Very Heavy Cross While Discerning: Close to Give up

I heard a voice inside and outside before and firmly believed that it might be it - a purpose .

I am a very meticulous man , so i searched , asked , studied and investigated to verify it.

As time passed , I discovered too much imperfections , too much sufferings and too much pressure on myself and i am now tired for so long i have borne it with me.

And here goes too many oppositions , family expectations of a different life which i have investigated , reflected that the kind of life they offered to me is worth death than to go on and live - for some something inside of me is like fire which does not die .

I longed to extinguish that Flame , for i have found out that i am too unworthy than my peers who also aspired to become not only priests but to become great Bishops and Doctors of the Church - so why then someone like me be “called” , who is not good at something , imperfect selfish and the greatest sinner perhaps who deserved to die eternally.

I am nothing. So then i have decided to put an end to this tiny poor Flame just this day, after a Novena Mass. Now that everything is over, why then am I still longing for something? Why do i fell that i lost something very important that was once worth dying
for. I do not know - one thing is for sure- its over and im out of it, I will never be a shepherd and i wont listen any longer to any voices forever .

**All the great Saints faced challenges & discouragement!

They persevered, no matter what the cost to them personally.

We are all called by Jesus to serve!

"And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (LK 9:23)

You are in my prayers!**

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


I’m going to be harsh, because that’s what the Holy Spirit is moving me to do.

First, quit romanticizing your spiritual life and get rational. Discernment of a vocation to the priesthood is not about hearing voices, it’s about hard, honest thinking about yourself, and then after that, engaging in some practical testing for several years before making it final.

Second, many people think they have a vocation to the priesthood when it’s all just a sanctimonious distaste for the ugliness of everyday life. If your only reason to be a priest is a talking fire, then ignore it and pursue some other reasonable lifestyle that has nothing to do with becoming a priest. There’s a reason why Moses had to turn aside to investigate the Burning Bush, because it was an unexpected, objective thing coming from outside him, not an internal, subjective feeling that filled the boredom of being a sheepherder or came out of the desire to do something better with his life.

You show signs of distaste for life. Don’t even think about becoming a priest until you grow into a more reasonable view of yourself and your situation, or your emotional state will just carry over into your life as a priest.

You should contact your local VD ( If you’re still in a similar state as you are now after some serious contemplation and prayer, then please contact a spiritual director as well.
Please remember, as the poster above me has said, that you should not romanticize a vocation like the priesthood. That’s a dangerous path full of demons. You’re statement on attaining a bishopric is especially alarming. Your primary goal should be to become a priest.
Please pray though, it’s an integral part of your discernment. Go to daily mass and sit before our Lord. And please talk to someone face to face about this issue who is an authoritative person on this matter.

Wow. Speak with a vocations director or a spiritual director. Just breathe a bit and take in God’s will for you. Pray and it might become clear. There is nothing wrong with imagining what your life as a priest may be like. My mind often wanders into thinking about what it may be like one day to be a pastor of a parish. But don’t romanticize it, you’re only asking for trouble.

If you have not talked with the priest or pastor of your parish please do so. It sounds like you have been discerning alone and that is not a good process.

After you meet with them hopefully you will have some answers to your questions and feelings.

Good Luck and God Bless.

If you came to ask me for admission to my community speaking like this, my first piece of advise would be to go out and get a job. If you have a job, then I would suggest that you go out and spend time in a shelter, a home for AIDS victims, a pregnancy center where girls come in terrified of their unborn child, a hospital or hospice where people are really suffering and relatives are grappling with end of life decisions.

On the weekend, go out a see a good movie, maybe have a few beers with your buddies, go to a game, take up a sport or a hobby.

Seminaries and religious orders are looking for men who have are in love with life, in love with the world and in love with their fellow men. One cannot serve what one does not love.

Stop trying to talk like John of the Cross. He was a poet and a saint. But the religious life and the priesthood are not looking for poets or saints. We’re looking for real men with real life experience and men who have a balanced view of the world. Poets have a natural talent for it. And saints, well all of us are called to become saints, one step at a time.

The man who goes around saying that he is unworthy of . . . is not a good candidate for either the priesthood or the religious life. This kind of peson is usually highly critical, highly demanding and impossible to live with. That automatically rules our a religious order. We just got rid of over 30,000 men who were impossible to live with, between 1960 and 2000. We’re not looking to find more of the same. Both the diocesan seminaries and the religious houses of formation are looking for men who are typical in every respect. They are sinners and they are aware of their sinfulness. But they are also grateful that God and the Church love them very much, so they face each day with great joy. They know how to laugh at themselves.

A man who is too intense is not a good candidate to be a priest or a brother. Intense people only become frustrated when they encounter the imperfection of their brothers in the community. We all suffer frustration and even anger at our brothers. The reason that we can put up with it is that we acknowledge that these imperfections are part of being human. Graudally, God helps us to overcome these frustrations and moments of anger. We are not constantly frustrated with our imperfections, nor are we enamored of them. We are practical about them. They are like long toe nails. They are gross and need to be cut off. We do that one toe at a time, if we rush ourselves and God, we may cut off the entire foot.

The priesthood is for men who are on a journey, not for those who have arived at the other end. They don’t need to be priests. They need a coffin, because they’re ready for heaven. The great saints were men who were always hard at work on their conversion, but were also very concerned for the world. Even the great monks and hermits were in love with the world. They left it, not because they hated it, but because they found God in silence and solitude. However, they never stopped appreciating the world and its beauty. In fact, the further they went from the world, the deeper their appreciation.

Finally, great penitents, like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Margaret of Cortona, Padre Pio, John Paul II were people who wrote and spoke with great joy. Francis of Assisi actually made fun of himself as he struggled with sexual temptations. He would go out and make a snow family for himself and then sit back and enjoy it.

