I'm 21 years old, nearing the completion of a bachelor degree, have had a serious relationship in the past which I ended as a result of feeling called to priesthood, and have been a Catholic since birth. My decision to become a priest has always been off and on, sometimes I can get carried away and feel that I would be happy married, but with all the previous relationship experiences I've had and everything I've been through, it just seems like priesthood is what I've been put on earth for (my mother says she's also prayed for it to happen many times after I was saved from a serious illness at birth, she always thought that me being a priest would be the perfect way to thank God).
Anyway, while I'm yet to formally decide or announce anything, I feel that I am getting closer and closer everyday. I don't want to make any kind of announcement prematurely. What I do know is this; thinking about being a priest, especially compared to the alternatives, just seems so right for me. I find myself more drawn to it everyday, and I have been discerning it casually for about a year now or so now. However, I feel that I am perhaps not yet ready to enter the seminary. I still have a long past of issues I need to deal with personally, and teach myself to completely refrain from any sexual urges or activity (still a virgin alas).
My question is how exactly should I be going about helping the process? I hear there is a strict criteria for being considered for acceptance. I am a very spiritual person and always do good where I can, but I am in no way yet involved with my local parish or anything, I just mainly keep to myself. Should I be getting involved somehow? Are there some things I should do to help the process and increase my eligibility? What kind of scrutiny is involved?
I feel that perhaps talking to my local priest would be a better idea but I have never gotten around to it. I know I want to be a priest, and one day probably will, but for now I need guidance and advice. Any help would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!