Not at Peace


#1

Hello all. I've been a long time reader of these great forums but have not posted much.
Well, I would like to present my situation for you in the hopes that I might gain some advice and insight from you wise holy men and women. :)
I am a 43 year old man who has been accepted as a seminarian for my diocese. I've passed all the psych exams, interviews, and physical. The people in my Parish and the diocese are very happy for me and excited about the possibility of me becoming a priest.
I have my bachelors degree and will be entering into a Pre-Theology program at Saint Paul Seminary.
My problem is that I don't feel excited, or hopeful, or any feelings of anticipation or joy about going. I really just don't want to go. And yet I still feel that I am being called. I've read other threads here and see how hopeful, excited, and joyful young men are as they anticipate going into the seminary - and yet I am not feeling those things or dreaming those dreams. Understand that I am constantly in prayer about this. But, God has not granted me any peace or consolation about going into the seminary. If fact, quite the opposite. When I found out I was accepted - I did not feel excited or happy, I just felt fear and despair. This is beyond just normal nervousness about making a change. The last several days I've been literally crying out to God the Father to help me, to bring me peace . . . I've cried so much, I've never sobbed so deeply before in my life. On the floor crying and baling and begging to God for help. Now, I don't believe God directs us by using fear. God, isn't going to "scare" me away from the seminary because it's not what he is calling me to do. Am I correct in thinking that way? Am I not feeling peace about this because I'm not called? Or am I like the rich man in the Gospel who found it impossible to sell his house and all his stuff, leave his family to come follow Jesus? Is God allowing me to suffer in order to prepare me? I'm leaning on God right now but, I can't last much longer. I just won't be able to go if I'm still feeling like this in the days and weeks to come.
I just don't know what to do. Thank you all in advance for you insight. :)


#2

Don't rely on your feelings. It's a common theme on Vocations boards, and in Catholicism in general. This is a calling from God. You don't have to feel warm, joyful or excited. You're probably being real about what is to come and how it will drastically change your life. Emotions change minute to minute, hour to hour. If I relied on how I felt I would be in a constant state of indecision with my vocation, and I was for a while. Now that I have discerned properly and realized it is what God wants, in many ways I am happy etc but only because I want to do God's work. But I still feel on occasion 'repulsed' by the idea, and feel distaste for what I am about to go into. But these are fallen human emotions that struggle and fight against God.

If you do not feel at peace though, perhaps that is a bigger problem. Christ brings peace into our hearts and none more so than when we follow Him and His plan for us. Perhaps speak to your spiritual director about this if you are not feeling at peace.


#3

I will be praying for you. I know the devil sometimes likes to take away our peace. I would counsel you to peservere for a bit yet and see how things go. Do you have a spiritual director in your life, since you are a Seminarian or soon to be, I would recommend getting a priest as your SD.

Have recourse to the Sacraments often as often as you can. Continue leaning on God, beg Him to have the grace to continue leaning on him.

If you need anything feel free to shoot me a PM.

God bless.


#4

Coming from a seminarian-to-be, if God is calling you to priesthood, you will eventually come to meet the obligation with true joy and abounding love.
Fear of doing all these things that a priest does is either an obstacle, or a sign. Satan does not like seminarians, seminarians to be, or any other religious for that matter. He might be giving you a rough time to steer you away from religious life by presenting you with the downsides of the sacrifices that a religious must make.
First, and MOST importantly, pray for God to direct you in your life each and every day. Frequent confession if you're not already, and go to mass as much as you can. The reasoning behind that is God made you a certain way, and very specifically. He designed you for whatever task he wanted you to fulfill, and his will will ultimately make you most fulfilled (if even not at first).
Second, do not fear! God has not assigned you to a life of punishment and terror. God is so wise that he made your true joys to be the things that help lead you to him. You must pray each and every day to find out what his will is. Find what compels you to him, and explore it. Marriage and religious vocation all lead you through the same narrow gate when used properly. The difference is that some people prefer a Chevrolet over a Ford.


#5

[quote="longshot, post:1, topic:245720"]
Hello all. I've been a long time reader of these great forums but have not posted much.
Well, I would like to present my situation for you in the hopes that I might gain some advice and insight from you wise holy men and women. :)
I am a 43 year old man who has been accepted as a seminarian for my diocese. I've passed all the psych exams, interviews, and physical. The people in my Parish and the diocese are very happy for me and excited about the possibility of me becoming a priest.
I have my bachelors degree and will be entering into a Pre-Theology program at Saint Paul Seminary.
My problem is that I don't feel excited, or hopeful, or any feelings of anticipation or joy about going. I really just don't want to go. And yet I still feel that I am being called. I've read other threads here and see how hopeful, excited, and joyful young men are as they anticipate going into the seminary - and yet I am not feeling those things or dreaming those dreams. Understand that I am constantly in prayer about this. But, God has not granted me any peace or consolation about going into the seminary. If fact, quite the opposite. When I found out I was accepted - I did not feel excited or happy, I just felt fear and despair. This is beyond just normal nervousness about making a change. The last several days I've been literally crying out to God the Father to help me, to bring me peace . . . I've cried so much, I've never sobbed so deeply before in my life. On the floor crying and baling and begging to God for help. Now, I don't believe God directs us by using fear. God, isn't going to "scare" me away from the seminary because it's not what he is calling me to do. Am I correct in thinking that way? Am I not feeling peace about this because I'm not called? Or am I like the rich man in the Gospel who found it impossible to sell his house and all his stuff, leave his family to come follow Jesus? Is God allowing me to suffer in order to prepare me? I'm leaning on God right now but, I can't last much longer. I just won't be able to go if I'm still feeling like this in the days and weeks to come.
I just don't know what to do. Thank you all in advance for you insight. :)

