Do I have a vocation to the priesthood?

Until recently, I had been an agnostic/freethinker/skeptic…and then I started praying again while i was on this Catholic youth conference and experienced God a more. Before this, I had definitely felt Gods presence and felt like I wanted to be a priest, but I waved those thoughts away. But until recently, in the last month or two, I have daydreamed about becoming a priest/friar (especially Franciscan). I have always felt really inspired when I heard a priest or seminarian speak to me about the priesthood and now I have a desire to be in it. I feel like I could have some talents to offer, but I don’t fully realize what they are yet. All I know is that I have a great interest In psychology/philosophy and maybe could do that in my life as a consecrated person. And recently, I have had trouble finding God in meditation and prayer (especially the Rosary, which I started praying daily), but I feel like I know him in the abstract. Once again, any help here?

Welcome to discernment! The journey is arduous but the rewards are many.

You are at the point where you need to discern God’s will for you. No-one else can tell you if you have a vocation or not. That is something God will reveal to you if you are open to His will, whether it be the priesthood or consecrated religious life or marriage or whatever. Make sure to cultivate a good prayer life and attend Mass regularly (daily if possible) and go to Confession often. Sacramental graces are so important in discernment. See if you can get a good spiritual director to guide you. You can also see if there are any discernment groups in your diocese or any retreats you can attend, religious communities often have discernment retreats.

And most importantly: be open to wherever He is leading you!

You are in my prayers.

Well thanks, but I still feel that I have trouble listening to him when I pray and meditate. I try to do it in silence and I feel Him, but I can’t neccessarily “hear” him.

I think that you expect to hear him the way you think you hear yourself. My impression is that the holy Spirit is moving you, now you need to yield to Him. Probably the easiest way is to try to find a spiritual director and talk to him. You have a vocation in life, religious life or the priesthood might well be in God’s plans for you.

I don’t think we can determine whether you have calling or not. Please God you do!

I’d find your Spiritual Director, he can determine along with you, if you have genuine vocation! You’ve my prayers!

Sometimes it’s not about ‘hearing’ Him. God speaks to us in a variety of ways. My own vocational calling came to me not in hearing Him as such, but feeling Him lead me. Perhaps you should also try some new methods of prayer to see if those help you listen to God better.

The other thing you may need to ask yourself is if you are truly open to His will? Is there anything you can feel you aren’t really open to? Being closed to God’s will can prevent us from hearing Him properly.

Father Mitch Pacwa has a book called How to Listen when God is Speaking; A Guide for Modern Day Catholics. He is on EWTN all the time and he has a call in radio show on EWTN Radio. He also promptly responds to emails.

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