I've been avoiding this forum, why?

Can anyone tell me why I have a persistent desire to be a priest and an equally persistent belief that I am not strong enough? Just this past week I visited a priest for reconciliation. The priest really took his time with explaining things to me about forgiveness, and didn't show the slightest traces of judgment in his demeanor or even involuntarily in his facial expressions or eyes during the reconciliation. It's not that unusual, but I perceived a particular grace in him. I am sure that I am changed by this encounter. I went to the church to do my penance and after saying the appropriate prayers, crossed past the altar (still in the nave) and bowed before the crucifix before exiting the center aisle. It was so entirely liberating. There was another man in the church praying and I wasn't ashamed of my penance or bow or even embarrassed (something I suffer from a lot).

I now know that I am in too much of a rush all of the time. Yet there is more here than realization of being rushed.

Can someone please comment to me in this thread.

I am not a man, but I can respond to you as a parent watching my child do things they are avoid. My answer is fear...when you know something is going to make a significant difference in your life, you avoid it.

I think I can relate, you have a desire to be a priest, but sometimes we worry whether or not we can really give God our all when we do it. And we wonder whether or not we can make that difference in the people's life's. I am just guessing that is what you meant.

There is a verse I heard recently, I forgot what it exactly said or where it is in the scriptures, but it basically says that we should not worry what to say, and thay the Holy Spirit will come through us and we will know what to say. Hopefully this makes sense.

Basically we have to trust in God and the Holy Spirit. And the seminary is there for formation. We all are imperfect and we need that formation time.

I think it was to Saint Stephen and is found in the Acts of the Apostles?

I don't feel worthy to be a priest. I am sure no one does. If we were worthy to be priests than why would we need to have seminary? and 5 to 12 years of formation? Do you feel attracted to priesthood? I did 5 years ago. I gather you are in your early 40s as your username suggests. I just turned 41 and was accepted. It is becomming more of a normal thing. I would stop listening to the evil one and just do it. talk to your diocese and your vocation dirctor. if they want young young young,, there are as I always say many many diocese that will take on a second career vocation. there are plenty of us. we are not the abnormal anymore. If you feel called it is natural to be scared feel unworthy (because we are!!!!) Get past it and accept that we are weak and Christ will give us strength. Not us. Don't let your fears get in your way. go for it:thumbsup: Scoob.

[quote="Michael19682, post:1, topic:250398"]
Can anyone tell me why I have a persistent desire to be a priest and an equally persistent belief that I am not strong enough? Just this past week I visited a priest for reconciliation. The priest really took his time with explaining things to me about forgiveness, and didn't show the slightest traces of judgment in his demeanor or even involuntarily in his facial expressions or eyes during the reconciliation. It's not that unusual, but I perceived a particular grace in him. I am sure that I am changed by this encounter. I went to the church to do my penance and after saying the appropriate prayers, crossed past the altar (still in the nave) and bowed before the crucifix before exiting the center aisle. It was so entirely liberating. There was another man in the church praying and I wasn't ashamed of my penance or bow or even embarrassed (something I suffer from a lot).

I now know that I am in too much of a rush all of the time. Yet there is more here than realization of being rushed.

Can someone please comment to me in this thread.

[/quote]

Sorry, no comment.
I think everything is clear and cut and there is nothing to comment.
The only thing it seems you reflect too much on details, the priest's face, and so on, everything is detailed. That "ashamed": are you timid?
No one is strong enough to be a priest. I would say that you need mature. Live and let live and enjoy life.
How old are you?
If God wants you to be a priest, you'll be if not you'll be not. So let it in His hands and relax.

[quote="DarrenOglesby, post:3, topic:250398"]
There is a verse I heard recently, I forgot what it exactly said or where it is in the scriptures, but it basically says that we should not worry what to say, and thay the Holy Spirit will come through us and we will know what to say. Hopefully this makes sense.

[/quote]

Perhaps, this one?

