The vocations director of my archdiocese says that I should try applying to the seminary, but I don’t think that I’m ready to do so yet. I am far from a holy man. Occasionally, something will set me off, and I’ll go on a rampage. I’ll swear like crazy and get all postured up like I’m ready for a brawl, and I can’t seem to control it when it happens. Over the years, I have changed quite a bit, but I still get the urge at times, to fall back into my old ways. I use to be in a small click/gang of a sort, that would get into some illegal business and what not, and it really made me a very cold person. I’ve tried very hard to change myself, but no matter how much progress I make, it all gets crumpled whenever I find myself speaking to people who try to disrespect me. I’ll just lash out and want to thump the person’s skull. When I’ve finally calmed down though, I keep feeling so much guilt for not being able to remain calm and be loving and merciful to those people. A part of me still has the mindset of that lifestyle I use to be in, and I have tried to the best of my abilities, yet I still can’t drop it. Sometimes, I feel like if I never became Catholic and devoted to my faith, life would be so much easier. At the same time though, I know I would not be the happiest I could be, but I just can’t help it. I really wish that I could be like my friends at the seminary, who grew up as good kids and grew up in the faith, but I didn’t. Instead, I come from a family that struggled a lot when I was very young, that lived in a house that was from a “priority neighbourhood” according to the police, was bullied at school for having to wear girl clothes because my family couldn’t afford to buy any boy clothes, and had very little friends because I was not able to have my own toys to play with the kids my age. This led me to be a loner, and when a group of guys were willing to accept me into their “family” I became a loyal trooper to them. Its been very difficult for me to find my way back to God, and it still is difficult. My family hates me for being Catholic, my friends from the protestant churches I use to go to all hate me too for converting to Catholicism, everywhere I go people judge me for not being like them, and no one respects me. Having to go through this just sets me off and boils my blood. I try me best to strive to live a holy and sanctified life, but I’m unsure if its for me. Quite honestly, there are plenty of men out there who would make way better candidates for the priesthood than me, so why does God have to nudge me so hard for this ministry? Those men out there are by far, much more holier than I will ever be, so why does He even bother wasting time on me? I truly am far from your typical standard seminarian, who is definitely, not worthy for the Lord’s sacred priesthood. If only I could find a way to become better, then I would be able to have the courage to apply for seminary…
I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “typical standard seminarian” but as far as better candidates go, I told the Lord that myself but he didn’t care. He wants you because of your unworthiness because of your flaws, weaknesses and imperfections. These are what will lead you closer to Him and enable other people to relate to you because they will be able to see that you are human just like them. Seminarians aren’t expected to be ready for ordination from day 1 - that’s what the seminary formation process is for.
That said, from what you’re saying it sounds like anger is a real struggle for you. Of course anger is a natural human emotion - it only becomes a problem when it’s not dealt with in a healthy way. Often, the reasons why we get angry aren’t what we think - sure there’s something which sets you off but that’s just the spark and the real cause lies elsewhere.
Your honesty about the problem and your willingness to deal with it are really helpful for overcoming this. Have you talked to anyone like a psychologist or spiritual director about this? Also, have you discussed your concerns with the Vocations Director? Seminary life, and especially living in community, can be stressful at times (as can priesthood as well) so it’s important that you’re able to deal with the frustrations and pressures which arise.
When we fail to seek our vocation, or put off fulfilling some part of it, we try to justify ourselves by saying that someone else will do it better, that God will provide, that it doesn’t really matter. But we are lying.
The Almighty Father creates heaven and earth, the sun and all the stars; but when he really wants something done, he comes, the Omnipotent and Omniscient, to one of his poor, weak creatures — and he asks. For some reason beyond my comprehension, he has always done this.
None of us are worthy of God’s graces, but he pours them out nonetheless. God knows what kind of priests he needs, and if you think he’s calling you, he isn’t wrong.
Consider St. Paul on the road to Damascus.
God does not call the qualified, he qualifies those He calls!
Peace & prayers be with you in this time of discernment.
I love that statement!!!
**Nobody’s **holy enough to be ordained.
Ordination is a grace.
I’m not Holy enough to be a husband.
I’m not Holy enough to be a father.
I’m not Holy enough to be a Catholic.
Yet God called me to all three of those.
Am I missing something? You betcha. And I hope to get that grace and become holy.
Are you called to be Father? Only one way to find out - DISCERN!!!
Look at Christ, not yourself. If you look at yourself, you’ll never discover your vocation.
No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong,
those who by human standards are common and contemptible – indeed those who count for nothing – to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something,
so that no human being might feel boastful before God.
1 Corinthians 1: 27-29
You are exactly what God wants. Holiness is a journey. You have to start where you are, not where you think you should be. If you are discerning the priesthood, talk to your parish priest and local seminary, and let them help you on that path. We all have faults and failings- anger being yours. Keep working at it! Use that fault to humble yourself and always ask for God’s grace.
Also, read the book of Jonah if you haven’t read it lately. Jonah tried to run from God’s call too (not saying that you are running away), but we may not be perfect angels just yet, but God will change us along the way. It would be great if we all had a Road to Damascus moment like Saint Paul, but that doesn’t happen too often.
Be open to the Holy Spirit and see what happens. If you are not being called, the church and the Holy Spirit will tell you in discernment.
I’m not Holy enough to be a husband.
I’m not Holy enough to be a father.
I’m not Holy enough to be a Catholic
and I’ll add I’m not Holy enough to be a diaconate candidate.
When Jesus called the apostles he said follow me. He didn’t ask if they thought they were holy enough. The call is certainly worth discerning and the discerning never really ends I think. Recall that when Moses asked God at the burning bush, “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh,” the first thing God say to him was, “I will be with you.”
Nope, you’ll never be Holy enough, neither will I or any of us. It is only through the grace and mercy of our Lord that we are capable. Please do not disregard your call and pursue it further. You are in my prayers.