For over a year now, God has been calling out to me, figuratively shouting at me “I WANT YOU!” At first, admittedly, I was terrified and upset. I didn’t know what it meant, I didn’t want to accept it and I wanted my life to be ran my way, not His. My priest has always told me, “I don’t know what it is about you, but there is something there, something special.” I never really took that more than at face value but when I heard God asking me to give Him my life, I knew then what it all meant. I kept denying the call, not wanting to even think about being a priest. I want a family, I want a career and I want MY life to go MY way. Well, that’s not how it works.
For me, my calling to priesthood isn’t a “say yes and go join a seminary right now.” It’s a question “are you willing to lay down your life for the church and for God?” Right now, I’m still in school, still doing what I normally do and I will continue to do this for the time being. I’m not running off to join the seminary and I plan to finish my degree. The more I pray about discerning the more I realize that God just wants me to be open to the thought of being a priest. He wants me to give myself 100% and I am absolutely willing to do that. I feel like so many people think that they have no time to figure things out and need to rush into a vocation (or anything for that matter). We are young, we have our whole lives ahead of us, discerning isn’t a fast way out. Some people discern for years and guess what? That’s okay, it’s okay to be unsure of what you want to do because God has you in the palm of His hand and He knows what’s right for you. He won’t lead you wrong. For anyone who is discerning and thinks they need to make a decision right now, here is my advice: slow down, pray and learn to love yourself, learn to love the church and don’t rush.
Do I know what my answer is right now? No. Absolutely not. Two million percent, NO! That is okay though, I trust God and I trust His guidance. The best steps to take to finding your answer are these
1.) PRAY, PRAY, PRAY AND PRAY SOME MORE!!! I cannot stress this enough!
2.) Talk to friends and family. They can be your biggest guide into your discernment because God will speak through them and help you along the way.
3.) contact your parish’s vocational/ spirit director. They have an immense amount of knowledge and can hook you up with reading material, devotional a to help, retreats to go on and so much more!
4.) don’t rush! You have your whole life ahead of you, enjoy the little things and never stop learning!
This is a rough guide because, lets face it, everyone is different. Some people know 100% that they are going to be a priest and the discernment takes 5 minutes…that’s awesome! For those of us who don’t know and the discernment process takes years, that’s awesome too! Whatever works for you, do it! If you have a calling, I am praying for you! Have the courage to say yes to God and be open to what He has planned for you! Until next time, may God guide you with strong hands!
Peace be with you always,