What do you do when God hangs up on you?

The decision for me to become a priest did not come overnight but in my sophomore year of study I did get the "call from God". I ignored it at first but it would not be ignored. After consulting with the Priests at the Neuman Center I transfered to minor seminary. It took me an extra year because I lacked the religious and philosophy. background. I got reasonably good grades and graduated. I started major seminary but after a year and numerous sessions with my spiritual advisor left for a year of personal discernment. I spent 6 weeks in a secluded retreat and a year in a college coed environment evaluating the call to celebant life. It became clearer and clearer that the thing I wanted to do and God was calling me to do was to complete my journey and serve God and the people of my diocese as a priest. I reentered the major seminary at peace with myself and completely committed to answering God's call. In the spring of my 2nd year out of the blue I recieved a call from the Vocations Office informing me they would no longer sponsor me and I was dismissed. No explanation, no reason--I was just out. It wasn't even the priest who was the Vocation's Director--it was an administrative assistant or secretary. I was devastated, bewildered, crushed. When I called to speak to the vocation's director I was told it was the policy of the diocese not to disclose the reason. I have tried to get entry into another diocese but I have been told I would have to wait for 2 years to be considered. I don't understand, I thought I was doing everything right, I was getting good grades and I have loved and defended my church to everyone I met. I still want to be a priest but what do you do when you answer the call from God and then He hangs up on you?

Pray and call back.

God Bless
~Bix

I will take the time and offer more of a compassionate ear. Because I have been
in a similar situation. Not going to be a priest, but I was abruptly let go from a job
that I had no clue WHY.

I especially thought that God had hand picked this job for me and was basically devastated when it ended.

I had to trust God (and let me tell you it was NOT easy!!!) that he wanted me gone from that place for whatever reason. Something I could not see now and maybe would NEVER see in this lifetime.

I had my bad days. I cried, swore, was upset. Mad at God too.

I am pretty much over it now...it has been several years. But I still can get upset if I dwell on it too long.

Getting back to your particular case....are you sure you can not find out the reason?

Because,, if it was something grave, you should have the chance to explain yourself!

Perhaps God wants you to be a priest but in a DIFFERENT order?

Is there any spritual advisor you can talk to about this?

I encourage you to talk to someone about this.

Don't give up on God...He is there, even if he doesn't seem like it !
god bless,
Maple

I got a sudden cold boot out of confirmation class as a young child. It was handled poorly by the Priest and cathecism leader. Learn to forgive and rise above it.

Perhaps it's not time yet? Only God knows the answer, but in the meanwhile don't ever give up on the faith if you know your being called. Please don't be discouraged, I believe He has other plans for you. Don't take it as a sign of failure, but as a time to reflect on other possibilities that could be in store for you while you wait. I will be praying for you my friend.

You were not hung up on, but placed on hold. Consider that you might be a Priest for 50 years. What's another 2 at this point? Part of being a Priest; part of being a Christian, is bearing injustice with patience. And, this is assuming that it is an injustice. This may be the best thing that ever occurred to you, as now you have ample opportunity to ponder, reflect and mature even further. There is a recently ordained Priest of my acquaintance who was asked to leave major seminary, as he was too worldly and unready to deny himself at the required level. He took a few YEARS off, but is now ordained and knows that he was not ready before. Ordnation, as with salvation, comes to those who persevere to the end.

[quote="maplebug55, post:3, topic:271503"]
I will take the time and offer more of a compassionate ear.
Maple

[/quote]

Uriel,
I humbly apologize if my reply seemed lacking of compassion....
I have been through trials involving something similar, but not the priesthood or anything else nearly as important, but it did involve a church.
My reply was succinct as no matter how much detail shared, etc, prayer and communication are the easiest ways to begin to find the answers, healing process, and move forward.

Urel, I hope you took no offense by the brevity of my reply. None was meant and it was heartfelt advice from experience.

I will keep you in my prayers.

