Desire vs feeling?


In many discernment passages, it is mentioned that the ‘desire’ to be priest is one of the signs of vocation.

What does the word ‘desire’ mean? Does it refer only to the emotional part of a subjective wish? Or does it refer also to the subjective wish in one’s mind and will power?

For instance, when one wants to become a priest but this yearning is not inciting a lot of emotional response such as intense joy, is this still a desire? Are there any cases when one feels ‘neutral’ and there is no strong pushing or pulling force within his heart? If the idea of priesthood brings no special feelings and the person feels peaceful towards it, is this still a desire?


Only thing I can say is that if it happens you will know. Believe me. You will know and no amount of analysing it will help you.


I’m not a vocation director, but it sounds to me like the person in question is a bit wrapped up in feelings and reading signs. We can’t analyze ourselves into a vocation. If one thinks he may be called to the priesthood, he should speak with his pastor or a vocation director, and start exploring it. Seminary isn’t just for forming priests; it is also for discernment. Or if one thinks he may be called to religious life, he ought to visit some communities.


I don’t know your age, but there are vocation weekend retreats held in each diocese. You can speak to a Priest or Deacon for information. Grow in holiness. If it’s for you, there will come a time when the Holy Spirit enters your heart and there will be no doubt. Every Priest I know has intense joy in spreading the Gospel.


I think the best way I can explain “desire” is a longing or at least a nagging feeling that continues over time. that’s not the same as saying that the idea of becoming a priest should necessarily excite feelings of joy - if anything, fear is actually quite a common response. granted, over time this should resolve itself into feelings of acceptance and peace (although not necessarily before entering the seminary). In the word’s of St Augustine - my heart is restless O Lord until it rests in you.


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