On my discernment


#1

I have felt called off and on since 2004. The thought of becoming a priest or religious makes me incredibly sad and yet, I can't get escape this. Is this abnormal?


#2

It depends, my friend.

You say it fills you with sadness to think of yourself as a priest; I am not so forward as to ask why, but have you thought about why it does? If you do not have a spiritual director, I would recommend you find a priest you trust, and talk about it regularly.

A persistent feeling of a "call" through the ups and downs of life is a good sign that you may be called to Seminary. Notice, I say to Seminary, not to priesthood; it may be that you are not called to be a priest, but the process of discernment within a seminary-setting may be the tool God uses to make know to you your calling in life. I'd encourage you to consider applying to the seminary or noviciate, even if you are not sure you *want *to go through with becoming a priest; even the application-process may teach you something about yourself.

That is my advice. God bless you.


#3

[quote="Eloi, post:2, topic:214866"]
It depends, my friend.

You say it fills you with sadness to think of yourself as a priest; I am not so forward as to ask why, but have you thought about why it does? If you do not have a spiritual director, I would recommend you find a priest you trust, and talk about it regularly.

A persistent feeling of a "call" through the ups and downs of life is a good sign that you may be called to Seminary. Notice, I say to Seminary, not to priesthood; it may be that you are not called to be a priest, but the process of discernment within a seminary-setting may be the tool God uses to make know to you your calling in life. I'd encourage you to consider applying to the seminary or noviciate, even if you are not sure you *want *to go through with becoming a priest; even the application-process may teach you something about yourself.

That is my advice. God bless you.

[/quote]

This is what I have had my formators tell me. While you do continue to discern in the semianry or novitiate or while you are in temporary vows you should not enter any of them with doubts, you should treat them as if they are your permanent vows. These times are not the time to "test" your call when you have doubts. You should enter knowing that this is where you are being called.

That does not mean that you are not tested there and that you can learn that it is not your call, but it should not be treated lightly, especailly when you may end up taking the place of someone else who does belong there.

This will come out in your application process and psychological testing, believe me, it will.

The suggestion that you get a spiritual director and work with them through this is good advice.


#4

[quote="Eloi, post:2, topic:214866"]
It depends, my friend.

You say it fills you with sadness to think of yourself as a priest; I am not so forward as to ask why, but have you thought about why it does? If you do not have a spiritual director, I would recommend you find a priest you trust, and talk about it regularly.

[/quote]

I don't know the root cause of my sadness, all I know is that I really, truly don't want this for myself. Obviously, it doesn't matter what I want- I need to follow the Lord's will. I have had three different spiritual directors over the years, the reason they changed is because I have moved for college and work.

[quote="Eloi, post:2, topic:214866"]
A persistent feeling of a "call" through the ups and downs of life is a good sign that you may be called to Seminary. Notice, I say to Seminary, not to priesthood; it may be that you are not called to be a priest, but the process of discernment within a seminary-setting may be the tool God uses to make know to you your calling in life. I'd encourage you to consider applying to the seminary or noviciate, even if you are not sure you *want *to go through with becoming a priest; even the application-process may teach you something about yourself.

That is my advice. God bless you.

[/quote]

I am done avoiding this situation. I have been contacting vocations directors and will be doing a vocations retreat next weekend. Thanks for the advice and God bless you.


#5

[quote="ByzCath, post:3, topic:214866"]
This is what I have had my formators tell me. While you do continue to discern in the semianry or novitiate or while you are in temporary vows you should not enter any of them with doubts, you should treat them as if they are your permanent vows. These times are not the time to "test" your call when you have doubts. You should enter knowing that this is where you are being called.

That does not mean that you are not tested there and that you can learn that it is not your call, but it should not be treated lightly, especailly when you may end up taking the place of someone else who does belong there.

This will come out in your application process and psychological testing, believe me, it will.

The suggestion that you get a spiritual director and work with them through this is good advice.

[/quote]

I just don't know what else to do. I pray about it every day, I keep asking the Lord to guide me and I only receive more confusion. I have dated, I have remained single to discern but I am lost.

You mentioned psychological testing, I have suffered from depression since I was 17, I keep wondering if any orders will even take me once that issue is brought up. So, why in the heck will the Lord not let me alone or give me some guidance?

I go to daily mass, adoration, pray the rosary daily, read scripture every day, pray various novenas, speak to the Lord directly, attend charismatic prayer groups and events.... I can't get any peace. I am so frustrated.


#6

[quote="kib, post:5, topic:214866"]
I just don't know what else to do. I pray about it every day, I keep asking the Lord to guide me and I only receive more confusion. I have dated, I have remained single to discern but I am lost.

You mentioned psychological testing, I have suffered from depression since I was 17, I keep wondering if any orders will even take me once that issue is brought up. So, why in the heck will the Lord not let me alone or give me some guidance?

I go to daily mass, adoration, pray the rosary daily, read scripture every day, pray various novenas, speak to the Lord directly, attend charismatic prayer groups and events.... I can't get any peace. I am so frustrated.

[/quote]

So you have had spiritual directors, if you do not have one now, get one.

Vocation retreats and "Come and See" weekends are a good choice too. Also see if any of the groups you are interested in have a live in experience, I know some monasteries and some communites do. Even some dioceses have a live in type experience for their potential candidates.

If it is getting really bad for you then take a break, do not think or pray about it for a bit to give yourself a break.


#7

[quote="kib, post:5, topic:214866"]
I just don't know what else to do. I pray about it every day, I keep asking the Lord to guide me and I only receive more confusion. I have dated, I have remained single to discern but I am lost.

You mentioned psychological testing, I have suffered from depression since I was 17, I keep wondering if any orders will even take me once that issue is brought up. So, why in the heck will the Lord not let me alone or give me some guidance?

I go to daily mass, adoration, pray the rosary daily, read scripture every day, pray various novenas, speak to the Lord directly, attend charismatic prayer groups and events.... I can't get any peace. I am so frustrated.

[/quote]

Although I'm not a male :) I may advice you to be calm down first. Don't think too much about anything in your mind. Pray and surrender to God. Faith will be seen in the darkness, meaning, you may not know or see what you have in the future but you trust in God that He always walk before you to prepare everything. You just need follow him and surrender in God's hand completely. May it help, God bless :)


#8

[quote="ByzCath, post:3, topic:214866"]

That does not mean that you are not tested there and that you can learn that it is not your call, but it should not be treated lightly, especailly when you may end up taking the place of someone else who does belong there.

[/quote]

I can see I was a bit unclear. The formation process should certainly not be treated lightly, I'm afraid I made it seem like that. I was suggesting beginning the application process, whether or not he is completely convinced of going through formation. Of course, though, the discernment process should be more of a "plan" than a "test."


#9

Thanks for the continued support and advice. God bless you all.


closed #10

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