Share your story - why you think you have a calling


#1

Thought this might be an interesting thread. Just share your story on why you believe you have a calling. Primarily this is for the Priesthood and Religious life, but if you have a vocation to the single life or married life share that too! Just share the kind of thing you would tell a vocations director or your family. Hopefully we can have some insight and look at how the hand of the Lord works in our lives.

Here's me!

Since I was a child I can remember wanting to be a Priest, as cliché as that sounds. Obviously at the time I didn’t know what it meant or the difference between a diocesan priest or a religious but I think there was something in me that wanted to serve God fully. I had forgotten about the vocation – or rather, pushed it aside – until about 18 months ago when I could no longer ignore the pushing and prodding by God. So I have considered it seriously for about 12-18 months, praying about it and reading and learning and living my life in the meantime. In the past 3 months or so I felt a greater push towards the religious life in a community, and this is where my heart has been fervently leading me. I have decided, at the very least, to say “Yes” to Christ, and to see what He wants from me.

As for why I believe I have a vocation; that is harder to answer. I believe I have one because I believe it is what God wants from me. In reading the scriptures, especially the words of Christ, I can’t see any other way for me to live my life. Christ commands us to take up our Cross and follow Him – and I would like to do that, and to share in His suffering, and of course in His joy. The lives of the Saints (particularly St.Augustine, St.Benedict, St.Josemaria Escriva and St.Aquinas) inspire me, and I realize that if they can live as saints in the world, God willing, I can too. What struck me particularly when reading St.Augustine is the now famous “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you”. I can relate to this, as I become increasingly unfulfilled by a secular and worldly life. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my life or find happiness in it; rather, that I feel as if the world – try as I might – draws me away from unity and peace with God. I want to challenge myself, physically, mentally and spiritually. I want to work for God, for His greater glory, and for the salvation of others. In an increasingly post-religious world I feel more drawn to the austere life – and a life that is a witness to Christ in a special way. I also feel that our Church needs more orthodox, God serving religious communities.

Lastly, I think that this is my path to salvation, and that through this I can pray for others so that more may be saved through Christ.

This is pretty much the same thing I sent to the Abbott of the community I am discerning. It's simple and not too eloquent, because in some sense I can't describe in words how it is that I feel I am called. It's more than a feeling or an emotion. I wouldn't know what to call it. It's nothing just something I want, it's something God wants for me too. I'm hoping others can chime in so I can find the words :D


#2

I personally feel called to the diocesan priesthood, but I have mental illnesses (albeit well managed) and I’m so broke I might not even be able to make it to the vocations director’s office, nonetheless having my own car to get around >.>

But personally I increasingly feel like I should dedicate my life entirely to God and serving people for Him. I’m fervent in my faith, and love our traditions - especially the liturgy - and I have a knack for theology that is just going to go to waste if I set that natural talent aside to learn job skills. I don’t care much about money (looking to join the Secular Franciscan Order too,) so the only reason I would go the route of college and a career is to make myself marriageable. Needless to say, I don’t want to be grumbling for the rest of my life - and I feel I would disappoint God if I didn’t use my talents on what He’s planted a love for in my heart. Plus the easiest route I have access to for sharpening my talent for theology etc. would be the seminary, seeing as I can’t move to another state or gain admission to a university. I could serve Him in other ways while “in the world”, but I want to be fully dedicated to a clear-cut way of service. Maybe I should just say that, taking a step back, this is what I really want and what would really make me happy. I have no passion for anything in the world as powerful as this, kind of like you I just am not so interested in worldly things even though most would see me as well rounded and cultured somewhat.

But something tells me it ain’t happening. :blush:


#3

I believe I have a calling because of the intensity with which I first entered into theology.

From my birth in 1988 until 2009 I literally didn’t care about any rational thought, logic, or philosophical inquiry. Just around early 2009 the intellectual pull of St. Thomas Aquinas started to exert itself on me. He argued with an intensity which forced me to admit some cosmological truths that were rather uncomfortable. The clarity of this mind urged me on to find other writers. Eventually it all spiraled downhill to the point that I had to visit a Catholic book store in Oct. 2009, though I was too sheepish to stay for noon mass at the nearby Cathedral. Regardless, I stayed for a few minutes in the nave and was awed by the quiet peace of the altar and tabernacle.