God Bless~Bix

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (Romans 12:12)

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." (Philippians 4:6-7)

[quote="Uriel1of4, post:1, topic:271503"]
The decision for me to become a priest did not come overnight but in my sophomore year of study I did get the "call from God". I ignored it at first but it would not be ignored. After consulting with the Priests at the Neuman Center I transfered to minor seminary. It took me an extra year because I lacked the religious and philosophy. background. I got reasonably good grades and graduated. I started major seminary but after a year and numerous sessions with my spiritual advisor left for a year of personal discernment. I spent 6 weeks in a secluded retreat and a year in a college coed environment evaluating the call to celebant life. It became clearer and clearer that the thing I wanted to do and God was calling me to do was to complete my journey and serve God and the people of my diocese as a priest. I reentered the major seminary at peace with myself and completely committed to answering God's call. In the spring of my 2nd year out of the blue I recieved a call from the Vocations Office informing me they would no longer sponsor me and I was dismissed. No explanation, no reason--I was just out. It wasn't even the priest who was the Vocation's Director--it was an administrative assistant or secretary. I was devastated, bewildered, crushed. When I called to speak to the vocation's director I was told it was the policy of the diocese not to disclose the reason. I have tried to get entry into another diocese but I have been told I would have to wait for 2 years to be considered. I don't understand, I thought I was doing everything right, I was getting good grades and I have loved and defended my church to everyone I met. I still want to be a priest but what do you do when you answer the call from God and then He hangs up on you?

[/quote]

If your grades were fine, there must have been something that came up in your character or spiritual formation that led the diocese to believe you are not a good fit for them anymore. I'm sorry they feel it is best not to discuss their reasons with you, but please try and trust them. Ask God to guide you wherever you are supposed to be. I'm sure He did lead you to the seminary, but perhaps that was not where He meant for you to stay- or, perhaps He wants you to go with the other diocese, but wait two years as they have asked.

[quote="m134e5, post:8, topic:271503"]
If your grades were fine, there must have been something that came up in your character or spiritual formation that led the diocese to believe you are not a good fit for them anymore. I'm sorry they feel it is best not to discuss their reasons with you, but please try and trust them. Ask God to guide you wherever you are supposed to be. I'm sure He did lead you to the seminary, but perhaps that was not where He meant for you to stay- or, perhaps He wants you to go with the other diocese, but wait two years as they have asked.

[/quote]

It does seem remarkably unfeeling to not wish to discuss with you why you were unceremoniously pulled from your studies. I know my own Vocations Director would have definitely not managed it this way and he would have explained because he recognises his duty of care towards his students. It certainly doesn't seem to be a particularly Christian thing to do to someone who was so dedicated to the idea of becoming a priest. You deserve an explanation. Sad to say, though, it doesn't look like you'll get one, so as others have said, my advice is to give it some time, demonstrate your commitment to the Church as well as your emotional stability and maturity in dealing with this setback. Vocations Directors and Bishops come and go. In years to come others will make these decisions and then will be a good time to demonstrate how well you handle such trials.

Think of this as just another test. It's not one you wanted, but we frequently don't get what we want in this life, and what marks out the better people amongst us is the way they deal with such disappointments.

Don't lose sight of the vocation and don't feel bitter, since that will hurt you all the more. Just remember that no matter what obstacles are in your path, whether you put them there or others did, you are loved completely and unconditionally by God, now and for all time. The grace of that love will see you through this sad period in your life and at some point I am sure that his light will fill your horizons again.

I remember that He hung up for me, which makes me know that , after doing that for me, He certainly wouldn’t abandon me now.

