Hello Everyone. This is my very first post here. Anyways, to cut to the chase, I am planning on going to seminary right out of high school. I have met with the vocation director and have a regular spiritual director. However, I have masturbated several times and watched pornography. I know that this is something that I have just done, purely for the sake of doing it. I feel that I need to confess my sins. I have an appointment for a private confession with my spiritual director. However, will my masturbation not allow me to be a priest?
We all sin----- everyone: lay people, priests, and religious.
However, we should do our best not to and to avoid those things that may lead us to sin.
Remember Jesus’s words to the woman caught in adultery : “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
And then: “Go, and sin no more.”
I have just gone to a vocational retreat (diocesan priesthood if you are wondering) this past weekend. During this time, I had an interview with the Archbishop and the question of whether or not I had problems with pornography was asked (among others which are not relevant).
He said that he did not think I was ready for the Seminary, and I believe him.
So, I do not think you are ready. However, do not lose hope. One of the Priests there was also told to wait to enter until he had, through Christ, overcome his habitual sins. No one can heal like a Priest, yet no one can damage like one either. It is important that you are holy and while we will always sin, I don’t feel one can be a good minister if we are engaging in sinful habits.
Major point is that you are not barred from a religious vocation (Priesthood or Religious [may depend on order]) because you have sinned in the past. God qualifies the called, he does not call the qualified because the only one qualified for the priesthood is Jesus.
Personally, I think it would be more prudent at this point to experience college, get a degree in something that interests you, and then pursue the seminary. This will allow you to gain valuable experience with life, useful in ministry; while at the same time allowing you to mature in your faith.
May God guide you … Praying for you!
I recently wrote an article on sin (you might read it HERE if interested) in which I draw from the teaching of St. Josemaria Escriva. One quote of his in particular I think you’d find helpful:
“You’ve done well, even though you have fallen so low. You’ve done well, because you humbled yourself, because you straightened yourself out, because you filled yourself with hope - hope that brought you back again to his Love. Don’t look so amazed: you’ve done well! You rose up from the ground. “Surge” - “arise” - cried anew the mighty voice - “et ambula” - “and walk!” Now - to work.”
We are all sinners. We just have to repent and try to sin no more.
For your vocations try to experience to enter college and have a job. Experience the life outside first. So when you enter the seminary you won’t say the “What If’s”…