Update on my Discernment

Hi Everyone. It has been a while. I hope you all had a blessed Christmas and a good start to the new year. If you have been following any of my posts, you will know bits and pieces of my discernment. (I am seventeen and a junior in high school)

I started to consider a vocation to the priesthood sometime after my Confirmation in eighth grade. Unfortunately, I didn’t think much of it and fell (somewhat) off the path during my freshman year of high school. I gave into some temptations that are common among teenage boys these days. However, I quickly recognized my faults and took them to the confessional.

So freshman year passed by, and I started to realize I was growing closer to God. It was a slow and quiet process, but it was still progress. When my sophomore year started, I knew I needed a spiritual director and confessor. I decided to ask a priest who was close to my family. He was excited and said “yes.”

I started to see him on a regular basis. It helped me further recognize the barriers between God and myself, and ultimately allowed me to go deeper into discernment. Also during my sophomore year, I was blessed to get involved with youth group at my parish. The retreats and powerful witnesses of older teens have helped me go even deeper.

Sophomore year quickly ended and summer break started. Over the summer, I was privileged to attend a Steubenville conference. For the most part, I enjoyed it. Some of the talks were incredible. After the last Mass, the leaders asked all the teenage boys who felt that they might have a priestly or religious vocation to step forward. An astounding 200 young men came forward!

The summer ended and I started my junior year of high school. So far, I am one semester in and doing good.

I have considered the priesthood for 3 years now and I feel that may be where God is calling me. Some things I have reflected on are 1. I have been an altar server since 4th grade, 2. God has blessed me in many ways, and 3. the intense need for good, holy men to step forward and dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ.

All of those things I listed have led me to believe God is possibly calling me to the priesthood. Also, a good number of people have told me that I would make a good priest.

Just some quick clarification. I am a sinner. I am not worthy to become a priest, let alone receive the Lord in the Eucharist and do many other things that involve Him. However, He is love. He shows us this on the cross. And He loves us, and He freely gives of Himself to us. And ultimately, Jesus Christ needs men. I recognize that I am not worthy whatsoever to join this holy ministry (if I am called), but the Lord needs men and I cannot say no.

I have considered both the married life and the priesthood. It would be a great joy to meet a woman and be joined together with her in Holy Matrimony, and center our relationship on God and have children. That would be incredible! And I know that I am called to be a father. However, I believe that the Lord may be calling me to be a spiritual father.

A deacon once told me that “A good father would make a good priest, and a good priest would make a good father.” This makes sense! A biological father and spiritual father both have children but in different ways. A biological father cares mainly for his children while a spiritual father (priest) takes care of the Church - like a shepherd.

I will keep praying and discerning over my vocation. I ask you for your prayers as I sincerely need them. I recognize the need for good and holy priests in 21st century America. I also see how the Lord has blessed me abundantly, and I am not afraid to give everything back to him. Thank you for reading this and God bless.

P.S. I am considering a Catholic college after my senior year of high school that offers a “priestly discernment” group. Before I consider entering a seminary or religious order, I feel I need real life experience, and possibly also just go to college for one year (not in priestly discernment group) and date to discern marriage.

What a wonderful journey :).

I sort of felt the same way. I attended a Steubenville conference and went down with others who felt called to priesthood.

I too am a sinner and most certainly one who struggles.

While I cannot afford Catholic college I will have to fly solo in my discernment since I personally know nobody else. But I must say stay in college, get a degree in something you are passionate about and then enter seminary. It seems more young men are well educated before entering and I don’t think it would hurt to enter after getting a degree.

For example I’m discerning a Jesuit calling and most first year novices have high college degrees ranging from English-Physics. They are also very spiritual.

Best wishes on your discernment :thumbsup:

adawgj

All I can say is don’t put it off too long. I wanted to be a preist when I was in seventh grade. I’m now in my mid 20s and I have to say the thought has never really gone away. I should have at least gone for minor seminary formation for high school. No one is really worthy of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist nor living their lives in persona Christi as a priest but of course if we all dwelled on this we’d never receive Him and there’d be no priests. All we can do is strive to do our best not to sin. I’ve prayed for you, please do the same for me. :slight_smile: By the way; if you haven’t before, look at some of the videos online of Fulton Sheen.

Pax vobis.

I think you would make a great priest. I will pray a rosary for your vocation.

Good luck. Prayers for strength and guidance,

What an edifying story! I will pray for you, brother. Christ will use you for wonderful things. A young man such as this, obsessed with the things of Christ. Inspiring.

You sound like you would make an excellent priest or father. Both are rewarding, but you do seem more called to serve as a priest than the average highschooler.

And, when a Catholic seeks discernment and leans toward the vocation of marriage, he/she needs to pray for a partner who is loyal to the teachings of the Church, and puts Him first in all things, and then each other.

Praying to the Holy Spirit for you.

Hi Cle_GDP

It sounds like you have thought of everything very carefully, and have your future plans laid out well. :slight_smile:

Thank you all for the responses. I should have added there are some religious orders that I may have a vocation too. Even if I am called to a religious order (or married life), would it be beneficial to read “To Save A Thousand Souls?” I wanted to read it a while ago, but I was somewhat cautious because it stated “diocesan priesthood.”

My spiritual director believes I am more called to a vocation with a religious order, but he said ultimately I have to make the decision.

You are all in my prayers.

I was going to suggest reading “The Priest Is Not His Own.”

Ah, yes, by Fulton Sheen. Thank you.

What a wonderful story! I am mulling over a vocation to the priesthood as well. I’m in college and I’ve been away from the church for a couple of years so I have a lot of work to do! :rolleyes:

No reason not to read both books.

It’s good to get perspective.

Good luck on your discernment.

Will be praying for you!

Sorry, my post was a little misleading. I am very enthusiastic about Fulton Sheen’s works! I didn’t want it to sound negative if it did. Thank you for your prayers and all those who have responded!

May God richly bless you as you seek HIM! :smiley:

Of course. But maybe I should have clarified I am still not sure which vocation God is calling me to, but I have a stronger inclination towards the priesthood and/or religious life than marriage…

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