[/quote]

Man I am going through some of those same things. I feel like oh my gosh what if I really get accepted, then what do I do. I will miss my home and my stuff!!! then i say so what it is only stuff, then I get excited then I get like right now anxious where I pace the floor because of my phone call I had with the VD. So many emotions that I feel like I am busting through the seams.. Then I have the OH GOSH!! did I say the wrong thing I was a little chatty when asked a question I hope I didn't off put the VD, and then I ask what if I don't get accepted,, So many emotions I am going through. And there are so many good signs along the way. I have so far pased the hurdles, You are not alone and I know how you feel. The feelings are normal. I remember I wanted a job so bad and I hinted and asked if a position ever opens let me know. Finaly the job was offered to me. I was excited then thinking about moving to DC and one day I just got a gut feeling I don't want to do this. It is a real strong feeling much stronger than what you are going through. There are times in my discernment that I wonder this or that. But I still feel guided by God and that he is at the helm. Sometimes I just let God steer and I don't worry about my emotions. I don't want to do the VD's job and upset him or rather offput him,I wait for him to call me or email me and resist all temptations to bother him. So don't worry about it too much. If you get such a strong feeling to the point you get repulsed from it or sick to the stomach then it is something to worry about. Sometimes I get so excited I have to caution myself and temper it down quite a bit. Other times I am not much excited and rather at peace and let it unfold by it's self. but under it all from excitement to letting things go where God wants them and not try to "help" God Whatever I feel I know behind it God is steering the ship and I need to stay out of the wheelhouse.


#6

Be sure to discuss what you are experiencing with a good spiritual director. Whether it is the evil one trying to dissuade you from a vocation, or whether it is God Himself steering you elsewhere you do not yet know for sure.

It is good that you are praying about this; be sure to seek direction as well.


#7

Dorothy beat me with her advice. This sounds like something to bring to spiritual direction. Your director can help you sort through everything that's going on.


#8

I was reading a topic about this in To Save a Thousand Souls, a diocesan priesthood discernment book by Fr. Brett A. Brannen. He noted in one chapter that a "lack of peace" could be a sign from God that maybe you are not called to the priesthood. However, I know of some men who dreaded going into the seminary and hoped the Lord only asked a year for them and they could leave, but those men ended up becoming priests. So, I don't think a "lack of peace" really signifies that you do not have a calling. Satan loves to tempt and make people who are seriously discerning a religious vocation doubt. The very last thing that Satan wants is another priest to fight him. Continue praying the rosary, and ask the Blessed Mother to remove doubts, fear, and anxiety. You will have plenty of time before ordination to discern in the seminary. Remember, the seminary does not mean you are totally committed to the priesthood - you are just in a more stable enviornment for discernment.

God Bless You!


#9

To enter the priesthood is a huge step and a big life change and towards a very big commitment. I would tend to think that getting a bit shaky and doubtful would be nothing abnormal. But I would underscore with other posters that the way to travel is to seek spiritual direction. Since you have been accepted what you need right now is reassurance and probably some questions answered about what you are feeling/not feeling. What you need is spiritual direction.
Not all enter the seminary or religious order with great joy and anticipation and if they do probably it is the honeymoon stage of vocation . . . probably and perhaps. Really, one is taking a step into the unknown more or less, and not unusual to face what is not clearly known and never experienced before with some trepidation and insecurity about it. Remember too that entering the seminary and the first seven or eight years in a religious order are discerning years. You may have doubts and be shaky now and six months into the seminary be filled with great joy and peace. I pray something like that will be your experience, but do seek spiritual direction and dont give in to what probably are perfectly normal types of feelings and reactions, doubts.


#10

[quote="longshot, post:1, topic:245720"]
Hello all. I've been a long time reader of these great forums but have not posted much.
Well, I would like to present my situation for you in the hopes that I might gain some advice and insight from you wise holy men and women. :)
I am a 43 year old man who has been accepted as a seminarian for my diocese. I've passed all the psych exams, interviews, and physical. The people in my Parish and the diocese are very happy for me and excited about the possibility of me becoming a priest.
I have my bachelors degree and will be entering into a Pre-Theology program at Saint Paul Seminary.
My problem is that I don't feel excited, or hopeful, or any feelings of anticipation or joy about going. I really just don't want to go. And yet I still feel that I am being called. I've read other threads here and see how hopeful, excited, and joyful young men are as they anticipate going into the seminary - and yet I am not feeling those things or dreaming those dreams. Understand that I am constantly in prayer about this. But, God has not granted me any peace or consolation about going into the seminary. If fact, quite the opposite. When I found out I was accepted - I did not feel excited or happy, I just felt fear and despair. This is beyond just normal nervousness about making a change. The last several days I've been literally crying out to God the Father to help me, to bring me peace . . . I've cried so much, I've never sobbed so deeply before in my life. On the floor crying and baling and begging to God for help. Now, I don't believe God directs us by using fear. God, isn't going to "scare" me away from the seminary because it's not what he is calling me to do. Am I correct in thinking that way? Am I not feeling peace about this because I'm not called? Or am I like the rich man in the Gospel who found it impossible to sell his house and all his stuff, leave his family to come follow Jesus? Is God allowing me to suffer in order to prepare me? I'm leaning on God right now but, I can't last much longer. I just won't be able to go if I'm still feeling like this in the days and weeks to come.
I just don't know what to do. Thank you all in advance for you insight. :)

[/quote]

I am praying for God to grant you peace and for your discernment :)


#11

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