I dont think im good enough for a vocation


#1

i am in a discernment process, speaking with a spiritual director, am currently in a 30 day prayer journey in the Rosary about half way through I think, and praying for both clairty for a vocation and help in regards to pornography, lust, etc…

my question would be for any one else who has been in my shoes…

I am not in a seminary, or in any other process other than discernment…

praying the Rosary has helped me in this battle a lot, but it is a two way road i feel like i am either not trying hard enough or not doing something right , i am in another support group and have been learning alot in regards to addiction, the signs there of, and different methods of recognizing when and why urges arise.

so i guess why would i be feeling a call towards a vocation with this demon/problem in my life ?

i dont even feel like i can begin to go the next step and contact a vocation director at the end of the summer which is what i would like to do, but i dont know if i can convince myself that it is going to be okay with this in my life or being a problem as it is now.

I am hoping that things change drastically when in a seminary or entering into a brotherhood, i know it did when i entered the army, whether or not one wanted to you were getting up an out of bed one way or another when you are told to do so…

I know the life isnt that drastic but i would like to think that the environment/ the education process, the process of prayer and continuing discernment one goes through entering into a vocation makes the struggles with pornography a bit easier , if not just fade it away so far to a distant memory of a life long ago.

i know it isnt the worst of all sins n the world but then again n the eyes of God, they are probably all equal really.

And so there is my dilema, for me this is the ugliest part of my life, it doesnt consume me every day all day and night , but it is there, it has been there a majority of my life and i have won some major battles against it, but i feel that the final battles are still ahead and im nervous…

I have all these problems it seems to me, i feel like such a screw up in life at times, and i have this demon on my back, and im asking God really ? I am actually having thoughts of a vocation ? This has to be a joke, I have to be imagining all of this.

So if God is pushing me, i am pushing back, im going to a retreat in July, I hope to find more answers, I look forward to going to this Monastery, should be exciting, I know i will be nervous…

so… that is pretty much it i guess, I do not see much in me, other than a life time of Faith in God thus far, an some decent common sense, knowledge that perhaps the Holy Spirit has been kind enough to give me…

put I see this struggle with pornography, lust being a real problem // either way i am exhausted with it right now, im not tired of praying, im tired of praying and failing.

so i dont understand what im doing wrong.

i dont understand why i could even remotely be called to a vocation, i barely see anything worth while in me . I would like to think I could be great in a vocation, but i still struggle.

Hence the retreat… hopefully pushing back will, be me saying hey I am here, im trying to listen, could you please just speak a little more clearly because i dont really understand what you want from me.

I am trying what i can by praying the Rosary daily, and periodically through out the week i will fail, or go for a few days or weeks and boom fail, so again i dont understand what i am doing wrong.

An i just tell myself it hasnt been 30 days yet, give it time, and when you reach 30, ask for 10 more days and go from there.


#2

Bravo that you have embarked on this journey!

I would also suggest the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and possibly of the Sick, as p*rn can be considered an addiction. The sacramentals are to be used in conjunction with the sacraments. Meet with a spiritual director twice a month.

Don’t overdo. Discerning a vocation is a bit much right now. Take life one minute at a time. If God wants you in a vocation, He wants you to be as healed as possible.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#3

[quote="Cloisters, post:2, topic:288366"]
Bravo that you have embarked on this journey!

I would also suggest the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and possibly of the Sick, as p*rn can be considered an addiction. The sacramentals are to be used in conjunction with the sacraments. Meet with a spiritual director twice a month.

Don't overdo. Discerning a vocation is a bit much right now. Take life one minute at a time. If God wants you in a vocation, He wants you to be as healed as possible.

Blessings,
Cloisters

[/quote]

St. John Vianney was "not good enough" for a vocation to the priesthood and yet he became one anyhow. He is now the Patron Saint of Priests!:thumbsup:


#4

If God only called those who were worthy then we wouldn't have any vocations at all. A vocation is a gift and it is made even more wonderful by the fact that it is a gift we are so unworthy of. None of us are perfect. We all have our failures and our difficulties. But we can offer those failures and those weaknesses to God. Many great saints led lives of great sin. Saint Augustine was known for leading a very hedonistic lifestyle, even having an illegitimate child. Saint Moses the Black was a thief. Saint Paul persecuted Christians. Yet all these men went on to become devoted servants of Christ. Feeling unworthy is in some sense a good thing - it shows that you appreciate the beauty and the dignity of the vocation.


