Vocation trouble

Hi, I have recently had some stress over whether or not to become a priest or some other religious vocation these past couple months. This may be a long story so please hang with me. My story begins about three years ago when i was suffering from (i think it was depression) depression, i was empty inside and had anxiety and very negative thoughts, one night i just broke down cause i couldnt take it anymore. That night i took out my old bible and read a couple of chapters i think it was some of the gospel of matthew. I went to bed and when i woke up it was as if a boulder had been lifted up off my chest, my mind was clear and it was one of the best days of my life. After that i started going to mass and living a better life, overtime i sort of started living a sinful life though. then one day about 7 months ago the depression, negative thoughts came back, i started praying more and trying to ask god to please take this depression away again. During this time a thought came to me, i thought that since this depression will not go away i should just become a priest and i might feel better. this thought was all i could think about. I was about to graduate college and always had my eyes set on doing something in the medical field. my life then turned to more anxiety and negative thoughts, i viewed the priesthood as a prison sentence. This became so bad that i stopped praying all together, i went back to drinking gambling lust etc. It became so bad that i would go to mass and not look at the priest, i would avoid any contact with a priest or seminarian.
At my happiest times when i thought i was closest to God during those three years (during a novena btw) i felt that my life was in order, i felt that i was doing Gods will such as the profession i was choosing and maybe one day getting married,
Now im slowly getting back to praying but im just worried that the anxiety will come back, it has come back a little, Whenever these thoughts and feelings come up i cant do anything and keep my mind on it, i can be watching television and ill have this thought and anxious feeling in my chest that i shouldnt be doing this and i should be becoming a priest and ill jump up and just pace back and forth talking it out, during this time i am a very irritable person, i envy others because i feel they are called to be married etc and i am forced to become a priest and i will only be ‘‘happy’’ if i do. I fear that if I don’t become a priest I will not be truly “happy,”
On top of this i am currently dating a girl and she meets every aspect i would love to see in a lady, and now i look at her and think i can’t pursue a relationship with her because i am feeling this way and this further adds to the frustration and disappointment
I am afraid and don’t want to feel like this, if anybody has any advice please help
Sorry for the long story and im sorry if it is a little jumbled and hard to follow,

Pray, then pray some more.

If you are to be a Priest god will lead you that way. He will not force you and even if that is his desire and you marry, he will not abonded you. He will bless you in that vocation as well.

God bless you.

I pray everything works out for you. I am no stranger to depression and anxiety.

Before you start thinking about a vocation or profession (if there is a difference), you need to get everything straightened out first. Do not expect a job to fix everything. Being a priest is a wonderful thing. However, it too has it’s own stresses - perhaps more stresses. Expecting a job to help your problems is like thinking you can change how a girls acts/thinks once you are married.

Prayer is very important. Just make sure you are praying for God’s will - not your will.

No one can tell you what to do. GOD is another story. HE CAN. If you decide to enter a seminary (and this isnt guaranteed) the Priests will ask you a number of things to consider. But the most important thing is to understand that a Religious vocation is nothing to take lightly. I dont tell you this to scare you - only for you to consider that IF GOD is calling you you will not be satisfied doing anything else as a vocation. If GOD is not calling you and you decide out of Pride that you are going to be a Priest no matter what - then you will not be doing GOD’S will for you. You dont have to be a Priest to serve GOD. But if GOD is calling you to the Priesthood then you must follow. He has great plans for you. The only way you are going to know is to continue to pray on these things. Ask GOD if he is calling you. I know a number of people who entered the seminary and then left the seminary because they came to realize they werent called.

So - do GOD’s WILL. If you ask him - he will make it known to you. You will not have to guess. Pray. And continue to pray and you will recieve your answer.

Pax

It sounds like you might be suffering from some form of scrupulosity/OCD. None of us here can tell you whether or not you have a vocation, but a few things can be pointed out:

  • there is a screening process to enter the priesthood that includes psychological testing (correct me if I’m wrong but this is what I’ve heard)

  • entering the priesthood or religious life is not a solution to depression or anxiety; it will probably make it worse; this is why candidates are generally expected to be in good mental health

  • people with vocations generally feel *some *attraction for the life, even though they may resist it, feel conflicted, and try to block it out; it doesn’t sound like you feel attracted to it at all

BTW - this thread should really be in the vocation forum.

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