Help with Discernment

Hello all! Just to make one thing clear, I know that I am not entitled to the priesthood and what I become in life is up to God. Putting that aside…

I need help with discernment. I know most people will tell me to pray but what can I do besides pray? How do I know if I am truly called to the priesthood? I want to do more that is focused on work/activity in the Church. I’m currently an altar server and go to spiritual direction once or twice a month. I’m debating if I should join a youth group at my parish, should I? I wish I could help Father more or something. For example, my good friend who is 15 has a vocation too and his priest made his Master of Ceremonies so he gets to serve Sunday mass twice. I want to get more invovled in the Church both locally and in the diocese. :/Gah, I have so many question and so many wishes. I feel like I’m being selfish, am I? I may be very young to some but I think I’m pretty matured in my faith compared to all my “Catholic” friends.Am I being judgmental?

Anyways, please pray for me so that I might get an answer in my discernment. :confused:

I also want to take prayer request, I want to pray for people if they need so if you want me to pray for you daily, please PM me or something.

OH also, if anyone recalls my threat about how unserious my Confirmation Classes seem to be. The director of that department-?-Talked to me today after mass and asked me if I liked the class because she said she knows I’m a serious person. She said we’ll leave it like this for this year and if I still don’t like it by the end of the year, she can move me to the class for adults.

Sorry to be annoying, but if there is anyone else who has a vocation and is a teen, can you add me? I want to have someone else my age to talk to about our faith. :slight_smile:

Remember that you can always edit your post and not make new ones (so that you know in the future). :slight_smile:

I’m 17 and discerning (so I will add you, I am too glad to have yet another person to talk to about this). What I do, and I recommend to you too, is to confess regularly and go to mass every day if you can (it’s still summer in Croatia, so no school to bother you, but I honestly don’t know how it goes in the USA). This is something that my priest recommended to me.

I honestly don’t know how it’s called in English, but here in Croatia we have “ministrante” (ministers?), usually aged 10-18 or so. They assist during the mass, try becoming that. I can’t because of some parent issues. :frowning:

You’re not being selfish, you just want to be helpful and grow in your faith and discernment (so do I). And on the judgmental thing, try not to think that way, even though it will often be true.

First:

Pray.

And research the subject, learn all you can about it.

Think a lot about it.

Ponder it.

Study.

And pray. :slight_smile:

Then think and study some more.

Next:

Repeat all the above. :wink:

God bless you!

I need help with discernment. I know most people will tell me to pray but what can I do besides pray? How do I know if I am truly called to the priesthood? I want to do more that is focused on work/activity in the Church. I’m currently an altar server and go to spiritual direction once or twice a month.

The discernment process does not end when one enters a seminary, in regards to priesthood. It is a lifelong process of discovery of what is God’s will for us. In addition to prayer, one way is to look at your “interests” and hobbies.

** I’m debating if I should join a youth group at my parish, should I?**

Only you can answer that. It is primarily a religious group or a social group or both. Can you just have “fun”? Do you like being with people your own age?

I wish I could help Father more or something. For example, my good friend who is 15 has a vocation too and his priest made his Master of Ceremonies so he gets to serve Sunday mass twice. I want to get more invovled in the Church both locally and in the diocese.

Most of what a priest does is OUTSIDE OF MASS. A priest’s week can involve visiting the sick, comforting families, listening to married couples and their problems, working with parishoners at meetings, etc. bringing the presence of Christ to those who are hurting in this world (that’s called evangelization) without wearing vestments and having master of ceremonies around him. If you want to get more involved in the Church’s work you can volunteer at a soup kitchen, at a hospital, etc. There is an area of discernment to speak with your spiritual advisor.

:/Gah, I have so many question and so many wishes. I feel like I’m being selfish, am I? I may be very young to some but I think I’m pretty matured in my faith compared to all my “Catholic” friends.Am I being judgmental?

Well, if you are so “mature in my faith” then how you would you deal with the youth group?
Also what does “mature in the faith” mean? That you are a “church mouse” (always in church, ignoring everything else in your life – family, friends, studies that are not church related? Even though you may never say a word, walking into a group with a superior attitude will be noticed by the group, and no one likes to be judged.