Matthew 10:19-20
New International Version (NIV)
19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

[quote="Michael19682, post:1, topic:250398"]
Can anyone tell me why I have a persistent desire to be a priest and an equally persistent belief that I am not strong enough? Just this past week I visited a priest for reconciliation. The priest really took his time with explaining things to me about forgiveness, and didn't show the slightest traces of judgment in his demeanor or even involuntarily in his facial expressions or eyes during the reconciliation. It's not that unusual, but I perceived a particular grace in him. I am sure that I am changed by this encounter. I went to the church to do my penance and after saying the appropriate prayers, crossed past the altar (still in the nave) and bowed before the crucifix before exiting the center aisle. It was so entirely liberating. There was another man in the church praying and I wasn't ashamed of my penance or bow or even embarrassed (something I suffer from a lot).

I now know that I am in too much of a rush all of the time. Yet there is more here than realization of being rushed.

Can someone please comment to me in this thread.

[/quote]

The persistent desire is God's calling, the belief that you are not strong enough is human nature. Prayer and fasting will help overcome your human nature. It sounds like you will make a great Priest.

God Bless you

Fasting. That's difficult for me. I think it must be because as a child I was always praised for eating healthily. Mangia! Fortunately I stayed a reasonable weight for most of my adulthood and even now. Was a vegetarian for 8 years. You are right about fasting, I suspect. Just how to fast I can't figure out.

How will it help me discern? I know about Jesus in the desert and the temptations he faced. But how does it help---something that must be experienced??

Hello Micheal,

If this is your name it means-Who is like God? or Who is God but God?

Your own name answers your own question.

I would suggest you go talk to the Priest you went to Confession with or another Priest you can relate to and have a chat with him. That is what gave me the most confidence-speaking to someone who lives the life I think God is calling me to. Work with him a little. Get to know him. You will feel drawn to his work, his life, his sacrifices, joys and sorrows or you will feel drawn elsewhere. You work with a carpenter to see if its your trade.

Remember, God does not call those who are able, He makes able those He calls. He does not call the qualified, He qualifies the call, meaning he gives you what you need as you do what He asks. You do not make yourself a Priest, a good spiritual Father any more than a holy catholic biological one, or a holy single consecrated person, no self-made Saints. That is everyone's starting point and ending point: Humility. God gives you what you do not have and makes you what you are not. Talk to a Priest about it. That is what I did. Now, I've been a Priest for five years and wish I could of been one as soon as I could of. Don't let fear hold you back, as was told you, you have nothing to lose but your pride and self-love or your self-image. You have everything to lose if you don't give it a fair chance. Jesus will keep hounding you from heaven, with holy harrassment...He will keep poking you on your spiritual Facebook, leaving messages and filling your voicemail until you answer Yes or No. Answer the call. I'll pray for you.

Fr. Dominic

I'm not sure that anybody could honestly think of themselves as "worthy" to be a priest. Is anybody truly worthy to be allowed to exercise God's power to change the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Saviour? I know I'm not!

Micheal,

I just wanted to add, what I meant to say in the first place, as it usually happens. What matters is not to feel worthy, but to know you have been chosen and to trust He knows what He's doing and Father knows best, Mother Mary, Mother Church knows what is best for you, not you. Love is a decision, a certainty, a conviction, a laying down of your life, not a feeling of holiness, or worthiness or hidden self-satisfaction due to my success and accomplisment. -I do not feel worthy to be a Priest, and I feel less worthy every day, by the grace of God. The day I feel worthy, I should run to my Bishop and ask for professional help, counselling and spiritual direction and Deliverance prayers and yes, Exorcism prayers, just to make sure. On the other hand, I feel more and more convinced that I have been chosen, and I rejoice in my weakness, poverty, misery, wretchedness, feebleness, helplessness and uselessness. I am God's Zero, not a hero. Pray the Magnificat in Luke, What does Our Lady sing? She is the only worthy creature because she sees her nothingness and rejoices in it. The Lord has looked down upon my nothingness, The Lord has worked wonders or marvels for me, and Holy is His Name.(Note she does not say Holy is my name or speak about the wonders she has done for God-the beatitude of Mary-Her way to be, her attitude of being. Why not let the Lord work a wonder or two for you?as He has for me. Then you will feel the worthiness of the call, not your own righteousness, self-righteousness, but Jesus, Who is always right in His choice of Priests.

