Discernment and advice

Hello, I am a 16 year old catholic boy who loves Jesus and the church with all my heart. I love to continuously grow in knowledge of the saints and the church. I was consecrated to Mary on August 15th 2013. Now I need some advice, am I called to priesthood or married life. I feel like God is throwing curveballs at me. For example, one day I was praying in the chapel (I try to attend daily) and asked God if he would tell me what he wants me to do for the rest of my life. The next day, after our school mass I saw my grandmother was talking to a woman. So I walked over and the woman talked to me and said that I would be a great priest and that she thinks I will become one. Then many others have also said the same thing. But I feel a strong call to married life, as in I want to have a wife whom I can love and serve as well as many children. So could someone just give me some advice, that is just a little bit but will do for now, thanks!

I think you have an appointment at some point with the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius.

But not now. My first question is, do you have a spiritual director? If not, find one. Ask your parish priest or confessor.

Next, I’d like to relate something very important. Do not be mystified. Do not be expecting visions and locutions or anything of the sort. Many people seem to think that one will have some sort of extraordinary charismatic experience that will make everything make sense. You are not likely to have such an experience.

Let’s ask these questions instead. Do you have the right intentions in aspiring to the priesthood? Are you physically and psychologically healthy? Do you have the intellectual aptitude for seminary studies? Is there a strong life of grace in your soul?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you are likely right in suspecting that you are called to the priesthood. It’s as simple as that. Then comes the issue of seeing if you’re called to a religious order or to serve as a secular priest.

I tell the young people I advise consistently not to assume that the religious life or the priesthood must prove themselves to them, for these are ordered toward divine perfection and toward taking on the personality of Christ. Instead, let the secular lay life, and consequently marriage, prove itself. Don’t presume you are to remain here until you are called there; presume that you are to enter the novitiate or the seminary and accept the call back to the world from there if it comes. Your soul can only be richer for it.

PR: You really should be discussing this with your parents and a priest.

My :twocents:

Please, you are very young yet and it is your lack of life experiance that is causing you the most confusion, and I say this with the most sincere and good intentions – I would be the last to attempt to desuade you from the consecrated life, it is an honorable and noble life.

However, with that said, please set this aside for the next year and a half. Date a few young ladies in group settings, stay true to your faith, and be patient with yourself and others. When you start you final year of secondary, start looking at colleges and seminaries, involve your local pastor and your parents in reviewing the seminaries and colleges and pray over them, one of these schools will seem like a good fit.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance & direction.

At the age of 16 … I wouldn’t really expect anyone to know fully as to what they want to do for the next 60 …
Not always the case I know… … My second son at age four said he will become a school teacher…? Now Age 32 ,and is a teacher…for nearly ten years…
Just take it easy,pray,read, exercise , eat well and enjoy your youth,it doesn’t last long…

Talk to a priest, I always wanted to get married and have children but part of me wanted to be a priest. I was older than you when I went to a priest to speak about becoming a priest and he told me to go and do some charity work abroad and other stuff. I guess he wanted me to go away and come back a couple of years later to see if my wanting to be a priest had grown or not.

They won’t just send you to a seminary tomorrow, I am glad I am now married with children.

There is a way having both, sort of, you can be a Deacon who can do a lot of what a priest can do and you can be married with children too.

I agree. Start doing some volunteer work, and talk with your priest. Plan on going to college as well, because if you do end up being a priest, you’ll need college and then seminary. And if you don’t become a priest, that college degree should help you get a better job than you otherwis could.

Thanks for the help! But I want to discern what God wants me to do in my life right now as well. I currently am very involved in my church and serve on a Youth Evangelization Team in my parish. I guess I would like to know now because I do not want to be lazy, I want to do the Lord’s will today and live for the kingdom of heaven. Some saints like father matezcheli, Dominic savio, and blessed pier giorgio frassati lived so radically so young and that is what I want, thats why I dont want to just live life, I want to live it to the fullest and that is doing the will of God.

That’s so wonderful, PurityReigns. Let me issue you a challenge.

Jesus said, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”

Are you willing to set aside the possibility of wife and children? Do you want to be consecrated entirely for his service? For you will find much reward in heaven. Jesus said about this, “He that can take it, let him take it.” Can you? There may be some years yet to fully discern, but keep this question in your heart.

