Hello! First post here. I could definitely use much prayer and fresh opinions. But Ok lets go…
July 1st, 2013 marks the day I first discerned God’s call for me to possibility pursue Priesthood. One year and a half later, I am 19 years old and I am more than certain God is calling me to the Priesthood. It was not an easy one year and a half of discernment. It took a lot of time, effort, and personal experience for me to come to a conclusion - which is this: The question no longer is “If I will join the seminary?” but rather “when and where am I joining the seminary?”
And the root of my problem is my College Career and finance. So my Parents aren’t too thrilled to know that I’m seriously discerning the Priesthood. The same biological parents that raised me to be cradle Catholic did not expect/prepare for their son to strongly consider the Priesthood. But rather, they have a mentality that is set on one goal - which is for me to invest in a career that promises wealth and security. I am currently a Sophomore at a secular 4-year College University. Had I known I wanted to pursue my calling to the Priesthood, I wouldn’t be attending the school I am currently enrolled in now. But through the way God’s timing works, He has called me to be at the school that I am now, for reasons which are totally understood by God. But of course attending the College that I am at, it bears its fruit.
So originally and ideally, I was suppose to Major in Computer Science B.S. Pay off my college debt with the many job opportunities my degree will give me. And if God so wills me to join the seminary, I would be able to do so, debt free. Unfortunately, the reality is this. I recently came to the painful realization that CompSci has never been a passion of mine to begin with. I find it very interesting and rewarding hard work. But I would prefer to study something that is inspiring to me and something I can take with me to the Priesthood. More specifically, Cognitive Science, which is the study of the mind, with an emphasis on Philosophy (That, I feel more passionate towards). But with CompSci, I simply don’t have that kind of drive to learn how to code in my free time. The way I enjoy my free time is going to Adoration, Daily Mass, reading Catholic Books, and living and sharing my faith life with others! And staring at a computer screen for 3 to 8 hours a day coding is not cutting it for me. The world of CompSci, video games, and coding is now something I have a low tolerance for and its not who God created me to be. I enjoy learning more about my faith, asking the bigger questions in life, and use what I have learned and experience to help others become a better version of themselves and ultimately get to heaven.
Here comes the conflict. With prayer and discernment, I had already enrolled in the classes needed to switch my Major from CompSci to Cognitive Science. (But its not too late to switch back) Knowing what I want to Major in is important to know as soon as possible because I also need to be able declare my Major by the end of my Sophomore year. But back to finance - CompSci promises many job opportunities, wealth, and security. Which is what my parent support 200% - just in case “I change my mind about the Priesthood” - I would still have a very well paying job. The difficult part is this, my parents are struggling big time financially. Grants and scholarships are very hard to come by for us. We don’t qualify for too many of them. So financially, or the lack of having financial stability, it has caused much hardship, confusion and frustration within my family, my understanding of God’s will for me, and how must I pursue my Vocation. And so here are my options presented to me by my Mother:
Persevere in getting a CompSci B.S. Degree = promises wealth and security. For my parents, it’s definitely a huge burden on them financially, but it is worth the financial sacrifice, just so I have the opportunity to thrive in this society. Which I appreciate and thank my parents for.
My issue: It’s not my passion, it could compromise my faith life (e.g. coordinating my College Catholic Newman Club), and it will be hard to take what I study with me to the Priesthood.
Transfer to a Community College or the 4-year University close by from where I live and study anything I want- so my parents wouldn’t have to pay for housing, utilities, and food - which add up to be $700 a month (which is what I am paying now) AND we still need to pay for tuition.
The Issue: I have to make that rash decision soon so I can apply.
Drop out of College now, my Parents will put all my debt in their name, making me debt free, and join the Religious Order close by from where I live. (A solid Religious Order I am actually looking into, but not 100% sure).
My issue: I’m still not certain if I am called to Religious life or Diocesan. I still need to discern where.
Then this is what my game plan:
- Trust everything, totally to Jesus and Mary. Hope for a Miracle. Divine Providence. Anything.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, I love where I live, and the many sacrifices my parents made for me, but I also love our Lord. A kind of love that has led me to reckless trust in the Lord that He will provide a way out. As far as academics, time is running out and I have to be able to make a decision soon. All I desire is the will of God. And if His will is for me to graduate with a B.S. In CompSci, so be it, I will offer up to the Lord the many late nights I will be up coding , for the conversions of souls. Other wise, I turn to you for any sense of help or spiritual direction. And no I do not have a Spiritual Director, I haven’t been able to find one yet. But thank you so much for your prayers, taking the time to read this, and anything that our Lord has inspired you to contribute to this rather confusing situation I am currently in right now.
Thanks and God Bless!