Worried that i'm using the priesthood has an escape


#1

Hi everyone

So as you know I’ve had the feeling that i’ve felt a call to the priesthood and am kind of treading lightly since other than a bit of a longing in my heart for a few things, I’m not 100%sure i’m called to the priesthood.

Anyway, my big anxiety around this is that I currently am not thrilled with my current job as a teacher. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone has bad days at their job and a lot of people dislike their jobs. My worry is that my longing for the priesthood is simply just a longing to get out of my job (its my first year as well so things be rough out here).

Whenever I think about the priesthood, I don’t think of it as an escape. I know it will be tough and that things aren’t going to be any better than any other path in life I choose. But I guess I feel like I would be able to go deeper into my spirituality and be able to do things that matter to people. Sometimes in my current state I feel like i’m spinning my wheels. I just hope that I’m not using a potential vocation as an escape hatch from life.

How would I know this? I feel a calling in my heart but I don’t know if I’m just longing for a change or if its an actual call.

God Bless

Nocoast


#2

If you haven’t already, you need to talk to your priest about this. He’s the first step in discerning a calling. If the priesthood is not God’s call, at least you’ll have sorted it out so that you can be content in whatever God has for you. It’s better to feel you have a calling and look into it than to be discontented all your life wondering if you should have done it. You have my prayers.


#3

Priesthood isn’t an escape.
It’s just as difficult a life as any other as you suspect, and it is lifelong.
And people don’t always listen or do as advised, any more than do school-children.
Being a priest is also being a teacher.
Being a father and a husband requires much sacrifice and generosity, as does being a priest. Both states of life can be lonely, burdensome, at times disillusioning, and in both states of life you have to battle the difficulties within yourself.

The responsibilities of fatherhood and of being a husband require a great deal of love and effort.
The same with being a priest. In either case, sometimes you can’t help people as much as you want or hope.
If you have a call, it can never be an escape.
Life is difficult in any state of life, in any occupation, and in communication with others.
If you are called, then you are called, and you won’t escape the unpleasant things, the heartbreaking things, the boredom that sometimes come, difficult people, your faults.

As Della mentioned, best to speak with your priest.

God’s blessings!


#4

You need to contact the diocese office of vocations and talk to the vocation director and he can help you sort out your feelings. I would think that some of the skills you have learned in being a teacher would apply as a priest because a priest does function as a teacher. I would see your work as preparation for you role as a priest. I’ve heard it said, God doesn’t waste anything in our lives and uses everything such as education and work.


#5

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment.


#6

I would recommend a spiritual advisor. this can really help you discern your vocation. Also prayer life is very important. You could also look into the jesuits. Many Jesuits are teachers, professors, and theologians. If you still wanted to teach and serve the Lord in the priesthood the jesuits might be worth looking into.


#7

Certainly as has been suggested it is a good idea to speak to a vocations director, and you are showing wisdom in acknowledging a possible connection between current dissatisfaction and thinking another route may provide satisfaction. You will have to discern whether the feelings of call are toward something positive or away from something which is tough.

Moving away from difficulty is not a good reason to go towards the Priesthood. Just look at the liturgy section here and look at all the focus on the Priests doing or not doing things to a given persons’ interpretation of the GIRM and how quickly others tell them to “go to the Bishop and file a complaint”. That will be part of your life.

A question I heard a Pastor ask once was “is there ANYTHING you can do in life which would bring you satisfaction other than ministry? If there is, do it”. He wasn’t being sarcastic. Those God calls are given an internal prompting which will be there no matter how satisfying another position might be. It will be a pull which always calls even if by all logic one should be content with something else.

Good luck in your journey.


#8

At the risk of stating the obvious - if you were satisfied with what you were doing (in the sense of finding it fulfilling) then you wouldn’t be interested in priesthood. Any calling carries with it a search for fulfillment and because of this there is always the risk of it being used as a means of escape. Part of the discernment process involves looking at your motivations for wanting to be a priest and why you think it’s what you’re called to do with your life. so, to put it another way, a vocations director is expecting something more than “I don’t like my current job”.

As others have noted, the skills acquired from teaching are easily transferable to priesthood and you’d be far from the first person to follow that particular path. One thing I would note though is that you’re only in your first year of teaching. Granted the vocations discernment process takes time, but have you consider the benefits of working for a few years before moving to become a priest?


#9

Consider that as a priest you will have to do a lot of secular activities in managing the parish and so you aren’t going to have the time to just explore spirituality. You may be assigned to a small parish without a business administrator or any hired staff at all. So, you may be spending a lot of time paying bills, arranging for repairs, etc. Will you be ok with this or do you somehow have an idealist view that a priest will just be involved in the sacraments, help people out and pray the rest of the time? If the latter is what you want then you may just be wanting to escape and will be surprised that there really is no escape after all.


#10

Any state of life can be looked at as an escape from the responsibilities of another state of life. The only one that matters, though, is that which God is calling us to. As you say this is your first year of teaching, I’m going to assume you’re on the younger side, and thus likely open to exploring many options at this point.

It would be a great idea to find a spiritual director to help sort a lot of this out. But one thing I can note for certain, one who becomes a priest should do it because he wants to become a priest, not because he became frustrated with another job. It could just be that you’re not fond of the environment in which you’re working now, for all I know. You’re asking very good questions though, and spiritual direction seems like just what you need at this time.


#11

I think the soundest advice was given above: go talk to the diocesan vocations director.

He has experience dealing with situations such as yours, and can offer wise counsel in the whole matter of discernment.


#12

Sorry I haven’t been on for a while. this is what I know will be the tough part for me. I think in some ways I do idealize it to an extent.Not that I’m looking for an escape but i’ll admit some of the secular stuff might get me down, but then also I’m a problem solver. I’m somebody who would try to learn how to do the business side of things.


#13

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