#5

John, would any man, knowing what the Priesthood is, consider himself good enough?
Even the first twelve the Lord called had human weaknesses and lapses of fidelity prior to and at the time of His death when He personally most needed their loving support.

Having a call to pray for priests, this is a prayer I pray on their behalf

Vulnerable human reality

Jesus, You chose Your priests from amongst Your people, yet in the sacramental ‘laying of hands’ You do not perfect us. Like those we serve, we need pardon, healing, prayer and faith as we seek grace to become humble, genuine witnesses of Christ. Through Sacrament and intercession, teaching and act, we encourage and instruct Your people as You call us in our personal human history and reality, to be instruments of Your grace for others.

By your honest expression of rightly directed human emotion, intelligence and personality, You witnessed the wholeness of our nature when creatively lived in God’s love. In Your authenticity as a vital human, You revealed that each person’s salvation is projected around reality, not around some ideal self. Wholeness is found in one’s actual situation with its limitations and advantages. It is offered within one’s true personality in its abilities and handicaps.

Allow us to recognize Your unique expression of love in each other person. Give us the gift of revealing to everyone we meet and serve—the image within him of the glorious, loving beauty of You amid his human frailties and strengths. We thus encourage his trust and affirm his hope in Your patient lifelong molding of him in the overwhelming love of Your personal plan for him.

In us, therefore—who are no less human than any other person—is manifest the wise charity and the gentle humility of Christ, to each person who comes before You in contrition, thankfulness, faith and joy. We thank and praise You Jesus, who shared all weakness of our nature except sin.

Help us to respect and encourage everyone, pardoning those who offend or inconvenience us. In liberty of spirit born of obedience, faith, and of freedom from undue attachments—we allow Your grace and witness to flow through us to others. We trust that You accomplish this even where there is no evidence of Your action.

Please sustain us as generous, inspired instruments of grace for Your continuing mission, as we alert others to the light of the Spirit in their lives. We glorify You, as we daily accept this joyful cross of our priestly ministry, while managing the challenges of our own vulnerable humanity! Thank You Jesus, Who throughout the ages lovingly uses Your imperfect creatures as instruments of love, service, and glory!


#6

Thank you for the replies,,

Very Interesting to read about St. John Vianney, found him on wikipedia and he lived a very amazing life...

there is a lot of truth in everyones replies...

I need to find a way to get past my own hang ups so I can move forward....


#7

Me too, brother! Best wishes and prayers.


#8

Hi,

I have been in a somewhat similar situation, and I’ll say the same thing to you as I have thought about mine: Perhaps God is using your pull to the priesthood/religious life as a means to grow closer to Him.

And that’s exactly what I’ve been thinking for me! I feel pretty strongly pulled towards priesthood or religous life, but I am keenly aware that even if I don’t go through seminary and become a priest, I’ll have become closer to the person God made me to be. This is because in my desire to do God’s will, I have learned to listen to Him and speak to Him, so I have grown in my relationship with Him.

Use your perception of a calling to priesthood as a means of growing closer to God by discerning His will for your life. Pray to always know and accept His will for you! I’ll be praying for you.


#9

I think you are asking the wrong question. No one is "worthy" in the sight of God because we are all sinners and He gives us His grace because He LOVES us not because we are worthy. A vocation is a grace, a calling to serve the Lord in a special way. Is He asking this of you? Some know from early childhood, without question, that's their grace, others have led very sinful lives but God gives the grace of repentance and leads them to Himself. How well do you know the saints? Such a wonderful array of the ways God gives the gift of a vocation. Very few of us do not regret something in our past when we "did it our way.'

God is merciful, we sincerely ask repentance in the sacrament of reconciliation and promise to avoid the near occasions of sin. That's enough for God. He tells us He forgives and FORGETS. I heard of a priest who posted on the door out of the confessional "NO FISHING". God forgives and forgets, we remember and remember and "fish" out our sins and that's our pride working.

One thing I learned and pass on to all I can and that is not to give anyone or anything (sin especially) control over us. We do this when we hash over the past..we play the same "video" ad nausium. Put God in control...that's why we pray for ourselves, in humility we acknowledge our helpessness and this is to His delight. He said 'Without Me you can do nothing" "Ask and you shall receive."

