There’s been something heavy on my mind recently. I am currently attending college and I have been discerning the priesthood for a few years now and I was thinking about applying after I graduated. However, I also have had the misfortune at times to fall into the sins of pornography and masturbation. I know that the law of the Church is that you have had sex, watched porn or masturbated, you have to wait at least to years before applying.
But I've also done some reading on stories from people saying that they were automatically turned away just because they've watched porn or masturbated in their lifetimes. I even heard of one person who said that he hadn't watched porn in 3 years and his Vocation's Director asked him if he had ever struggled and he admitted that he used to but he doesn't anymore, but even then he turned him away because he felt that he was going to fall into the sin again and that would be bad if he were to be a priest living in habitual sin (which I agree with by the way). And I've heard of certain religious orders and dioceses that won't take anyone who ha ever struggled with those sins even if they put them in their distant past and haven't committed the sins in say 10 years or so. I do admit that I struggle with pornography and masturbation at times, but I hate it with a burning passion and I'd give anything to get it out of my life completely. And I have a burning love for Christ, the Mass, the Sacraments and our very Faith itself. I know that seems like a contradiction but it is the truth for we are all sinners. I am going to make sure I am at least two years pure before I apply and more than likely wait until I have graduated from college which should be about 3 years from now. That being said, I am almost afraid of applying for any religious order or diocese or talking to any priest, bishop, or vocation director about wanting to become a priest because I have the feeling that I am almost guaranteed to be turned away just for the very fact that I have masturbated and watched porn in my past regardless of how long it may have been from the time I would have last done it to the time that I would have applied to the seminary. I feel that God is calling me to be an instrument of His love and mercy in this world, I really do. But I also agree that it is His will that is to be done and that despite how bad I want to become a priest, because of who I am and my past that my chances of being ordained or even being accepted to seminary are slim to none. For what I want and what God wants of me aren't always going to be the same thing. Maybe it would be best for me to work for a year or two after gradating from college before I apply to the seminary. I just don't know anymore. Everyone please pray for me and give me some advice if possible.