Priestly Vocational confussion


#1

Vocational discernment is perhaps the most confusing and mysterious time in my life.

I am hoplessly confused on wether or not I am called to the diocesan priesthood. I have thought about priesthood when I was 8 years old. I used to dress up and pretend to be a priest and play mass. As a grew older priesthood was always at the back of my mind. During highschool and college I've dated a number of girls and had two long and serious relationships where I fell in love. The issue of priesthood and the possibility of a call has always remained in my mind. I have studied the Catholic Faith for years. I fell in love with Jesus and His mother, and am currently exploring Catholic mysticism specifically, contemplation and Carmelite spirituality.

I love God, the Catholic Church, and the priesthood, but I am so confused. The center stage of this confusion is simply celibacy. I humbly accept Mother Church's inspired discipline of the celibate priesthood of the Latin rite primarily for the spiritual and practical benefits. The confusion and struggle is about sacrificing a family for the kingdom of God. I am afraid that if I enter the priesthood I will miss out on marraige and family. I am afraid that if I enter married life that I will miss out on the priesthood.

My confusion is priesthood or marraige. They are both so beautiful and each come with a set of their own sacrifices and struggles as well as great joy. I just dont know where God wants me. I feel like I am stuck in a stand still. I know the Church needs more vocations, and I know I am deeply attracted to priesthood, but I am afraid too.

Any words of wisdom brothers? I wish God would just tell me "be a priest" or "get married".

Vivat Iesus


#2

Take time to reflect on what your true calling is; spend a year without pursuing either the Preisthood or Dating/Marraige, if possible attend daily masses; and pray a rosary each day whilst reflecting upon your future -- truthfully; a man considering either of these vocations will require the patience and charity to truly consider before making understanding his call; remember that while we are called; we have to answer.

If you haven't allready got a spiritual director; get one. These can be obtained through talking to your Priest.

Furthermore; have you considered other Vocations within the Church; such as the following;

Religious life; where you live in community with other people; as a family (but not a biological family) -- you mentioned Carmalite spirituality; why not go on a retreat for a week at a Carmalite community? or;

The permenant Diaconate; where individuals can be both Married and Ordained Clergy. Generally speaking however; this is not so much a "career" as Priesthood or Religious life; and usually is voluntary. Generally speaking; also; it is for gentlemen over the age of 35 in the cases of married; and 25 in the case of single.


Further; think about what it is that makes you feel called to be a Priest; or what makes you feel called to be in a family.

Do you feel called to family because you want children; or companionship;
Do you feel called to the priesthood because you want to be of service to others; or because you specifically want to fulfil the role of a priest shepherding his flock?


#3

If it's any help, families are called the domestic Church. From the sound of it, you'd make a wonderful Dad or Father :D

If you choose marriage and family, what better way to be a Father than to direct the spirituality of your children.

Do you currently teach religious education classes or volunteer for various programs?


#4

Do you have a spiritual director? If not, get one.


#5

Hello brother in Christ,

The monsignor at my parish counsels discerning young men all the time and came up with this question: which vocation would you miss more?

If you were a priest, would you be longing for a sacramental marriage? If you were married with children, would you be longing for a broader way to love God's children? How strong would such longing be?

Which particular way of loving and serving would fulfill your heart's deepest desires? This was the question posed to me by my spiritual director, a Franciscan sister. Figuring out what we want and need to be fulfilled in our minds, hearts, bodies, and souls is what discernment is all about - for me, anyway.

Unfortunately, God does not just put a post-it note on the fridge that says "priesthood!" or "consecrated religious life!" or "marriage!" (Man, talk about an intrusion on free will...ha!)

I totally agree with the above advice about discerning over at least a year with a spiritual director. Receive the Sacraments, study Scripture, and above all pray. If you're working or studying full-time, this can be an interesting challenge to see how our contemplative life relates to our active life.

These are just my .02 cents on the matter. If it helps, I am a young woman who always assumed that I would be married and have children, but God might be calling me to a different way of life. I have been so blessed by this time of discernment - no matter which vocation I choose, I will be more faithful to Him because of this discernment period, and that matters a great deal!


#6

Pray about it... HEAPS!

And don't expect a clear, definite answer of "married" - "priest" - "religious"

When God answered my prayer He told me "I WANT YOU TO TEACH"

Which could still be any of the above three states of life!

I relate to what you're going through. I even own my own cassock.


#7

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