My Dear Friend,
Praised be Jesus Christ forever!
I am glad to know that yet another man is discerning the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ! Yes, it is great to hear that yet another one of us has been blessed to discern and discover the spiritual fruits of this One, True, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.
I’ve been doing this for a few years now. It has it’s up and downs. It is at times tiring, confusing and it takes a looooot of patience, but Our God is the God of surprises, and he never fails to help us when we beg for his aid. I am 15 and will be turning 16 in the next couple of weeks and I am from Scotland. Anyone on this can feel free to contact me more about vocations, give counsel and to share experiences.
I’m gonna have to disagree with you slightly here; You need to talk to a Priest. It is never too early to tell a Priest that you feel that you may be called to the Priesthood. Just talk to your pastor, or a young Priest. You can even mention it in confession. Not only are you helping yourself, but you are really helping the Priest. When a Priest finds that a soul he cares for may have a calling, it really helps them spiritually. Give a Priest that joy, that grace, and seek the advice of a sound Priest when you can. Do not be afraid!
Also, in terms of spiritual health, it is good to find a good confessor. Try and make it to confession once a week/month. This allows you to develop an honest and self-giving relationship with God, through the mercy of his Son, Jesus Christ, that established this great sacrament for us. You cannot discern properly unless you are free from mortal sin, lest we allow Satan to blind us with the smoke of deceit. I will pray for you. Make Confession your haven from this frightening and pagan world. God’s forgiveness is always there for those who want it; “Ask and it shall be opened unto you.”
From my experience, I advise that you meditate upon the sacrificial nature of the Mass. As you will already know, the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross to God the Father, and in the Mass, this Sacrifice is continued as Christ had promised through the ordination of the apostles, and even as the Old Testament says, it is the “Never-ending Sacrifice of the Lamb”. Contemplate on the sacrificial Nature of the Priesthood in the same respect, recalling the sacrifices you would have to make as a Priest and the Mass itself, where the Priest - the “alter-Christus” - is immolated upon the altar as Jesus Christ, the Paschal Victim, continuing that same sacrifice that will last until the end of the world. In Holy Communion, pray for Priests, Vocations and your own personal sanctification. As St. Padre Pio said “It would be better for the world to survive without the sun, than for souls to do without the Holy Mass”. Without this continual sacrifice that Our Lord made on the cross for us, the gates of Heaven would never have been opened. It is through this sacrifice of praise and mercy that we may now hope to attain eternal salvation. What an awe-inspiring thought this is! Deo Gratias!
In regards to Saints and Books, I advise the writings of St. John Vianney, St. Padre Pio, St. Francis de Sales, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Thomas Aquinas (which is essential for your Theological Formation) and of course - the greatest Church Father evahrrr - St. Augustine. Pray to these Holy Priests and read their divinely inspired works. 'To save a thousand souls" is great also. I recommend “The Priest, a bridge to God” and one I am looking at just now “All for Jesus” by Fr. Faber. For Mariology I recommend St. Louis de Montfort’s “33 Day Consecration to the Heart of Mary”. This book and consecration is a beautiful and powerful to devotion, and really does aid the soul. Also, in terms of spiritual defence, I recommend “How to free ourselves from evil spirits and their harm?” by Fr. Boulos Fahed OMM. This book is good for defending yourself from evil spirits and how to keep sin and temptation away, allowing yourself to work for the salvation of souls. A great spiritual benefit.
I would also recommend a few movies for willingful Catholic Procrastination. Two movies of Pope John Paul II: “Karol: The man who became Pope” is about his life as a Priest in Communist Poland before he was a Pope, an amazing story indeed. And then “Karol: The Pope, The Man” is about his life after he became Pope. Both of these can be found on YouTube. Also, click here for a Movie about Padre Pio! This movie was in English, but only the Italian version is left on YouTube with subtitles now unfortunately. Still a great story though.
I know I have gave you a loooooot of videos and books to read, but the wait for entering into a process of application for seminary can be a long one. And there is so much time to learn so much from little things like these. Take your time! I will pray for you my friend. Keep smiling and praying also. The Church has lost it’s Catholic Identity. And we need to work together in great faith to rebuild the One True Faith of Jesus Christ.
Feel free to keep in touch with me. God Bless us all with Holy and Pious Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life, and grant us good and faithful laypeople.
In corde Iesu, per Mariam,
Deus, Salus Nostra :gopray2: