When I was in first year in university, I asked God what he wanted me to do with my life. After a few days, a though suddenly popped into my mind: “I want you to be a Diocesan Priest”. It was very unambiguous. I grew very worried. I thought: “And marrying?” The answer was negative.
The following months, I tried to leave that dialogue out of my life. Priesthood was something I feared since my teens God would ask me. I finished online tests to get a different suggestion, but I did not get God wants you to marry kind of results.
Now, two and a half years later, I feel, once more, interested in this lifestyle. But when I watch A day in the Seminary videos and the likes, I grew so disheartened. I feel I will be rejected as soon as I apply. On one hand, I am slighty disabled (I limp). On the other hand, I suffer from constipation (regularly). I also have a slight homosexual attraction- I’m mostly hetero, but I find other guys (and their muscles) attractive, not that I ever would want to engage romantically with any, as handsome as they could be. I am physically weak, too. On the last issue, I oddly think there’s kind of a reputation I have to uphold (the weak guy). Another problem is that I suffer from a very well medically controlled case of epilepsy. I don’t get on with my neighboors (I’m afraid of them, and have been for years). My relationship with God is very poor. My last problem is, I am already in the university (a secular one) studying a career I sometimes like very much and other times hate. In this career, people would feel betrayed if I go to the seminary (that’s what I think); and there isn’t a career more difficult to be a catholic in that Literature (not English Literature,no).
There are some problems I could work with -like strenghtening my relationship with God, or take medication-, but others, such as my limping, will not go away, and that may be why I could be not accepted into the seminary.
I wouldn’t be so interested in this if it were not because of that thought that God put into my mind: I want you to be a diocesan priest. Completely clear,no room for interpretation.
I ask of you for advice. I think I will ask a priest, but I want to hear what you would like to say on the matter.
Thank you in advance. God bless you.
If you don’t want to be a priest, don’t become a priest. God doesn’t want priests who don’t want to be priests.
I think many of the things you’re dealing with need to be addressed regardless of your vocation. Do you give glory to God by the way you live now? Are you using your problems as excuses to avoid personal and spiritual growth? That’s no good for a priest, religious, husband, or single man.
Get a spiritual director and start the discernment process. You will know soon enough if God is calling you to the priesthood.
…you have quite a big problem (small problems amalgamated into a huge one); let’s see if I can help break things down a bit…
…physical ailments and impediments…
…yeah, there’s nothing new about those; people had been shun from Religious Vocations by the best and worst… interestingly enough God has used even the soon to be dead to further His Salvific Plan… I’m not and avid/devote reader but you can look into the various Priests and Nuns that have aspired to Serve God only to be rejected by the congregations they sought as their Vocational Home… (ie: biographyonline.net/spiritual/st_therese_lisieux.html)
…I have seen Priest with various handicaps Celebrating Mass–though I am not knowledgeable if their ailments/disabilities were present before they entered the Seminary; regardless of the case, with the shortness of candidates, perhaps these conditions are not seen as hindrances (any more) by the Church (check out Mother Angelica’s bio–as I understand it she was fragile and ill from youth and yet she managed to be the founder of EWTN and a Mother Superior–through Christ’s Will, of course).
This is somewhat tricky… people do not stop being judgmental when they engage Catholicism or give up hollowood’s expectations of perfection, health, and aesthetics… sadly, some of that could have very well seeped into Vocational Assessment… your disabilities may prove a hindrance to your quest (clearly, I’m fully ignorant of Church’s policies and politics).
Here we have one of the greatest problems… if you cannot determine what it is that you discern as your personal entity (profession and sexual orientations); it will be quite difficult to Serve God in any Vocation.
Engaging a field of study that rejects or erodes your Faith cannot but lead you into further discombobulation–you will yearn to Serve God while learning to reject Him.
Your ambiguity about your sexual identity will cause you conflict to no end… if you want to Serve God in a Religious Capacity you must understand that your sexual inclinations are contrary to God’s Call. Jesus explained that there are some who make themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of God–that is a Gift from God… yet, as it is with all of God’s Gift, man has to be willing to engage it fully.
…with the backlash of the sexual scandal still in the rearview mirror, a candidate with homosexual inclinations would be, in my estimation, a poor choice for the Diocesan Priesthood. It stands to reason that most of the cases involved men who had a tendency towards homosexuality (if not actually given into homosexuality), as case after case in the news involved male victims.
I do not fault you in your Vocational Aspirations; I simply seek to point out that you must remove all doubts from your mind about your identity (homosexual inclinations) and establish a clear path of Service.
A sexual struggle resides in all of us (single, married, Priest, Nun, Religious, young, old); the struggle itself is not a disgrace but a weakness. Giving into the flesh (engaging an immoral sexualized lifestyle–adultery, fornication, homosexuality) can not only deprive us of Sanctifying Grace and Salvation but can also burden the Church through disgrace and perfidy.
In a time where man has lost the will to seek God, those who seek to Serve Him must Aspire to the Greater Gifts (purity, celibacy, fidelity, charity, self-sacrifice–none of which can be attained outside of Christ).
There’s reasons for concern in the OP, but I’m going to have to disagree with this advice. Often, the worst of us are those who want to be priests (but are not called), and the best of us among those who do not want to be priests (but nonetheless feel they have been called). It really boils down to the question of: "Is this God’s will, or my will? And if it is my will, is it in line with God’s? :hmmm:
Not to say that one shouldn’t have happiness in what they’re doing, but certainly that will come through the people of God for a true vocation. :compcoff:
I always hate this answer, but in this context you really aren’t going to get the answers you need without meeting with a vocations director. I’ve seen your various situations handled both ways in different dioceses/orders, and so you need to find out what your particular situation would be.
You’re in my prayers.
To the OP, the response that Father Serpa gave to a similar question may be of some help to you. Here is an excerpt:
“God isn’t going to force you to do anything. The first sign of a priestly vocation (and only the first–there are many other signs also) is a desire to be a priest.”
Here is a link to the question and Father’s entire response.
Yes and no… :hmmm: granted, doubts and feelings of unworthiness are par for the course in vocational discernment. That said (as always with the proviso that this is no substitute for proper SD), IMHO it really boils down to how the OP feels - if the thought of being a priest fills him with feelings of dread, anxiety and the like then these would tend to suggest that he’s not called to be a priest. God isn’t going to call someone to priesthood if being a priest is going to be torturous for them since to do so would effectively go against our free will. To put it another way, God isn’t go to call someone to priesthood who doesn’t want to be a priest. So besides of course a decent dose of SD the OP really needs to ask if this is what he wants.
Here are two things that give pause.
“My relationship with God is very poor.” Whatever this actually means, this ought to be the first thing addressed, regardless. How are you to know what God wants you to do unless you are on good terms with Him and speaking with Him frequently?
God is being “completely clear,” despite such a “poor” relationship. I would suggest that no, it is not completely clear. Christ appearing to Paul on the way to Damascus was clear. Just because a voice in your head says something that does not feel conjured does NOT mean it is God speaking. It could be, but it is not necessarily so. It could be the Devil. It could be our own memory and imagination. What you should do is seek counsel, in person, as you are doing.
God does not call us by fear and compulsion.
In case this thread goes on…
My relationship with God used to be better two years ago (not too much, but definitely better) . I had asked God what he wanted from me, and indeed a thought came to me, expressing a desire. It could be the devil’s, yes, but I think it didn’t feel like it. It could also be mine (and I know next to nothing about how the human mind works), but it coming out of a sudden could be seen as an argument against that thesis. Besides, God could indeed call me even if I were stranged from him, don’t restrict him (this goes for e_c). As an example of what I said last, a priest says in his “autobiography” that God called him, in his teens, to come back to Him (to repent) out of nowhere, without years of internal transformation like St. Augustine.
When that thought came to my mind, I indeed felt so afraid of being a priest that desire seemed dreadful to me. But now I don’t feel that fear(not as much), I’m not closed to that possibility. I’m still very afraid of my neighbors, and them seeing me as a priest is something I dread to see, but that was not the main reason I started the thread. In fact, what I (justifiably) fear most now is that the Church rejects me as a candidate for the Holy Orders (not that she will necessarily do so) because of my issues -such as disability, cronical illness, dislike for sports (and I have seen that seminarists practice them; besides, I want to stay physically weak), not liking sharing a room, slight homosexual tendencies and so on.
I want to finish my career, and I could work on some of my issues meanwhile, before possibly applying.
Anyways, thank you all so much for your repplies, but especially to jcrichton.
God bless you.
…please understand that the devil cannot call you to Serve God; if you feel a Vocational Calling it comes from God or from your own deep-rooted aspirations.
I fully concur with you that God can Call anyone at any time… He will even Call on those who callously reject His Call over and over…
Since you cannot get there by yourself and since no one can cleanse him/herself, you must get closer to God so that He can assist you and empower you. While you give yourself time to decide how to proceed, enter into a life of prayer (daily devotion, study of Sacred Scriptures, Novena, Rosary, and Eucharistic Adoration–if you are able to go on line, Maria Vision, Mexico, has a daily Mass in Spanish and Eucharistic Adoration several times a day–if you cannot get to a local parish).
We must do our part to Answer God’s Calling… I will keep you in my prayers (you would be the third candidate that I have personally prayed for–so far is two for two!).
Mom was very devote–I have a few of her favorite prayers, if you like I can PM some of them to you.
May the Holy Spirit Guide and Protect you!
PM-ing me those prayers would be lovely. Thank you, jcrichton