I sincerely appreciate the kindness of your replies. I don't take offense at the terseness of your advice. I am just swinging in the dark because I can't get any feedback from my former diocese Vocations Office. I think they are very sensitive about a wrongful discharge action. They really have nothing to fear about that from me. If I was let go and others were not then it is a problem with me--not them. For the most part they were reasonable men with good judgement and exceptional intelligence. I just wish I could have some explanation so I can fix it (if possible). As I reflect I know that I might have come accross as somewhat adversarial in classes. For instance, I once asked my Theology Professor if a cloned human being woud have soul and then pressed him a little on his answer. I did not want to sound heretical. It was just that the same question was put to me by a contempletive acquaintence and I was unsure of how to reply. I felt that the classroom was a fair venue for such questions during your formation. I guess in a hierachy that is so wedded to authority is risky for a student to challenge that authority in any way.

Have you considered that possibly you are being called as a lay Brother or to a religious Order. Maybe it was just that your charism was not right for the secular priesthood. This is something you may wish to discern with a spiritual director.

[quote="Uriel1of4, post:11, topic:271503"]
As I reflect I know that I might have come accross as somewhat adversarial in classes. For instance, I once asked my Theology Professor if a cloned human being woud have soul and then pressed him a little on his answer. I did not want to sound heretical. It was just that the same question was put to me by a contempletive acquaintence and I was unsure of how to reply. I felt that the classroom was a fair venue for such questions during your formation. I guess in a hierachy that is so wedded to authority is risky for a student to challenge that authority in any way.

[/quote]

You know, that doesn't sound unreasonable to me. As a priest, you could expect to get hard questions and would need to know how to respond.

You may never know what caused your dismissal. I think if it were me, I would drive myself nuts trying to figure out why. Couple of suggestions... maybe go on a retreat. Give yourself some time to grieve and to heal. Don't give up on the idea of the priesthood, though. If God wants it to happen, it will.

"Have you considered that possibly you are being called as a lay Brother or to a religious Order. Maybe it was just that your charism was not right for the secular priesthood. This is something you may wish to discern with a spiritual director."

I have considered this very idea. In fact, discussed it with my spiritual director(s) when I had one. It just does not seem to be the right fit. And what is Charism? It is my observation that charism is what you call your vocation after you are already doing it. Up till now I had been totally convinced that my "charism" was to serve my Lord as a priest. I am not trying to self aggrandize but I seem to draw people when I speak. Most of my family became stronger in their faith when I entered the seminary, I have a naturally strong voice and God blessed me with physical attributes of a commanding nature. When I read in the seminary they jokingly called me "Vox Dei". I was supposed to be a priest! ...or so I thought.

[quote="Uriel1of4, post:14, topic:271503"]
"Have you considered that possibly you are being called as a lay Brother or to a religious Order. Maybe it was just that your charism was not right for the secular priesthood. This is something you may wish to discern with a spiritual director."

I have considered this very idea. In fact, discussed it with my spiritual director(s) when I had one. It just does not seem to be the right fit. And what is Charism? It is my observation that charism is what you call your vocation after you are already doing it. Up till now I had been totally convinced that my "charism" was to serve my Lord as a priest. I am not trying to self aggrandize but I seem to draw people when I speak. Most of my family became stronger in their faith when I entered the seminary, I have a naturally strong voice and God blessed me with physical attributes of a commanding nature. When I read in the seminary they jokingly called me "Vox Dei". I was supposed to be a priest! ...or so I thought.

[/quote]

You have a partial definition of charism. For starters charism can be as simple as a gift from the Holy Spirit. Now for instance the Franciscan charism can be described as a Love for poverty, the Blessed Virgin, penance, prayer, service, and community. A Dominican charism can be defined as one that has a love for study, preaching, etc. (I am not Dominican so I am not doing this justice.) Jesuits have another charism. It is important before you dismiss religious life that you have looked at each charism and dismissed each one. If your spiritual director is a lay person or secular priest than he/she may not be able to that justice. You may wish to find someone with a wider base of knowledge. I am not trying take away from this person - I do not know. There is also a quiz available at vocationsplacement.org that will put you in touch with a lot of different communities. BTW - a religious order does not necessarily mean giving up on being ordained it just means a few other things as well that you may or may not be better suited to.