From May 2010 to this past May, I was engaged at this same cathedral (homeless kitchen) and at the book store, just (by providence) as key people were leaving both posts. Apart from forcing me to improve suddenly from an atheist to someone who cares about life and human beings, it also brought several fascinating people forward. Several homeless people asked if I’m a priest incognito :p, when I’m going to be ordained, when I’m entering seminary - without me having said barely a thing to any of them. The book store was filled with Catholic visitors who said I’m definitely priest-material, and one older lady was quite adamant on winning the lottery so she could fund my studies, LOL!

A very holy Franciscan man became my dear friend, and repeatedly told me that I seem set for the consecrated life. How silly it is to see all these people urging me on to something I am psychologically absolutely unready for. Still, I was only baptised four months ago, so it’s rather premature.

All I know is that when I look upon the altar during the Holy Mass, my imagination is transported across the history of our race. Everything God has done for us shines like a glorious golden beacon of blessed majesty across this whole adventure we’ve been set on. To be forced awake at 2:30 AM by the call of an 89 year old woman who’s dying in the middle of the woods without anyone else around, at the edge of my parish, and to have to bicycle there in the rain to be with her in candle-light because her power gave out… now that makes me feel alive, to be able to give someone preparation they need to make the final passage. To lift that lifeless bread up and have God Himself descend… to teach children the law of the Lord, to absolve evil men who wish to turn back to virtue… to read on a quiet Sunday afternoon in my vicarage… :slight_smile: Every last difficulty and blessing appeals to me 1000%.

Now, as an atheist I was very taken by royal and noble imagery, so the Latin Mass is specifically my love. If I could be a regular F.S.S.P. priest sent out into the wilds, that would be my dream. A simple cassock, a Bible, a missal, an altar, and a congregation to love and be one with, to share and to teach and to guide and to lead, and to suffer and rejoice with over a thousand events in a lifetime!


#4

I feel called to the priesthood (and a religious life) because the more and more I studied theology in class, the more and more I started to ask basic life questions (such as what do I want to do with my life?) and I felt as if God wants me to be to a priest.

Ever since I was a child my mom said I use to celebrate mass at our home, and also whenever I see a priest the though always just comes to my mind that maybe God is calling me to the priesthood.. A year ago while I was praying I asked God to give me a sign. The next day in Theology class (New Testament) I opened up to the versus in Proverbs, "In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight." Then my teacher said, "Today I'd like to talk about vocations to the priesthood." That really got me scared.. Then when I was driving home I saw that same scripture quote on someones bumper sticker. I was ready to fall over.

Also whenever I see the priest consecrate the host, into the body of Christ I feel something special, I know God is with me, and I seem to picture myself up at the altar doing the same thing.

It was no burning bush, or flash of lighting, but since last year the though of priesthood hasn't left my mind. Even when I went out on a date with a great, beautiful girl. So really I guess that is my story.


#5

WoundedIcon, if God wants you to be a priest, it doesn’t matter about your finances or your mental illness - it’ll happen. I know a 100% BLIND priest for example. He obviously has no car, he can’t drive himself. His Mass books are all in braille. Solid man, you’d meet fewer people more sincere or orthodox.

As for me, I’m already married so that removes me from the Priesthood. I’m also 29 years old with a young child, so I can’t do the Deaconate yet either.

That said, I have always felt a strong calling to a secular order. Living by a Rule, being a part of a community, and living my life with a specific spirituality. After years of discernment I decided to finally take some steps towards this vocation; I’m meeting with the president of the local Dominican College to get more information on the Lay Dominicans.


#6

I don't remember when I first thought about being a priest, but the thought has been with me for quite a while now. I have never really had anyone tell me that I should be a priest or anything like that, but I have always felt "targeted" when, at Mass, the intercession for "an increase of vocations to the priesthood...especially from this parish" comes up, especially more recently (last 3-4 years).

Until recently, I haven't really SERIOUSLY thought about being a diocesan priest though. In fact, I kind of tried to push it out of my mind. I even sort of tried to begin a relationship with a girl, but I became uncomfortable with the thought that I might be going against God's will for me, and it just didn't feel right, so I ended that.

