Discerning with doubt

I have been discerning the priesthood for several months now for several reasons some of which are I strongly feel The Lord calling me to it, I enjoy studying and learning about the faith and I’ve learned much very quickly, I believe the church is in need of vocations, and I would love to bring people closer to Jesus through the sacraments. However, I personally think but am not completely sure that I want to be married and have children to share the faith with. There is doubts on both sides of the fence though, I’ve received encouragement through prayer by a thought coming into my mind that the church will be my wife. I also believe that trying to serve The Lord and a family at the same time would be difficult. For some reason I’m still not completely into the idea of becoming a priest. Which seems selfish of me. What do you guys think? Is a vocation to the priesthood something you should want to accept 100% with no doubts? I don’t want to go against what I feel The Lord is calling me to but if I’m still attracted to marriage perhaps he isn’t calling me to the priesthood at all. I’m very confused, only time will tell I guess. Would love suggestions.

SEEK A VOCATIONS DIRECTOR AN SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR !

HA !

aww man wonder how many were waiting to say that, now who ever says that is just a copy at !

Some doubts are natural - if anything, it’d be more concerning if you didn’t have doubts. A vocations isn’t like a light switch - it’s not just turned on with near-instant results, rather it’s a journey in which you are searching, with God’s help, to find what he wants for your life. I think if you ask most priests / religious if they would have liked to have a family their answer would be “of course but the call to priesthood / religious life was stronger”. So often it’s not so much a case of one call but more of several competing calls.

Hope this helps

I strongly agree with this advice. The important thing to note is that you do not have to make a decision right away. As I read your post the impression I received is that you are in the early part of your discernment. I don’t think is is selfish of you at all to consider the vocation of getting married and having children. There is no sense of urgency in your vocation. Both prayer and “Lectio Divina” will be very helpfult to you in your discernment. Traditionally Lectio Divina has 4 separate steps: read, meditate, pray and contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God. I wish you all the best on your journey in discerning which vocation our Lord is calling you to. :signofcross: :gopray:
:blessyou:

And in the discernment of spirit, you must be able to know if it is positive energy calling you toward any one of your ‘callings’ or doubts…Not all that seems positive, is positive…all due caution is in order.

With your doubts, consider another vocation and then as a minister in the field. However to have the church as a bride, caution with psych/soc implications and how much you are to identify therewith. Will parishioners suffice as your children?

I will not give you any lengthy discourse on what it was like to be a PK. There are successful ones LOL

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
When I was 16 years old in Year 10 it was my belief that Jesus gave me a strong sign and opportunity to deepen my Christian commitment and become a Nun or Nurse under a Catholic Order in a Catholic Hospital. The Principal whom was a Nun at the time documented words for my Calling to Jesus. At the time I missed Jesus sign and had my mind focussed on becoming a Nurse to assist people.

A medical obstacle presented itself in which I had addressed; in the meantime I was needed interstate at another location to assist one of my siblings for a long period. The opportunity was gone and I never fulfilled what I now know, without a doubt, years later to have been my Calling to Jesus.

Another Calling to Jesus I had that was undertaken yet unfulfilled was being there for the homeless and youth without families. I worked with the organisation for almost two years and had wanted to continue however thereafter worked in detox centres assisting addicts for a little while.

Jesus prepared me thereafter for Motherhood by becoming a Nanny to a baby and 3 year old at 18 years of age and other things thereafter to prepare me for some huge obstacles that came my way over a 30 year period.

The reason I am telling you all of this is the following;

Jesus presents us with the opportunities in His Will for us to choose.

In order for negatives to be blocked out (temptations by satan) not to interfere with Jesus’ Callings and His opportunities He gives us; we must pray and pray hard for His Divine Love, His Wisdom, His Guidance, His Perseverence flowing through us (daily) in relation for His Callings to us for the good of our Souls and others.

Jesus will show you and give you His messages about which your preferred option that is for the ‘good’ and ‘happiness’ of your Soul during your Life if you fully open up your Heart to Him, fully trusting and having full confidence in Him asking for messages and confirmation of what is best. I know you would be close to God (this is not the reason stating these things).

The Holy Rosaries prayed to God and our Lady Mary Mother of Jesus have been the way to go for me over the past two years with clear confirmation from God on everything, focussing on His Passion through reflecting upon His Stations of the Cross at least twice daily.

I am wishing to share my joy in relation to praying The Holy Rosaries which has brought me so close to God and our Holy Mother!

Love and best wishes to you in your Vocations

OK, OK, I will stand and second this motion!
A lot depends on your age & life experience, education,etc

   Refer to John78's answer .

The parishioners can’t be my children, they already have a father. As do I, I feel that advice I received is completely symbolic as the vows are similar. I would rather be 100% dedicated than not with no doubts.

Hahaha!!! This really cracked me up…

I strongly agree with this advice. The important thing to note is that you do not have to make a decision right away. As I read your post the impression I received is that you are in the early part of your discernment. I don’t think is is selfish of you at all to consider the vocation of getting married and having children. There is no sense of urgency in your vocation. Both prayer and “Lectio Divina” will be very helpfult to you in your discernment. Traditionally Lectio Divina has 4 separate steps: read, meditate, pray and contemplate. First a passage of Scripture is read, then its meaning is reflected upon. This is followed by prayer and contemplation on the Word of God. I wish you all the best on your journey in discerning which vocation our Lord is calling you to.

I also think InThePew’s advice was solid. The only thing I would add to his and this is, I would even say you don’t need to be 100% sure to enter seminary. If everyone did that, then probably no one would enter seminary! Aside from those few who are blessed to “just know” their vocation, of course. Once you are at least somewhat sure, don’t you think it would be worth it to try it out? It may seem to some people that one who goes to seminary and discerns out have wasted time; on the contrary, I have heard of so many stories of former seminarians who are so appreciative of their seminary time. It often provides a stronger foundation for growth in the faith and is a good preparation for marriage. I came across this quote: “Do you want to become a real man? Go to seminary, because the best place to become a real man is at seminary.”

Just keep these things in mind, and heed the advice given in this thread. As someone also discerning priesthood, I know exactly what you mean about doubts and desiring marriage. You’ll be in my prayers!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.