with and the current priest listens and he will have more than just me demanding his almost, his constant attention, I know that:blush: whether he thinks I do or not I am aware, of my ways :blush:
Some priests expressed their calling as a 'Damascene' moment of clarity, others as the aforementioned persistent 'nag', others fought against it not wanting to make the sacrifice but eventually succumbing and becoming excellent and happy priests.
The point is that only the individual can know. The Church provides assistance through a process of what's called "discernment" - and that takes at least 7 years from the point of first contacting a vocations director, through the initial discussions and investigations, then seminary and then finally the request for ordination. For some people (myself included) that process has taken 15 years and counting (I even made it to the door of the Seminary, but I wasn't yet ready).
You may well be presented with what might be considered 'peculiar coincidences'. I wouldn't place much store in just the one occasion, but if your mind's eye keeps being caught by the correlation of various events that make you think 'priesthood', then if it keeps happening it means that priesthood is on your mind as a possibility and it's worth investigating more.
So be open to the possibility, read whatever books on vocation you feel are attractive to you, speak to your parish priest if you want, and when you're ready talk to your diocesan vocations director. Remember, for those who are nervous, it's just a talk, it's not committing to do anything at all... but it's always worth having that conversation. Even if it turns out you're not called after all, you will have learned something valuable about yourself and that, in its own right, is a gift from God.
I wouldn't say that such an incident -- by itself -- means you definitely ought to be a priest. None of us can answer that, obviously. However, I would take it as a sign that God wants you to consider the possibility and be open to such a calling.
In other words, it sounds like a good beginning point to the discernment process. But it is not an ending point.
A priest once told me… Zac I don’t want you to be a priest… I want you to be a saint
Are you called to the priesthood? Maybe maybe not
Start by living every moment of your life for God ( Im not question whether you do or not Im just saying the most important thing is becoming a saint… our path to sanctity whether it be priesthood, married life etc will be eventually come forth if we are sincerely seeking God’s will which is the most important thing, trust God and do what God wants you to do at the moment)
Look for signs of a vocation… do you feel an attraction to the life? do you feel joy, peace, consolation when you think about that life? have others told you you’d make a good priest? Those are some indications that you might be called…
It might be good to get a spiritual director as well
I will say a prayer for you that you fulfill God’s will in your life!