I am discerning a vocation to the priesthood, and have since my first Mass one and a half years ago. There was a break, when I pushed it down, stifled it, because I liked a girl. We've been in a relationship now for 1 year. I hate seeing her hurt. I can no longer ignore the pull -- I have to figure out if the priesthood is truly what God wants. I don't care if it's hard, if it's sacrifice. The only thing I care about that stands in the way is my desire not to see my girlfriend hurt.
I hurt her last night. She asked me why I've been so distant lately, and I told her. She began to weep. We were on the phone for three hours, mostly to try to get her to calm down. During the conversation, she admitted that she could easily see me as a priest. When she wept, I told her that I wished I could bear her pain for her, that I could take up her suffering and place it on my shoulders. Just as I wish I could take my mother's cancer upon myself, and my brother's ALS. When the conversation ended, I decided to sleep on the floor, even though my bed was perfectly fine. I do that sometimes, the nights I am not in a state of grace, or the nights when I try to hear God's voice. The next morning I rarely eat much, just enough to satisfy my parents and to take my asthma medication. I don't know what to do. I have an appointment set with my pastor in four weeks, and I've gotten into contact with the vocations director of my diocese, as well as the vocations director of a group of Augustinians in my region, and a vocations director of another diocese after invitation to do so.
I'm torn in fear: I don't want to loose her, because we were good friends before we started dating. This part desperately wants the priesthood to not truly be a call. Another part of me wants to take to the vocation, and never let go. I've prayed and prayed and prayed. The more I've prayed for clarity, the more my current situation seems distasteful -- I just yesterday switched my major from English Education to Philosophy because the seminary in my state requires a bachelor's degree (any field) from an accredited university and academically, I have a love affair with Philosophy. The more I've prayed for strength to follow Christ wherever he may lead, the stronger my desire for the vocation has become. I don't want to hear incorrectly: what if these seeming answered prayers are just coincidences? I don't know. For some reason, I feel as if slowly separating myself from her is a sacrifice that I will have to make. For some reason, I know it will not be the last sacrifice I make before all this is said and done. Every time I fall into mortal sin, I feel as if it should have been me on the cross. That I should have died in Christ's place.
I apologize for rambling.