Then, about a month later, the thought of becoming a priest struck me really hard. I thought about it and thought about it and the thought would just NOT go away. For a couple days this went on, until finally, I thought, well obviously I need to begin looking into this. I contacted my vocations director and actually began application to seminary a month or so later. Since then, I have figured out that discerning a vocation to the priesthood is very hard! But I have grown some spiritually and slowly, but surely, am beginning to accept that God is probably calling me to enter seminary. This is all in the last 3 months. I am now like 1/3 of the way done with the application process to seminary in my diocese, and am going back to college for my sophomore year. If the feeling persists, I will finish the process in December and May, and enter seminary one year from now!

I just think that I have a calling because of the way the thought will just never go away. Recently the thought of the possibility of NOT being called to seminary struck me, and I actually felt a little depressed because of it! I went to my Adoration hour the next day and put it before God, and what do you know, from then on, for a few days, God helped me refute that thought and I just felt so HAPPY the next 2-3 days! It was an interesting experience. Just little things like these have happened in my life in the past year, that to me seem to add up to God calling me to do something extraordinary with my life.

That was a kind of a long story that didn't tell much...haha but there we go. May God bless all who are discerning priesthood/religious life...I can definitly relate! :thumbsup:


#7

It is difficult to say why I feel that I am called to the Priesthood. I am a new convert to the faith since this past Easter so I'm waiting for another 2 years before I can actually get to the Seminary. I guess it sort of started back in 2008.

In 2008 I took a study abroad trip to Morocco. I had been a student chaplain at my military school for a year at that point but my faith wasn't that strong and I was more of an assistant at that point. Since 2006, I had been ministering the word by mouth, preaching to anyone who would listen. In Morocco is where I truly felt that call. As the muslims prayed, I would retreat away from the world and pray. In the cities I would find a classroom at my school and pray to God. In the Sahara, I walked amongst the dunes of sand where I found a dead tree that I sat under, where kneeling, I prayed to God for strength. In the mountains I found myself amongst the rocks, hidden by their shade to pray. I lived for God in that month and at the end of that month God revealed himself to a heart of purity, or so I believe from what was shown to me.

It was right around, then the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I was in the city of Marrakech and we were getting ready to leave to head back to the states in a few days. I had been in my room praying and listening to my music, my bible sitting on my lap as I pray with my bible. I had a vision of a man walking towards me and I did not know him, but only the sound of his voice. It was gently and I knew it to be my Lord at once, not by any other reason. He led me around the Oasis, my garden of peace, that we were in, telling me of things to come and how I would live. I only remember these things when they come to pass. When we reached back to where we started, he told me to meet me in his church, his temple, his home and he will show me. I knew only of one church and I set myself towards it by taxi. I talked to the gatekeeper and was allowed entrance into the church. This was the first time I had ever entered into a Catholic church, it was beautiful to me and as I swung around to close the door of that church the very air of the place began to thicken. I do not know if it was the spirit of God himself, or if it was something else, but before I was before the alter, tears streamed down my from my eyes and I fell hardly on my knees before God. I begged for mercy, and claimed myself unworthy of the sacrifice of Christ. As I was there on my knees, scripture flowed into my mind and satisfied my heart. I sat there and listened to what I was told, with anxiousness but peace. Then a blinding light entered into the room, I dared not open my eyes, for in fear I began to tremble, and I genuflected, my head hung low and the only words that filled the ears of my heart were "All power has been given to me from the Father in Heaven, go forth and Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and make disciples of all nations." I felt the cold wash from my head to my feet and I sat there kneeling like a knight before his king, genuflecting in all humility as the room became dark again, with only the dim light shining through the windows. I opened my eyes to see the cross hanging over me and I continued to weep of the sorrowful passion of my savior on that Cross.

Since then I have burned with a fiery passion to proclaim the good news of Christ to all, for 2 years I fought against God still in entering into the catholic faith, even though for two years he said "go and be not afraid". After some serious health problems at military training and almost dying I finally resolved that I would stop following myself and follow after Christ and what God called me to do. When I got back a month later I started RCIA in 2010 and last Easter entered into the Church. Even before I entered I had the intense desire to be a priest, even though my mind did not understand, my heart did and since my baptism, confirmation and first communion, the desire burns even stronger. After continued discernment I feel called to the Military Chaplaincy and, God Willing, I will get clearance from the bishop next spring to enter into the Chaplain Candidacy with the Archdiocese of Military Services alongside the Archdiocese of Atlanta, to become a military chaplain and enter seminary in Fall 2013.


#8

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