You’ll forgive me if I’m asking for advice in the wrong place, but frankly, I am afraid and unsure and the only people I feel comfortable talking to this about are not knowledgeable in the subject, and those that are, I am unsure if I am ready to have this conversation yet.
For years, three or four, all I ever really wanted was to be a priest. I am not certain as to where the idea entered into my head, or when, but it did. I was so certain in this desire that it seemed somewhat unnatural to me - most others, obviously, acted with scorn and derision. Despite this desire, I must admit that I still acted in a way that did not behoove the vocation I believed I possessed, but I went to confession and struggled and tried to defeat the sins that I struggled with, and always, I felt called to be a priest.
I went through the entire process - and, for those of you who have undergone it, you know well that the application process can be a long one - without a single reservation. I did it all and I was happy to do it - the only fear that I had was that I would be rejected. And then I was accepted. And I felt exuberant, and excited, and eager, and glad.
And then, a gathering, three days long, of myself and all my diocesan brothers was held at the seminary, where we gathered in fellowship and prayer and filled out lots of business forms. It was wonderful and I loved it - I loved being able to go to mass each day, to say the Liturgy of the Hours. But then, suddenly - and I truly wish that I had never had this thought, or that it had come earlier - I somehow decided that I did not want to be a priest. I tried to force the thought back throughout the weekend and through the following week - it just kept resurfacing, each time stronger than the last. I very strongly want to be married and I likewise feel like there are other things I’d rather do with my live - namely, archaeology - than pastoral work or anything else.
I am very sad, because I have long thought that I had a vocation to the priesthood. But more than that, I feel guilty, because I am moving into the seminary within the week! I do not think that this is my vocation. Some have suggested, and I am considering, just ‘giving it a semester’, and to see if I still feel this way. Is this a good idea? Or am I being dishonest with myself and with the seminary in sticking around any longer than I need to discern my vocation? Keep in mind that the Diocese is paying for my enrollment, and it’s quite a heavy tuition because the seminary is attached to a college.
Please, pray for me, and give me whatever advice you can spare.