The more I decrease, the more He increases in me. A full cup cannot be filled. We must empty ourselves daily, to be full of God, or be full of ourselves. Read about what the Saints had to say about themselves and note their joy in saying it-what freedom to stop making God in our image who made us in His image! Read about Saint John Vianney in particular tomorrow and Saint Francis and Blessed Mother Teresa: If the Lord could find a more miserable person to glorify His Mercy, he would...If He can find a more available soul, less self-absorbed, less preccupied with wanting to succeed with pride, a poorer, humbler soul more empty of self, then He will be able to do so much more good and have less resistance to deal with...less mistakes to correct and messes to clean up, etc. to paraphrase the Saints in their attitude of living in the Divine Will with a smile, abandoned to the hands of Providence in the Present Moment.

Priesthood is not feeling worthy or holy, but allowing Jesus, the Good Shepherd to live His Holiness and Love and Light and Mercy in you, with you, through you and yes, for you and others too. The Gospel is worthy, you are a bearer of Good News, we are the earthen vessels, the jars of clay that hold the Saintly Scroll, the enveloppe of God's Love Letter. Unfortunately, the envelope is sealed and stuck to its own self-importance and forgets, you are only worth as much as the treasure you contain, hidden in the field, the pearl of great price.

In short, you will feel not feel worthy of God's love for you, the more He does for you, but you will accept His great overwhelming love for you in all humility and respond to it and repay unconditional merciful with absolute loving trust, total surrender and cheerful obedience to this Love. You will be willing to suffer with a smile as you look at yourself through Jesus and Mary's eyes and say: Yep! It's all worth it for Jesus. I would not have chosen myself, but because You chose me, You believe in me, You want me, You choose to need me, I will go. Nothing out of self-love, all for Jesus, Jesus is all for us. It's not about deserving God's love or not, it's about accepting this undeserved love if you will, and acting upon it; definitely not rejecting this love, this chance of an eternal lifetime, out of self-preservation, to protect my ego from failure, a total cop out.

Fr. Dominic

I would suggest you go talk to the Priest you went to Confession with or another Priest you can relate to and have a chat with him. That is what gave me the most confidence-speaking to someone who lives the life I think God is calling me to. Work with him a little. Get to know him. You will feel drawn to his work, his life, his sacrifices, joys and sorrows or you will feel drawn elsewhere. You work with a carpenter to see if its your trade.

I think I will do just that. How do the French say, Que sera sera?

Thanks You Father Dominic,

Michael

[quote="Mark1970, post:11, topic:250398"]
I'm not sure that anybody could honestly think of themselves as "worthy" to be a priest. Is anybody truly worthy to be allowed to exercise God's power to change the bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Saviour? I know I'm not!

[/quote]

I read somewhere today that fear of being unworthy is apparently the number one reason given by people contemplating the possibility of religious vocation but not really taking any concrete steps forward.

It's not a matter of worthiness.

It's a matter of willingness.

Hang in there, pray, and speak your soul to a trusted spiritual advisor.

And above all, have faith. :)

What is said above is true,

The number one reason for anyone missing out on their vocation is the feeling of unworthiness without willing to trust God all the same. One mask of false humility and self-love. When Saint Thomas Aquinas was asked by his Sister to summarize how to become holy or how to become a Saint, in a few words, he said: Will it. When asked what was the most important thing to obtain in life to be happy, he answered: A good death. There we have it. Do now what you suspect is from the Lord, what you would regret not doing if you were on your deathbed. We are obliged to try in good conscience. To be or not to be, a Saint, that is the question.

