Does God let people who He does not call to be a priest become a priest?

I am currently discerning a vocation to the priesthood. It would be helpful to know this.

God’s ways are not our ways. Maybe the person didn’t think they were being called but they were.

We all have a vocation in our lives. Some of us have two. If we discern and come to a mistaken conclusion, our marriages or holy orders aren’t invalid or illicit.


Nothing happens unless God wills it but at the same time, he doesn’t keep us from ourselves. He also happens to be a rather good craftsman - working with whatever material He’s given no matter what the quality.

In his excellent book, The Priestly Life Msgr Ronald knox contemplates this very question, drawing a parallel with the Gibeonites in the Book of Joshua, who tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them and thus sparing their lives. As Knox puts it:

At to whether God meant you to be a priest, stop worrying. He certainly means you to be a priest now; your priesthood is contained, if not in his antecedent will, at least in his consequent will. You may have crept in under false pretenses like the Gabaonites, but he is faithful to his word, and he promises us the graces we need for our state of life as long as we do our part. He wants you, now, to be a priest, and a good priest.


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