Lighten up, go out and enjoy your life. Then come back and tell me what it is about the world that you love and how you plan on serving and saving what you love.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

I am honestly very worried when you talk about voices. A vocation is not prompted by a voice. It is prompted by a deep interior longing to find God and have a deep relationship with Him and His people. One does not become a priest to become a Bishop or a Doctor of the Church. Even the great saints knew they were not worthy of such a title. I actually believe that they would be horrified if they were alive today! A vocation begins with humility. It is not about titles or status in the Church. It is about knowing your faults but still desiring to serve the Lord.

God would not give anyone a vocation to bring him/her trouble or pain. Sure there will be difficulties along the way but one with a true vocation will know peace even in the midst of trials. If you are experiencing anguish over discerning the priesthood, then perhaps it is not your vocation. It is obvious that you need to take more time and seek the advice of a competent spiritual director.

And if you continue to hear voices or experience this desire to die (suicidal), you need to seek the counsel of a mental health professional immediately. There are medicines and therapy that can help you cope. You are in my prayers.

Thanks for everyone who helped and thanks a lot for those who were straight-forward and honest. It helps me a lot. Sorry if i used too much of figures of speech and symbols , to the extent that it has stirred up quite a little of misunderstandings …

Im sorry if i have posted such a gloomy post , it was just because i was already too down and almost crushed to the ground due to my imperfections that day.
I also clarify that i do not aim for being a bishop or someone too big. Its just that I see my peers really great because they were just cool about their situation while discerning and to see them serve in the mass ( i am also one of the altar boys) and how they relate and talk a lot with priests and they also know a lot about the Church and the Holy Scriptures…while i know only a very few.
It seems unavoidable to compare myself to them for they were like the mighty trees who stand strong in defending the Church while i see myself as a very tiny weed who can give little to the Church… when at these times , it needs strong men with idealistic minds empowered by the Holy Spirit to defend the Church and straighten up all the injustices in the world.
All i did were only little deeds although somehow, i was ok with it.But i can never ever leave Jesus , its just sad to be that way.

And all i want to do in this life is to loose it. I do not hate the world , I crave to save all those very poor people from the injustices of the abusive rich in my society and a lot more.

As of now , all i thought of doing is to be more honest in examining myself and obey wise words from people like you who were sent to say these comforting words. Thanks

Brother, I agree with almost everything you said except maybe having a “balanced view of the world”. This is good advice too as long as the “balanced view of the world” is NOT parallel with world views. What the world considers “balanced” is often hateful and insulting to Christ, void of the Holy Spirit and irreverent to our Father. The world continues to move further away from God. A healthy equilibrium never deviates from Christ’s Truth and the Sacraments, regardless of the direction of the world. I’m not suggesting you were advocating the ways of the world, rather I just wanted to make this addition.

This was awesome.

Very good observation.

I am having a similiar process as the OP. I remember as a 8 year old kid I said I wanted to get married, divorce, and then be a priest lol. Thats not what a typical 8 year old says. I always had a love for God and was fascinated with mass. Within the last year I have been returning to the sacraments. I am also horrified at the thought of hell and the poor souls going there (good chance my own) as revealed by Our Lady of Fatima and stated by saints like St. Leonard of Port Maurice. Fatima especially seems like a wake up call to me. I think about hell all the time. A couple of weeks ago I thought I heard a voice that said “where are they going?” It was clear as day and I was the only person in my room. My window was open so I can’t say for sure but I think it could have been God referring to so many souls going to hell. In addition, I am not sure if I believe in the western position of mandatory celibacy for preists, I tend to agree with the eastern catholic position, but if I decide to do it I will follow it out of obedience.

Here’s something to think about:

Father Groeschel said in the EWTN program “Completely Christ’s” on discerning the religious life. ewtnrelig…/ProductDetails

Here is what Father Groeschel said, word for word:

You know, one time I was driving Mother Teresa and she was kind of annoyed at me. And getting somebody like Mother Teresa annoyed at you is not a lot of fun. And she was a perfect lady, perfect, and she was giving me the needle but ever so sweetly, dipped in Holy Water. And she asked me to do something but I had done it the wrong way but I didn’t know which way she wanted it done. But nevertheless, there were two little sisters in the backseat and we got to the convent a quarter to 12 at night, a hot summer night. And I said to Mother Teresa, “Mother, I’m going to ask Cardinal Cook if he’ll appoint another priest to be the leayzon between the Archdiocese and the Missionaries of Charity. I’m not angry but this is just beyond me.” And she said, [in a serious tone] “sit down.” I knew Mother Teresa half my life. When she died, I was 64 and I had known her 32 years. When Mother Teresa told you to sit down, you sat down. And she said to me, it was late at night, she says, “why do you think God chose you to be a priest?” I said, “Mother, it’s a quarter to twelve. You know-I don’t know.” [Mother said] “Why did He choose you?” [Father said] “Maybe He has a sense of humor. I-I-I don’t know.” She looked me dead in the eye and she said “God chose you because He is very humble. He uses the poorest, the weakest, the most inadequate instruments. And I pray that when I die, the most unattractive and ungifted of the sisters will take my place.” That didn’t happen, but… And she said “then everybody will know that this is not my work, but God’s work.” And as I got up and said good-bye and thank you, because it was a great talk, she said “don’t forget it. You are chosen by the humility of God.” And to be quite honest, I can’t think of anything else she could possibly have said that would have given me peace. But I went home on top of the world, because I could accept that, that I could live with. “We are chosen by the humility of God.” Uh, and, I think if someone is considering a vocation, let them think about that.

Let me explain it differently and see if it helps. A balanced view of the world is guided by two things: logic and virtue.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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