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.