Hello. I am wondering if anyone can offer me any advice, concerning discerning a vocation. Being that I am a college student with a busy schedule, it can be quite challenging, sometimes, to take time and pray about this matter. Nonetheless, I do want to be able to finish college, and so my current focus is on that. I am simply trying to take things one step at a time.
Every day, I do pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life, especially in this age, where we do have a shortage of priests. We need the sacraments to be accessible to the Catholic people at all times (in particular, the dying, but not only them), especially the Sacraments of the Anointing of the Sick, Penance/Reconciliation, and the Holy Eucharist, which neither a deacon nor a lay person can administer, I might add. No priests means no Eucharist, and no Eucharist means no Mass. Without priests, I fear (greatly) that making Sacraments accessible to the people will either not be possible or it will be extremely challenging.
I am not saying that I have a calling to the priesthood, but that is not to say that I have considered it (on and off, and I actually first started to consider it, when I was a kid). Right now, I feel as if I need more time to mature spiritually, before I can make a definite decision, and frankly, it would be wrong of me to discern a possible vocation to the priesthood, for the sole reason of the necessity of more priests.
The Church recognizes that there are four vocations: two have been mentioned already (priesthood and religious life). The other two are the vocation of marriage and the consecrated single life.
Because I have considered the priesthood, it has made me skeptical about the possibility of the vocation of marriage, since married men cannot be ordained as priests (I am a Roman (Latin) Rite Catholic, by the way).
I may discern a vocation to the permanent diaconate, if after getting married, and after meeting all of the requirements, I feel called to something more than being a lay person. However, the permanent diaconate (I know that you do not have to be married to be a permanent deacon, since a single man can be ordained to the permanent diaconate, with a vow of celibacy) is its own calling, and not to be thought of as a “second prize” kind of vocation.
In all things, God’s will be done. If anybody else on this space has been in a situation or a scenario similar to mine, or even if you haven’t had an experience like mine, could you perhaps share your stories, please, or offer me any advice? That would be highly appreciated.