[quote="Faustina123, post:13, topic:271503"]
You know, that doesn't sound unreasonable to me. As a priest, you could expect to get hard questions and would need to know how to respond.

You may never know what caused your dismissal. I think if it were me, I would drive myself nuts trying to figure out why. Couple of suggestions... maybe go on a retreat. Give yourself some time to grieve and to heal. Don't give up on the idea of the priesthood, though. If God wants it to happen, it will.

[/quote]

I'd love to go on a retreat. Unfortunately I have to eat and pay the rent--not to many openings for a Bachelor's in Philosophy out in the real world. I've got a part time minimum wage gig as a night custodian now and student loans, utilities, insurance etc. It would be nice to grieve and heal but I have to sleep sometime. The fall from grace in world of religious education ends in a hard landing. Excuse me there is a knock at the door--Oh it's just the Wolf again.

[quote="Uriel1of4, post:16, topic:271503"]
I'd love to go on a retreat. Unfortunately I have to eat and pay the rent--not to many openings for a Bachelor's in Philosophy out in the real world. I've got a part time minimum wage gig as a night custodian now and student loans, utilities, insurance etc. It would be nice to grieve and heal but I have to sleep sometime. The fall from grace in world of religious education ends in a hard landing. Excuse me there is a knock at the door--Oh it's just the Wolf again.

[/quote]

Please don't see it as a fall from .grace. It seems unfair that you were not told why. Thatgives you no chance to correct and thus heal.

A thought; have you approached any religious orders?. eg Franciscans? Diocesan is not the only way to the priesthood. And you are certainly living poverty now

.A book that might interest you is "Vagabond of God"; by John DOve; bio .of John Bradburne; see the web site also. He had great problems getting to where God wanted him to be.

For him as for you, it is not God who has hung up on you.
Blessings and peace

[quote="Uriel1of4, post:11, topic:271503"]
I sincerely appreciate the kindness of your replies. I don't take offense at the terseness of your advice. I am just swinging in the dark because I can't get any feedback from my former diocese Vocations Office. I think they are very sensitive about a wrongful discharge action. .

[/quote]

just to point out from your story that it was not God who pulled the plug on your formation, but human beings, who can err, be insensitive. Even if there was error, malice, mistake, or unjust cause for your dismissal, however, that does not mean God is not working through this event for your purification and readying you thereby for what he does have in store for you. There is scarcely a saint we could mention who was in the priesthood or religious life that did not experience setbacks and trials at the hand of their religious superiors. All is working toward your perfection. Go with God.

[quote="puzzleannie, post:18, topic:271503"]
just to point out from your story that it was not God who pulled the plug on your formation, but human beings, who can err, be insensitive. Even if there was error, malice, mistake, or unjust cause for your dismissal, however, that does not mean God is not working through this event for your purification and readying you thereby for what he does have in store for you. There is scarcely a saint we could mention who was in the priesthood or religious life that did not experience setbacks and trials at the hand of their religious superiors. All is working toward your perfection. Go with God.

[/quote]

Well said.

[quote="puzzleannie, post:18, topic:271503"]
There is scarcely a saint we could mention who was in the priesthood or religious life that did not experience setbacks and trials at the hand of their religious superiors.

[/quote]

THIS. Such challenges in this world are a sign of grace, not a fall from it! You are in good company. Rededicate yourself to prayer (you will find a very sympathetic voice in the psalms), and seek out a heart-to-heart connection with the saints, which you can cultivate through their writings, biographies, and prayer. St. John Vianney had a harder time than you have getting ordained, and yet went on to be the best parish priest ever. John of the Cross was actually *imprisoned *by his order! Thomas Merton was turned away by the Fransiscans, despite his certainty that he wanted to be a friar. I could go on and on. Connect with them. Learn from them how they were able to remain faithful to their vocations despite years, often decades of hardship from their superiors.

Remember too that, vocation or not, getting ordained is far, far less important than getting to heaven. Keeping those priorities straight will always serve you well.

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