Feeling unworthy without trusting God Will grows into resent finally and bitterness and rage and despair or presumption, in the final analysis. Simply because we judge ourselves by our own standards to conclude, I'll never be good enough or I'll always be good enough, according to me. We end up settling for less or something different than what God intended for us, anything but what we sense He is calling us to. We tailor the call and adapt it to suit our selves, we respond on our own terms. We negotiate and we bargain.

Humility and obedience and charity avoid these pitfalls. Charity is Faith in Action, the fruit of humility and obedience. Your actions will not lie, the Priest will tell you if you are cut out for this vocation or not. You submit yourself to the judgement of the Church who tells you. The Lord calls and the Church confirms the call. Just as a writer submits all he thinks on paper to the Magisterium for the Imprimatur, you submit your calling to the Church and She will tell you if your call is authentic or not. We need only pray, work, rest , play and obey with childlike trust.

The French do not say Que sera sera, that is Spanish, yet, it could work for French too.

Fr. Dominic

Another quick analogy,

Just as the Apparitions in Greenbay, Wisconsin were recently approved as being of supernatural origin, the Authority of the Church will confirm your call and tell you what is of God and what is not. When you respond to a call, you offer yourself and lovingly, trustingly submit to the Authority of the One who calls you. He will tell you if He chose you to be a Priest, if you heard right. When discerning, we must be like the blind man of Jericho who called out to the Lord because he felt the Lord's Presence and saw His goodness, more than those who followed him who could see. Jesus sent the disciples to get him...then, face to face, the Lord asked him what he wanted. You want to see, He will grant it, and make you see as He sees and you will know.

Fr. Dominic

Went to see the priest who gave me reconciliation. He smiled gently and said a few words about himself and that late vocations are common. Said to come back in 3 to 4 months if I still have the desire. He is only visiting the parish but gave me the name of another priest to speak with when I come back.

Strangely, I never had the chance to tell him that I am taking a graduate level course in psycho social and political aspects of disability this fall. It will end in December, about the time he said to come back. Truly God knows everything. I was prepared to leave for seminary right then and there if I was asked to; but it would have been awkward informing the school of my leave before even commencing the course. I guess this answer was perfect. I really was happy that he smiled. He will of course pray for me.

[quote="Michael19682, post:17, topic:250398"]
Went to see the priest who gave me reconciliation. He smiled gently and said a few words about himself and that late vocations are common. Said to come back in 3 to 4 months if I still have the desire. He is only visiting the parish but gave me the name of another priest to speak with when I come back.

Strangely, I never had the chance to tell him that I am taking a graduate level course in psycho social and political aspects of disability this fall. It will end in December, about the time he said to come back. Truly God knows everything. I was prepared to leave for seminary right then and there if I was asked to; but it would have been awkward informing the school of my leave before even commencing the course. I guess this answer was perfect. I really was happy that he smiled. He will of course pray for me.

[/quote]

:blessyou:

Keep us informed

Thank you all for your encouragement and counsel in this matter. I am no closer to this particular calling than before, indeed, perhaps farther away. My faith in God has grown over the last few months since putting up this thread and making an appeal for help. I consider that a blessing. I looked over all of your posts before providing this update for those who remain interested. With the forums in danger of financial insolvency, I thought to do this now along with an appeal to those who can, to give. I gave as generously as I could. I think this issue is far more important to a far greater number of people than the details of my calling or not calling. Nevertheless, I sometimes get discouraged by my own lack of resolve to do anything. God bless those priests who serve faithfully. I offer my prayers for the forums to continue, please do the same.

Call me odd, but I am very glad that you want to be a priest (for obvious reasons) and just as equally happy that you do not think you are strong enough.

By not feeling strong enough, this helps strengthen your trust in Christ. You are realizing you can not do this on your own and are learning humility. Consider this one of God’s blessings to strengthen your relationship between you and Christ.

You aren’t strong enough. No one is. But ask Jesus for His strength.

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