Difficult discernment


#1

I know its long just read it plz! First of i am 17 years old and i have been catholic my whole life. Grew up catholic with my brothers and my mother, father not been catholic. Anyways, when i was younger i remember discerning for the priesthood but i dont remember fo how long. It was always on my mind. So one day during mass i told God. “Fine if you want me to be Priest then have a miracle happen during consecration” this was also the feast day of the conception of jesus. After mass the priest later said that during consecration the priest heard a voice saying “what i do in your hands i did in the virgins womb”. After that i told the priest and my mother and one of brothers. They where amazed, obviously. later that month i remember going to a homeschool gathering and everyone was calling me father because the priest told people what happened. Everyonewas telling me i would be a very good priest. I asked another priests oppinion on it and he said that it could be a sign or it could be just a coincidence. You never know what god has for you in plan. Few years later i become extremely depressed due to my parents divorce and splitting of the family. I started following god as best as i could so i could get better and he ultimately saved me. Now i get extremely anxious over what god wants me to do and because of this i asked what he wants for me to do. I do this in A strange way. Id first ask, ok god if you want me to be a priest than this will happen and so on. I would also love to get married and have kids so when god ever points to one vocation or the other i get angry at either myself or god. At some points i start crying wishing i could have kids of my own and a wife to have them with. One time i was praying to god on my bed and a quick image in my head appeared showing a bright light behind a girl in a white dress holding a little boys hand. And it was almost as if that was my wife and son. ive been getting conflicting signals and today i asked god to help with this and i get a very calm peaceful since with god and the idea of priesthood. Now i get angry at god because i want to have a family. This anger feels terrible and i feel like that caused a lot of stress and and anxiety in the past. Whenever i try thinking of anything other then the priesthood i feel terrible and guilty as if that isn’t for me. And when i try pursuing something different then the priesthood i completely fall on my face and land into a sinful way. I go to a public school and never dated. I feel a tugg to the priesthood but a desire for marriage to the poimt where i start tearing up when i see familys. I feel so confident sometime that god wants me to become priest. Im extremely hurt and angered from past experiences and i dont know if this could be messing with all my feelings. Whenever i seroiously discern i feel exhausted afterwards especially when i think of marriage with the discernment, whenever i pray for my future wife it feels pointless. Whenever o think of marriage i feel self centered and then get angry at god. In some ways i feel ocd about it. I need someones opinion on all of this.


#2

What are you doing at present?
You do need to concentrate on what you’re doing now, and doing the best you can manage to use you abilities,
and you need to be decent and kind to the people around you. That’s your job right now. And it’s you vocation whether as a husband and father or as a priest.

You are younger than you may feel at 17 and you don’t have to make up your mind yet especially if you are so conflicted.

Let go and ask God to let things happen as they should instead of driving your poor self to distraction because you can’t choose between two goods.

It doesn’t matter who says you’d be a good priest. Largely, what would make a man a good priest can basically also make him a good father and a good husband.

Guilt isn’t a good thing on which to base a life choice.
You’re not ready to make the decision yet or you wouldn’t be so conflicted.

As for sign, they can be true or the result of excessive zeal or anxiety, so continue to pray for peace and for God to lead you at the right time…to lead you to a time when you can make the decision with peace.

May God bless you, and give you peace, and trust that He will quietly lead you at the right time.

Best wishes,
Pauline


#3

I agree with the first reply. It seems to me that you may be over thinking things. It isn’t your decision to make, it is God’s. It seems that in your heart you want to do God’s will, so just stop trying to make the decision all by yourself, and let God help you.

Also, I was always taught that we shouldn’t put God to the test. You probably shouldn’t say “God if you want this, show me a miracle, or I wont do it.”

I sort of went through the same thing, and I still think about it, but I am basically trying to do what the above poster stated. You just have to figure your life out first. Of course you should make God the most important thing, but don’t rush into any life changing decisions just yet if you aren’t completely positive.


#4

If you are thinking about a vocation to the priesthood, then you need a spiritual director to help you sort out what God is calling you to do. Call and make an appointment with your priest, if he can’t do it then he can recommend someone.


#5

I agree with PaulineMargaret and Catholic1954.


#6

At 17 you should be enjoying your youth and letting your spirit just “grow.” There is plenty of time for you to find your path. Don’t let the comments of your friends influence you right now. Go to school/college and spread your wings a little, but in a good, moral way. The answer will come. Let the spirit flow. Peace.


#7

If you’re really interested in becoming a priest, you shouldn’t keep asking for signs. You should study hard, talk to priests, observe people so you can understand them, and basically prepare.

If you’re really interested in marriage, you should go out and meet some nice girls, and think about how you will make money for your family, and basically prepare.

No offense, but I see you as concentrating on being told what to do, instead of preparing yourself to do it. The usual way that discernment works is that preparation makes your aptitudes much more obvious, and so your prayers are answered by that.

Also, concentrating just on asking for signs and supernatural experiences will tend to make your mind desperate for getting some answer, any answer, even if it has to make one up for you. That isn’t healthy. Relax a bit, and don’t try to make signs appear.


#8

God’s Will is not a puzzle to be solved, but a mysterious gift to accept with filial trust, gratitude and abandonment. The desire in your heart to seek God is a manifestation of His love for you. He is drawing you to Himself. Don’t worry if you can see every step ahead, or reconcile every doubt. For now, simply put your trust in the guidance of a good spiritual director (a priest); follow their advice, and put aside any restlessness or agitation. Jesus is the Prince of Peace; do His will as it is known to you in the present, and rest assured that God’s Will will become clear in time.

All throughout high-school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I took a year off after school to work; still no idea. I did psychology for a year at uni; still no idea. I started a teaching degree; still not sure what I wanted to do. Then, while I was on a spiritual retreat, I felt a calling to the religious life. After speaking about this with a priest, he told me to to finish my university degree, as many Orders require some evidence of higher education. After 5 years of study, I stayed with some Benedictines and I hope to join their Order in the near future. All along, God was there, leading me. We just need to trust in God’s Providence.

Our Lord to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos:
“… if you will give up the forethought for yourself, My Providence will take good care of you, because above all things I love abandonment and dependence in the hearts that are Mine; I enjoy working miracles for them and in their favour; I provide them with everything, like a town that is My abode.”


#9

Be a holy student right now. This doesn’t mean being self-righteous towards others, but sitting your soul in peace at God’s feet, and developing the cloister/sanctuary of the heart. Rosary and sacraments daily. Confession weekly.

The Holy Ghost works on attraction. You’ve asked for one miracle, and you got it. I wouldn’t press the issue. Talk to the vocations director of the diocese, and visit seminaries, if possible. I’d also advise visiting religious orders and monasteries, just to see how it feels.

If going to college, aim for general studies.

If asking someone out, take a chaperone.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#10

what you are going thru is the danger of discerning on your own

discerning God’s calling on your own is dangerous because you tend to agree with yourself…

The other danger (which you seem to be doing also when you mentioned you are constantly asking for signs, etc.) is that you are not opening yourself to the Holy Spirit; what I mean by this is that discernment is a two-way conversation - you need to take time to quiet yourself so you can hear God talking to you. Go to adoration and dont pray - just stay still, in silence and listen while in the presence of the Lord.

Seek spiritual direction as other’s suggested


#11

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