Discernment is everyman's problem. The enemy likes to frustrate us and we often let him. Something else I learned on my journey and that is that we can hear God reveal His will only in SILENCE. We ask and ask and don't wait for an answer. Sit in silence and in solitude and listen. Turn off those "videos" and listen PATIENTLY.

This post is excellent advice.


Bravo that you have embarked on this journey!

I would also suggest the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and possibly of the Sick, as p*rn can be considered an addiction. The sacramentals are to be used in conjunction with the sacraments. Meet with a spiritual director twice a month.

Don't overdo. Discerning a vocation is a bit much right now. Take life one minute at a time. If God wants you in a vocation, He wants you to be as healed as possible.

Blessings,
Cloisters

I would add - do go on retreat an excellent way to practice that silence. Relax and "let go,let God."

God bless you with patience and perservance. Remember God is LOVE. Just love Him in return. Worry is a sign of not trusting Him.

You are in my prayers. All shall be well.

Smile, God loves you.


#10

#11

Thank you for your post; it struck me in my heart because I am going through similar things. Battles with impurity; just began seeing a spiritual director; in recovery from substance addiction. …
One thing that I noticed is that you are shooting for 30 days, and then 10 days…however I think we should just focus on TODAY (that is enough to manage as it is). I’ve begun to apply some of the principles I’ve learned in recovery (just for today) to this impurity/porn thing, and I have hope. Remember: reconciliation gives us a new beginning. Just remember to be grateful for that and live the rest of the day in peace. Don’t worry about the next day until it comes…
Personally, I’m just trying to worry about today, makes it a little more manageable that way…
…and keep praying the rosary.


#12

Perhaps try a 54–day Rosary Novena. That's three novenas (nine days of praying the rosary daily) for your intention and three novenas in thanksgiving (regardless of whether your intention was fulfilled). It's said that this is particularly efficacious.


#13

I .however think we should just focus on TODAY (that is enough to manage as it is).

You’ve learned the secret. Thanks be to God! By permitting us to be tempted God has a providential purpose. He knows how to turn evil into good. That’s what you are experiencing, I do believe. Temptations are not a disaster but a blessing because of God’s grace and our cooperation. Everyone suffers temptations and when one succumbs to them God’s grace is sufficient to stand firm and take the steps to cleanse our hearts to resist in the future. Prayer is our weapon, especially the rosary.

Don’t worry about anything it shows a lack of trust in God’s unfathomable love for you. .Instead say repeatedly “Jesus I trust in You.”

Another way of putting your quote is to live in the present moment, trust tomorrow to God’s grace. God said “I AM” He is in the present moment waiting for us.

God bless you. Perservere no matter what it costs you and you will find the “pearl of great price”. You can do it, God will help.

Didn’t St. Francis of Assisi suffer intensely from temptations to impurity? He had to do great violence to himself to resist but that was God’s way for him. Ask him to intercede for you.


#14

Perhaps try a 54–day Rosary Novena. That’s three novenas (nine days of praying the rosary daily) for your intention and three novenas in thanksgiving (regardless of whether your intention was fulfilled). It’s said that this novena is particularly efficacious.


#15

First, a sobering comment. Please read everything, because the evil one will want you to stop after the first paragraph. Seminary/religious life will not necessarily cure you of compulsions toward pornography. Then again, it might. The temptations will not disappear, but formation may help you. Ultimately, we have to find the source of our sins. Pornography is the symptom, not the root. Seminary/religious life can provide structure to help you combat the tendency, but there is very little formal structure outside seminary. If a man hasn’t learned to recognize, acknowledge, and respond to those urges and temptations, as soon as he is alone in a parish, it will begin all over again.

Now, I can’t serve as your spiritual director, but hopefully I can echo something he has already told you. Many others have already said it: nobody is “good enough” to be a priest. It’s a free gift of God who loves us, and who calls us to holiness in specific ways. Maybe he is calling you, maybe he is not. That is something you discern with your spiritual director.