No, you are not selfish, you’re 13 going on 14. You want everything now when you probably have a lifespan of 70 years – and God will reveal himself in HIS time frame, not yours.

I must say, you’re pretty young. A few years younger than me and given what you feel to be your vocation, I’ll add you. It’s always nice to dialogue this; the more alike is God plan for certain people, the more easily connected they get to be. Noticed that endlessly since I’ve gone back home to Rome.

About the discernment process, it’s really a matter of waiting for God to give you signs, and be patient later on. Reflect on the life of a priest, focus on the good and (especially) on the bad. Look inside yourself, see what you’re made of, your physical, mental and social capabilities with people, and if God was choosing you for whatever vocation, why would He do that instead of picking your neighbor. After getting all of that straightened up, pray. A lot. You need your relationship with God and earn the intimacy to trust Him to deal with either good and bad news, depending on your expectations. Remember, you’re young, and you’re going to take a lot of time to be sure. Besides, having a career first gives the priests life experience, and they usually have better skills on preaching and giving guidance to people.

Remember one thing as well. There are about 400,000 priests in the world guiding over 1.2 billion faithful. That’s less than 1% of our demographics, that can be considered an example of how the odds may be considered against you. Be patient, and pray to God for signs in the world. If you want to talk more. I’ve added you as a friend. Feel free to send me a PM. :thumbsup:

Well, if you are so “mature in my faith” then how you would you deal with the youth group?
Also what does “mature in the faith” mean? That you are a “church mouse” (always in church, ignoring everything else in your life – family, friends, studies that are not church related? Even though you may never say a word, walking into a group with a superior attitude will be noticed by the group, and no one likes to be judged.

I simply meant that I’m not ignorant of my faith. :confused:

Thank you all for the responses. :thumbsup:

You aren’t annoying. You’re discerning! You’re supposed to ask questions and look for answers. Don’t ever be afraid to ask a question. Something I learned the hard way is that the only stupid question there is, is the question you didn’t ask.

Btw, I added you, and sent you a PM. Much Love!

Good start.

Discernment is a process. Don’t expect to get a solid answer for a long time. Don’t expect an angel to appear with a scroll and reveal God’s will.
The best way I can describe it is, that in a healthy discernment there will always be doubt. But, if you’re truly called to be a priest, as you go along, there will slowly be less and less doubt about it.
One of the best illustrations I can use is a young priest-friend. He’s been ordained for about five years, he excels pastorally, spiritually, and intellectually, and he’s a fine priest. But, he still says that he sometimes has doubt. One of the best things he does is that when someone asks him “When did you decide to be a priest?” and he responds “This morning, when I woke up.” He uses this to show that it’s a matter of constant decision making to continue in his vocation.

Have you asked your pastor if there’s anything more you can do? Serving at Mass more is certainly an option, but there’s also other ways to become more involved, besides participating in your parish’s liturgical ministries more. You could shadow the pastor one or two days, and see what the life of a priest is. You could participate in different parish groups, or groups in the diocese.
One of the best things you can do is contact the Director of Vocations in your diocese, and tell him that you’re discerning. Many dioceses have groups of men that are discerning which meet monthly or bi-monthly, for prayer and socialization. If you become part of such a group, they will be your support on your discernment journey!

It’s certainly not entirely selfish to want to do more, but I would recommend you examine your motives on why you want to be more involved. This could be an interesting avenue for spiritual development. If it’s a matter of prayer, or work in the community, you should try to foster that. If it’s a matter of pride, still become involved, but take the role of servant. (I always recommend the Litany of Humility, it can be found online).

Will do!

God Bless you in your journey… Religious Life is a beautiful life… Not always easy (but no path is) yet it is very rewarding.

Priests bring God to His people. How much closer can one get to God here on this Earth than that? What joy!

Even in the Seminary you are not committed. You could leave if you feel the need. But without trying you would never know what could have been, and you may live in longing for years to come.

Courage is a great virtue to pray for especially during a period of discernment. And join the youth group! Its can’t hurt! I enjoyed the youth group I was in.

You will be in my prayers. God Bless!

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