Greetings and Goodwill through Christ the Lord,God the Father and the Holy Spirit
Excuse me, but I had an interesting thought-one should find their vocations during vacations-I am still a high school student. How long did it take you to discern your vocation? And do you believe God corrects you if you go down the wrong path-aka wrong vocation or refuse some good works.
Hello. I am currently about your age, and I am discerning a vocation to the FSSP. I received my call just a few months ago, but I am absolutely sure that God is calling me to the priesthood. My opinion will not change a few months from now, nor a few years from now.
Some people go into seminary unsure of themselves, whether they feel called to the priesthood. Seminary is a time of discernment. The priesthood forever changes you. It is a life-time commitment that can never be revoked. Once a priest, always a priest. Everyone receives a call in their own way.
You probably cannot discern the wrong vocation. If you start to discern the wrong vocation, God will set you straight. God wouldn’t allow someone He calls to the priesthood or religious life to fall astray.
What are you discerning a vocation to? Are you discerning the priesthood?
One very correct but very unhelpful answer is a life time…
But that be so unwelcoming answer isn’t it but so true even that even for Priests, they may think they know what is happening tomorrow but none of them really know if the Bishop is going to ring them up and offer or hint at another parish or something do they and whilst they still be priest, they do not know one week to the next where their lives may take them as with all of us.
But if it is priesthood you are talking about then first of all a good step would be to talk with your priest who will guide you through and perhaps finding a spiritual director because you will need one at some point that is certain.
If its to join an Order, any Order then again you will need to talk with your priest and again it probably very wise to have a spiritual director as again for the process you will definately need one and I think from the day you make the first phone call about it all to actually becoming a fully fledged member could be about 3 to 4 years as you will work through each stage though no doubt there isn’t a hard and fast rule but the spiritual directors will guide you through those.
If it life in general then each day in itself you are on the journey and within the vocation as a Catholic Christian. Live it to the full and enjoy where you are at and some people like the idea of spiritual direction and some manage to find really good ones that really help you Be with God and others find the task of listening much harder than they realise. Spiritual Directors is a vocation in itself and one doesn’t need to be Ordained. Just very good at guiding which includes listening. One guides rather than leads. But you guide according to where the person is at rather than anything set in stone like on academic courses.
My Spiritual Director said something along the same lines as bben15: your vocation doesn’t go away.
If you are called to something and you wander away from it, you will feel something is wrong. Then you will know to head in the other direction.
So I’d say, don’t fret over your vocation. Take some quiet time, now that you are off school, and do so regularly, and I think God will begin to give you that subtle assurance of what He wants you to do.
I really must urge you against this line of thinking. It isn’t healthy to put our wills before the will of the Father. I can relate and thus understand where you’re coming from, but I feel it may be unhealthy or a vocation. Vocational Directors urge discernment to be a life long experience. A Franciscan Priest told me shortly before I was accepted to the Seminary back in March that a vocation is formed and is not the product of the “awakening”. By that he meant that a vocation, that is, a healthy vocation is not found in one day. It is not found by an “epiphany”.
Such a notion gives way to immature notions that “I say I want to be priest, I’m gonna be a priest” and this is quite saddening. Even the Seminary is an ongoing discernment process. To say that your opinion “will not change” is a very arrogant statement. I urge you to pray earnestly on your calling and your willingness to accept a vocation elsewhere if you are called to do so.
I agree wholeheartedly. He who goes into the Seminary, mind you, as someone “knowing” he is going to be a priest, is troubled and should seek spiritual direction. A primary question asked of a prospective Seminarian is whether or not they would feel free to leave if they felt called to do so. Ask yourself that.
To be honest, I don’t want to be a priest. I wanted to be a doctor. But, I put God’s interests above mine, so if he asks me to commit my life to him, I will. I don’t really expect to be ordained. The priesthood is not a job, it is a way of life. It forever changes you. It is a big commitment that I feel I am too young to make. I’m glad the Church addressed the problems of nepotism that plagued it. The idea of someone receiving Holy Orders just to advance in life makes me sick to my stomach. Ever since I received my possible calling, I’ve vowed to remain celibate. I pray the rosary 3 times a day, usually. Also, I pray the entire Liturgy of the Hours (all the daytime prayers included). Please forgive me, I did not intend to be arrogant. Those who WANT to be priests probably shouldn’t enter seminary. Maybe I should have used different language. I agree, my opinion could change sometime. I’ll be spending the next few years of my life discerning what God wants me to do. I never jump into things. I don’t feel I’m ready to make that commitment, but if God wants me to, I will. The whole reason I joined this forum was to help me on my discernment. Again, please forgive me. I did not intend to be arrogant. I am not selfish. I hate selfishness. I never pray for myself. I always pray for others. Sometimes, when I have a test, I hope I get a B instead of an A, because if I get an A, I’m afraid that Satan will get to me and put a felling of superiority in me. I’m a straight A student, but I wish I had a B once in a while.
As for the question of whether I would leave or not, it would not be up to me, it would be up to God. A vocation is like a seed. Once planted, it never goes away. The question one should discern is: Has God planted a seed in me? For the next few years of my life, I’ll be trying to figure that out.
I agree. God calls us to travel many paths in order to become prepared for the life he calls us to live. People often forget that if a vocation isn’t realized, it means they are letting God down and I believe this is false. Vocations change over the years and if a person trusts God, different experiences never go to waste. For example I know someone whose’s husband felt called to become a priest. He was in seminary for several years until he realized that seminary wasn’t for him. He left, married, had several children and now one of his sons is a priest. The bishop in my area had his MA in business before he decided to become a priest. A well known teacher at my school was a nun for twenty years before she fell in love with her graduate advisor. She left the order, married him, moved to Canada and taught at Concordia University for a good 20 years. She help to found the theology department and taught thousands of students throughout the years. By her leaving the order, she was able to teach at Concordia and inspire her students to become the best they could be. She was a woman that was loved by her students and all those who knew her. I know of another person who was engaged to a man before she felt called to become a nun. She broke the engagement, became a teacher and a spiritual director for hundreds if not thousands of people. In every example, a person’s original calling was different and yet by them trusting God they were able to help others in many different ways.
A vocation is like planting a seed in the right soil in the right spot. It can change over time, and sometimes it can’t. Sometimes plants can thrive in the most harsh climates on earth and sometimes they can’t. Other times, plants thrive best when they are transplanted and moved into new locations.
Loving prayer doesn’t automatically means one is called to become a priest or join a religious order. From the sounds of it, you have some amazing potential for the helping fields because it requires, love, patience, prayer, selflessness and more. We need devoted Catholics in all sorts of helping professions such as doctors, nurses, PAB’s, social workers, teachers etc.
Right now you are young and the best thing you can do is continue to get your marks, pray, and if you have time, get involved by volunteering somewhere such as a hospital and even helping out at your local parish would also help. Good marks and a strong volunteer/ work resume will help to open many doors.
God has a vocation for everyone but one also has to work hard to fullfill it which may mean countless hours of study time and years of schooling.
Be patient, God will show you the way. I am in my early thirties and I still have a lot to learn.
since you ask - about 10 years (actually slightly longer) from initial discernment to entering the seminary with a few interesting detours, false starts and rest stops along the way!
To pick up on what others have said, I am still discerning. I feel called to the priesthood and am happy where I am right now. Of course, I can’t see over the horizon and obviously cannot now what junctions may lie in the road ahead. Still, I’m content to travel the road I’m on and to see where it leads me.