The evil spirit loves to use the lie: “you’re not good enough.” Well, we have been told otherwise:

As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a child, and if a child, then also an heir through God. (Gal 4:6-7)

Not good enough? YOU ARE A SON OF GOD! I’d say that’s pretty good! He knows what you have done, and he loves you anyways! Jesus walked to Calvary and willingly offered his life, and the evil spirit wants us to turn to Jesus and say, “Sorry Jesus, I think you wasted your time.” See how silly that sounds? When the evil one drives us to despair in God’s love and mercy, then he is winning. Trust in God. He knew you before Jesus was incarnate in Mary’s womb.

Consider asking your spiritual director, maybe after the 30 days, about the rules for the discernment of spirits from St. Ignatius. They may be beneficial, but trust him if he says you’re not ready for them yet–too much information at once can sometimes do more harm than good. For now, just remember that the evil one always wants to drive you away from God to despair.

Finally:

“Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Mt 6:34).


#16

While no one merits being called by God to ANY vocation, and while God graces us in the necessary ways we need to fulfill his call, it is still true that we MUST be have particular strengths and maturities to either have discerned or be able to respond to a genuine call. This means a different level or kind of "good enough." Similarly there are significant situations which constitute an impediment to a particular vocation. With regard to vocations which include consecrated celibacy or any kind of pastoral ministry, addictions to pornography, problems with masturbation or lust, the inability to love in healthy and wholesome ways or to model a heart which is pure (or journeying towards that in clear ways) are definite impediments. One must be able to relate to people in a completely respectful manner as brothers and sisters in Christ. This means one must deal with them through one's' own manliness or womanliness in a way which enhances their own manliness or womanliness and calls THEM to greater wholeness; one cannot objectify them or use them for one's own satisfaction --- no matter how subtly (or clandestinely) such behavior is manifested.

Our Church is dealing with a huge scandel re pedophilia in the priesthood and there is no doubt a number of these men entered with the thought that the formation, the teaching, the prayer, the community, etc etc would take care of their already-existing problems and urges. Some thought the graces of the vocation would change them in fundamental ways. Others thought the discipline, etc would keep things in check. In fact, this not only did NOT happen, the stress and demands of parish ministry exacerbated their problems and we have now hundreds of thousands of victims as a result. Formation and prayer are both intense and demanding proccesses or realities. Trying to live a life when one cannot be transparent about one's strenghths and weaknesses is deadly to any vocation, but at this time in history the last thing the Church needs is seminarians or ministers who are psycho-sexually immature or impaired.

By all means, continue working with your director, continue praying, etc, but seek professional help for the problems you have with pornography and lust, for instance. If you truly believe you are called to priesthood, then you will answer that call by doing whatever is necessary to become well and capable of healthy whole-hearted love. Your response to a vocation begins right now. Sincerest congratulations on the steps you have taken thus far, but please, if you believe you are called to priesthood or religious life do whatever it takes to honor that call as a psycho-sexually mature man. Demanding as this is, it will be an act of great charity and generosity and could be a sign that perhaps you might actually be called.

While no one is worthy of God's love, the fact is that on a whole other level a vocational path is something one MUST be good enough for or one betrays the calling. If, with appropriate help, you cannot heal the problems you mention then your fear is probably on target: in this second way, you are not yet "good enough" to be a priest or religious.

Be assured of my prayers,


#17

thank you for the reply Sister,

it is something i have been thinking about for a really long time, and have been honest with myself about...

my problems in regards to lust, pornography,masterbation etc... is not at the point where it consumes my life , my younger years i would say that it probably did consume me to a degree that i was not aware of, and once i became aware of how was in my life i started fighting to curb and get over major walls.

and i have, and the thing is , even though it is not at some out of control level, it is still in my life, and there in lies my problem, i am smart enough to know that i dont want to become another problem upon the Church, as you have stated in pointing out my thought process to the T....

I see my weaknesses....

but i just dont know how to really deal with it....

does one treat, things as lust, masterbation, pornography, as a sin, an addiction, or both ?

I have self control, i see how when i am in certain situations i can get in the mind set that i need to relieve stress. and i am smart enough to realize that there are a million ways to relieve stress. then enters self control and discipline.

i am thinking that might be what i am lacking to a degree, but i want to be able to understand how to determine if i have a real addiction or not, and if i can at least nail that down solid, and if someone smarter than me can say yes it is , then i am simply not ment for a vocation , and i am willing to accept that.

personally i feel pornography/lust to be a form of demon and not just a trivial sin persay,

psycho-sexually mature, if i am asking myself have i ever used women in life for my own sexual gain, the answer to that is simply no.

but i can also say i have not had a mature sexual relationship either having chosen to obstain from sex, i have to constantly question now has this played a role in this addiction/demon.

then i have to ask myself, how long is this going to take to crack, i mean i could literally spend a lifetime trying to figure this part of my life out not even considering a vocation.

