I am currently discerning a vocation to the priesthood and at this stage I feel strongly called to religious life.
The problem is I am easily tempted and often neglect prayer for the sake of worldly pleasure. Some weeks go by and I am totally dedicated to the Lord but then there are days when I am so distracted…money, alcohol, good times, etc, etc,
I know we have to force ourselves to turn our back on unholy things and turn to God but that’s much easier said than done. I also worry my vocation may be threatened if I am not 100% dedicated to Christ.
I attend Mass,and try to integrate Christian teaching into my everyday life but my prayers/meditation often get left out. I do pray, just not as often as I should.
I would really like to hear from others who are also discerning.
I personally am not discerning a little too old at this point in time.I can provide a little advice though.If you are not working with a spiritual director you need to start.If you have not spoken with a priest you feel comfortable with about your thoughts of religious vocation do so.Pray the Rosary daily and ask for guidance from the Blessed Mother.Spend time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.Go to Confession regularly.The discernment process takes time.
You mention alcohol,money good times etc. are distractions some of those activities can also lead one to serious sin,so you may need to evaluate your choices more carefully.Take care and God bless you.
I’m currently in discerning and I know what you mean (minus the alcohol). It’s a struggle and what tends to help is confession and being more involved at Church. At least that’s how it is for me. Just wondering what religious order?
Also remeber that the devil will work his wiles upon you because that is exactly what he wants, to derail any possibility of your becoming a priest because that means he has yet another adversary. Remain steadfast in you prayer life, reception of Sacraments and attendance at Mass and remember that you will always be bombarded with worldly assaults, as will the rest of us (who are not discerning a vocation)
I am also discerning priesthood and am also having a little bit of trouble accepting that if I am called and if I go forward with pursuing this vocation, there are many worldly things that I will have to give up. With me, there are further complications that I won’t go into at this point, but if I were to subtract those complications, I would say that I have come to the conclusion that the only way I can fully dedicate myself to prayer and discerning my vocation (and devoting myself to studies) is if I actually to to seminary.
Obviously, you have to attain some mastery over yourself and denying yourself, or at least show that you are on track for doing so, but I think that, for me, will be the best way for me to complete my discernment.
I hope this helps…you’ll be in my prayers. If you have any other questions feel free to PM me.
I want to share something with you. I am too discerning and fighting temptation. I want you to check out my post on my blog: “Fighting Temptation and Conquering Sin” on: apologetics4catholics.wordpress.com
This has helped me out and I pray it will help you. I updated my blog as well with some discernment techniques that I hope will help you out in your life and for making decisions in anyones life.
Going to Seminary is a continuation of the discerning process so I agree that one may not fully realize their calling until they actually experience the life of a student priest. The drop out rate from seminaries is quiet high but that’s a good thing! It shows that these men have looked into the idea of priesthood and then decided it wasn’t for them. No shame in that.
It confuses me when I hear stories on here of men who were not permitted to enter seminary because they were deemed unsuitable, of course there are situations whereby a candidate would find themselves automatically disqualified from entering due to a variety of factors but surly most would agree that any ambiguity about a persons true vocation should lie with the person themselves rather than those who’s responsibility it is to screen candidates. Why not let them “try it out” in seminary and see if they like it or not. The chances of an unsuitable person ultimately being ordained are low given the fact that the usual period of formation is a whole seven years! By then the candidate and indeed the seminary officials will know if he is truly called to priesthood or not.
I see many similarities between my on story and yours. I can’t help but wonder about the life that would be if I did not become a priest, would I get married? have kids? move to a new country? All this weighs on my mind. Then I think about life as an ordained priest and what that would entail: celibacy, living alone (probably) putting the needs of the community before my own etc.Ultimately what it boils down to is happiness and fulfillment and which type of lifestyle (secular or ordained) would offer you those. For me I believe that priesthood would give me the fulfillment that no other life could ever offer and what really bugs me is that I don’t know why that is. I would love to have children, make loads of money and travel the world but why then would I be contemplating an existence that makes that impossible?
All I can conclude is that the predicament I have outlined above is the perfect explanation of “mystery of faith”. Priesthood is an invitation to serve but ultimately it is, like faith itself, a mystery and the wrong thing to do would be to try and figure it out. So what I am planning on doing is putting my faith 100% in Christ and following him. I don’t know what will happen but right now it feels like not only the right thing to do but also what I was born to do.
“To live without faith, without a heritage to defend, without battling constantly for truth, is not to live but to ‘get along’; we must never just ‘get along’.” Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.