Pope Pius XII in “Sacra Virginitas” says,

  1. This then is the primary purpose, this the central idea of Christian virginity: to aim only at the divine, to turn thereto the whole mind and soul; to want to please God in everything, to think of Him continually, to consecrate body and soul completely to Him.

You want to live radically for God. Go for it! Pray, pray, pray. Pray the rosary, pray the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, do Lectio Divina, go to confession, shun all impurity, run after God as hard as you can. You will never regret it.

steymard thank you! you spoke with truth! and that also kind of scared me, in a good way! the way you see shun impurity kind of is hard for me… You see, I also struggle with masturbation and pornography but am truly trying to conquer it and be free from the sin through the grace and love of God. I currently on my 22nd day without it.

PurityReigns, I think that’s a little too much information. Remember a good priest must be discrete.

But in any case, if you struggle with temptations to impurity, a good example to follow is Saint Catherine of Siena. Saint Catherine would have many intrusive and scandalous thoughts and despised them. She might be an excellent saint to invoke when temptations to impurity (or any other temptations, such as to anger) arise. A reading of her life and her works might as well be helpful.

God bless.

PurityReigns,

While purity is the topic, I should mention a few things.

Follow bardegaulois’ advice and get a spiritual director. His help will be invaluable for staying pure. It is possible for the soul just fresh out of mortal sin to fall back in; remember Jesus’ story about the seven devils? You must also fill the void left by the exorcised bad habits with good habits.

Whether you become a priest or monk or religious brother or not, your vocation right now is to be a saint.

If you ever feel yourself being tempted, be certain to pray, but it is also helpful to immediately commence on an entirely different activity so that you do not give space for the temptation to cloud your mind.

You are doing what we are called to do , love God and love our neighbor. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have a vocation to either the priesthood or married life. You are still very young and need more exposure to life to make a more mature decision. Keep up with prayer and Mass, and all other religious activities, but don’t limit your activities to just that. Meet people, do God’s will in all of your activities, even date. If you have a calling one way or another God’s providence will guide you. The goal of any vocation is the way that is best to insure your salvation above all else, and sufficient for the day is the evil thereof…Jesus. Sanctify every thing you do, and you can be assured that God will take care of your vocation.

Go forth and multiply … Don’t stop now !

I’d agree with much of the other comments here.

However, while I agree that we ought not “expect” supernatural or mystical experiences and ought not base all our decisions on them, we also ought not disregard them! They may be one part of the whole picture.

In my own life, I have had such experiences and I’m very thankful for them. I compare them with scripture and church teaching, so I am not “starting my own religion” or anything!

But when we consider sacred scripture and the lives of such saints as Don Bosco, Sister Faustina, Saint Francis and Ignatius of Loyola (to name a few!) we cannot ignore the occasional dream or vision that God throws our way.

Lastly, I had to chuckle when I read your story about Grandma’s friend. One day I prayed for an hour before the blessed sacrament about my vocation. A few hours later, I was in my classroom getting ready for class and a deacon walked in and asked “Have you ever considered going to the seminary?” I almost looked up and said, “Really, Lord?” :rolleyes:

Be the best Catholic you can be and pray at all times. God will not forget if he is calling you, I promise! Be not afraid.

My advice on the whole impure thoughts/actions thing is to read Matthew 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” So what that said to me when I struggled with impurity was to avoid anything that would make me think lustful thoughts. It’s not easy but it does get easier over time. I also have to say there is a reason that the minimum age to enter the seminary is 18 and not 40, it’s never a bad time to pursue God. I definitely agree with the first poster, good advice.

The world is full of occasions for lustful thoughts, and the worst part is that we are all inclined to lustful thoughts and actions. Self conquest is necessary, and this is impossible without Gods’ help. To follow the dictates of our conscience, and not the inclinations of our passions is a constant battle, even for Saints. Saint Padre Pio stated that this evil spirit of lust was always harassing him. This spirit has caused the downfall of many priests. Jesus says if we can’t resist it is better to marry. We then sanctify our passions, but the tendency will remain even with married folks, as human nature has revealed. Purity is a persistent spiritual battle. It has its rewards, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of holiness and truth.

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