I envy young men who start contemplating vocations at the age of 18 or younger, at least they have more time to work with. it is easier to break bad habits and form a great foundation at a young age, rather than having to break up a bad foundation and rebuild later in life. for me i am 33 yrs old.

But again i am not foolish enough to take someones advise that oh, just go on, get into a vocation, it will just go away.

I am greatful to at least have enough commen sense to know to not go into a vocation with the possiblity that things for me personally in this regard could get worse.

you couldnt beat me with a stick into a vocation if i feel that is the case, and i am not entering into one until i am confident that this issue is gone forever and will never be an issue again.

I am going on a vocations retreat tomorrow, so one step at a time, and i shall return in a week, hopefully with more clairity.

Thank you again Sister,

and thank you to everyone who has stopped by .


#18

[quote="john78, post:17, topic:288366"]
I see my weaknesses.... but i just dont know how to really deal with it....

[/quote]

Ultimately, you can't. Really. You must rely on the strength of God, especially when you think you can't. Sometimes it's a desperate cry for help at the bottom of a dark pit, and it can be truly harrowing. God wants to do everything with us. Everything he gives is a result of his free gift of love.
I'm not making up this stuff on dependence on God:

And so the future priest also, and in the first place, must grow in his awareness that the agent par excellence of his formation is the Holy Spirit...(Pastores Dabo Vobis 69)

Granted, the document refers specifically to priestly formation, but the same is true for all vocations

It was in Christ's weakest moment that he called out to the Father and gave everything to him.

does one treat, things as lust, masterbation, pornography, as a sin, an addiction, or both ?

Both, in my opinion. Pornography and masturbation are a symptom of sinfulness, and the particular sin is the actual fruit of it. The root is deeper. It may be loneliness, isolation, lack of trust, something deep, which the evil spirit wants you to hang on to. It's a lie that he uses to draw us away from God.

I envy young men who start contemplating vocations at the age of 18 or younger, at least they have more time to work with. it is easier to break bad habits and form a great foundation at a young age, rather than having to break up a bad foundation and rebuild later in life. for me i am 33 yrs old.

Heh. 18 year-old men have their own set of problems, and lack of psycho-sexual maturity is often one of them, whether or not it manifests in pornography or masturbation. And sometimes (not always), youth accompanies a certain pride of "I can do this myself." A more mature person may be able to challenge that pride little more readily.
God allows all things for our growth and for the growth of his Church. Sometimes-often-it is hard to see how everything we have suffered can be useful. But if it were not, God would not allow it. He allowed the greatest evil imaginable to occur on a hilltop half the world away because of the good that he is able to bring from it.

i am not entering into one until i am confident that this issue is gone forever and will never be an issue again.

I remember being told by a priest that a certain Saint (I have forgotten which one) said "sexual temptations cease about 5 minutes after death." It will always be an issue, because sexuality is part of our being. It's how God created us, and it doesn't turn off. Ever. Even in death, we are sexual beings. What we have to do is turn our desire and longing for union to our true end, which is with God in Heaven.

I echo what Sister Laurel said. The wounds of pornography can run deep, and can be particularly painful and easy to aggravate. But I try to make a distinction between the common idea of counseling and truly integrated Catholic counseling--and probably Sr. Laurel said the same thing implicitly. There's a world of difference between a counselor who provides coping mechanisms to "deal with" psycho-sexual urges, and a counselor who with the guidance of the Holy Spirit helps the person to dig down to the root of sinfulness and determine where the real pain is coming from. Your vocation director should be able to make a recommendation. I am not trying to over-spiritualize this, but it is inherently spiritual, and I think the temptation for some can be to take either the psychological or the spiritual, or even the biological, side of the equation as a whole.

I am going on a vocations retreat tomorrow, so one step at a time, and i shall return in a week, hopefully with more clairity.

You have my prayers this week. I pray the Holy Spirit strengthens you, guides you, and gives you the courage to follow His will.


#19

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