I do not know what to make of it. Long story short, my great-grandmother was buried today, she was 95 (and a half). She suffered a stroke three days before my birthday and it was all downhill from that. I deeply love and miss her. Now to make a much longer story even shorter, I have been discerning diocesan priesthood ever since I was little, in part due to my grandma. Needless to say, she would cart… well carry me to all her neighbors homes and I got to know a lot of them. A lot of people have flat-out said to me that I would make a good priest. Like A LOT of people. The area she lived in (and I lived in up until a few years ago) is very Italian and Catholic, called “The Hill”. I remember “playing mass” at grandma’s house (she made a good congregation and EMHC ). At the funeral this morning, a lot of people told me that I would make a good priest, and I know that my great-grandma would as well. Right before the mass, I made a eulogy… straight from my heart. I don’t know what got into me, I was nervous at first but talking in front of all of those people, praying with my family and friends, etc… was very very wonderful for me. At the short service right before her burial, the deacon who accompanied us (and grandma) to grandma’s grave let me read some of the prayers… and let me tell you… I was so natural doing that. Everyone congratulated me and told me about what a fine job I did. My great-uncle (my great-grandmother’s son) said he had visions of me preaching . What is my question you may be wondering? Well mainly I just wanted to share my experiences, my thoughts, etc… about today. I do have a question… what would it take for me to be truly and undoubtedly sure that I am called to the priesthood (or not)? Thanks for reading such a long post… God bless!
I've browsed vocation discernment's before, and one of the top criteria was public encouragement! Based on your post, I'd say there is a strong chance you are being called to explore the priesthood.
The next step I suppose would be to contact your diocese vocation's director. He'll be in a position to guide you through discernment.
I remember once pretending to celebrate a mass during a severe snow storm on a holy day of obligation when I was about 8, and lately could image myself delivering homilies and providing counsel in the confessional. However, I've also always dreamed about raising kids, and based on a few conversations, my hometown priest suggested fatherhood was probably my vocation. When I stop and really reflect on this, I do think its my calling.
But if you can take a deep breath, and relax, and still feel the calling, then you got to explore it. My diocese's vocation's director was also my college's chaplain, and was a very approachable guy. Hopefully yours is too.
Remember to lean on your family and community. If this is God calling, then they will move mountains to you get there. If it isn't, the experience will still bring you closer to Christ.
You know very well what others think. However, your vocation is your own. Do you have a strong, unflinching desire to deny yourself, take up your cross, forego all that this world has to offer, and follow Christ? Will you accept the suffering that comes with it? Discerning a call to vocation is often an agonizing and protracted experience. I suggest that you reflect on this, spend time before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and allow the Holy Spirit to illumine you. Check into 'Quo Vadis Days' events in your diocese - they are directed at those who are discerning a vocation. It may take minutes, months or years to receive your answer - but it remains a conversation to have with God.
Praying for your discernment.
I think someone already said this but remember that a vocation is a love affair between God and a human and it is very personal. Also from my personal experience one can't know for one hundred percent sure until you've taken vows one way or another. Just trust in Him and live for the moment. He will let you know when you need to know I promise!
You are in my prayers
I think you better be prepared as grandma storms heaven with prayers for your vocation.
I believe Bishop Rice is still the VD for the archdiocese of St. Louis. His office phone is 314-792-6460.