Should I be discerning a vocation?


#1

I just really need some advice on this. Three different people have told me recently that I should be discerning a vocation to Holy Orders. Firstly, a lady who attends Mass at the hospital chapel where I serve asked me if I’d ever thought about becoming a priest. Then a few weeks ago I went to a talk organised by a neighbouring parish about the sacraments. I got talking to a woman afterwards on a vaguely theologically topic and she also told me I should be considering the priesthood. Then a couple of weeks ago, I was at my parish using the empty church to say Divine Office by myself as is my custom. Our organist, who I am on quite good terms with, asked me afterwards if I had considered I may have a vocation to Holy Orders. Then tonight, we were having a meeting of our parish Liturgy Committee. It was mentioned that a new deacon was being ordained who would be based out of a nearby parish, to which our organist (some chap as above) remarked “and we have another budding one right here” indicating me.

That was really the last straw: this is something I am going to have to give serious thought to. I can no longer dismiss the idea that it is possible that God is trying to give me a message, that I am being called towards something. But how do I know that? Is that presumptuous or is that how it works? At any rate, other people are seeing something in me and are keen for me to know about it. I am a relatively new Catholic so it would be a while before I could even apply, but I would like to use that time to work out if I should be pursuing this path or not. How does one discern a vocation? Is there anything I should be doing to help find direction? And lastly, I have had both the priesthood and the diaconate mentioned to me. How do I know which would better suit my skills. I’d really appreciate any advice or insight on any of this.


#2

I’ve been discerning for a while now. I’d say prayer, Adoration, frequent Confession and Holy Communion, and finding a priest to be a spiritual director are all good ideas. I can’t stress the priest part enough-- my discernment really got rolling after I spoke with a priest about it. Obviously, the Sacraments are the most important, but talking with someone who wears those shoes is very helpful.

Oremus pro invicem!


#3

First, talk to your parish priest and the vocational director for your diocese. It is not presumptuous to consider that you might have a calling, and sometimes the people around you MAY see this before you do. (I think that falls under the “God finds mysterious ways his wonders to perform” department.)

Listen…spend time praying, especially Adoration. God WILL make clear what he wants you to do.


#4

Only you can know this for sure.
Meet with your Vocations Director.
And pray for God’s will to be done in your life.
God bless.


#5

I’ve experienced that before. People just automatically think that if you’re a devout Catholic or are very active in the Church that you should become a priest. I don’t necessarily think that it’s a sign of anything. It’s so rare to see a devout Catholic man, and that’s why they think you might want to be a priest. Plus, there’s a vocations shortage, and they probably think we need more priests.


#6

Well, there’s that too.

After my first husband died, my Catholic school students were thinking that I was then “free” to become a nun. :rolleyes:


#7

It’s nice others see that in you. As mentioned, the real question is “do you feel that God is calling you?”. That’s most important. Then, as mentioned, go talk to your Priest about it.


#8

It may not be anything, but it could be. It’s honestly not that uncommon that others see something in us before we see it (or are willing to admit it) to ourselves. If you listen to stories from those who have entered formation with a religious order or entered seminary, you’ll hear it often.

My suggestion is DO give thought to it. But take your time. Mostly, consider if whether or not the idea of priesthood (or diaconate) is appealing to you. If it is, great!. if it’s not appealing to you at all, great! at least you know you can move on.

If it is appealing to you, wait it out. You said you’re a new Catholic, so wait to see if the appeal of it wanes or not. In the meantime read books about it, talk to priests, seminarians, deacons, etc, and learn more about it. If in a couple years it still seems attractive, explore it further. At any point you can try and find a spiritual director, but if you still find the idea of ordained ministry appealing after a few years as a Catholic, you definitely want to try and find one. They can help you sort those feelings out. Even if you are not considering being a priest or deacon, a spiritual director is a good thing. I think for discernment they’re invaluable though. Talk to vocation directors. You don’t have to be certain of anything when you talk to a vocation director. They can help you in your discernment, set you up to meet seminarians, have dinner with priests, and meet other people asking the same questions as you. Visit your local seminary, which a vocation director will arrange. Or visit a house of formation for a religious order, if that’s what you’re drawn too. At some point though, the only way to “know” more is to “try it out”. Apply for the priesthood or a religious order you like, begin formation or seminary, and if it’s not for you, you’ll figure it out and leave. By the time you’re up for ordination or final vows, you’ll have a good grasp on whether or not this is what God is calling you to.


#9

Pray and live as you live now… Be sincere, try to live as Catholic as possible, chaste, kind, try to deny yourself and be everyday closer and closer to God… Weekly confession? In every day life you will realized what is Divine will for you. If you feel need talk to any priest…

May God bless you!
In Domino,
Attempto


#10

I’ve experienced it too - thing was, I was actually discerning a vocation to the priesthood at the time! I’d find myself thinking two things - one, how do they know; and two what would they know about who should be a priest? The Holy Spirit is probably the easiest answer to the first and quite a lot is probably the best answer to the second!

So, my question then to the OP is whether priesthood is something you’ve been thinking about. If so then this could well be a divine affirmation. Granted, as others have said, it may be nothing, but then again it may well be something. The only way to find out, if you fell you might be called, is to explore it and see where it goes.


#11

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