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There may be a time in a male Catholic’s life when they asked themselves this life-altering question – how do I know if I’m being called for the priesthood?

It is something that young men mostly ponder about, especially if they feel the desire to serve God and enter the seminary. And one way to do it is to be fully committed to the ministry.

While some have distinct clarity on being called to serve, some are not as lucky. They have other issues to battle and internal conflicts they have no idea how to resolve.

The classic dilemma of many aspiring priests

Many young men like you who want to be priests have conflicts of interest like family, friends, and significant others. They will be affected by the personal decision to go to the priesthood.

For them, it is a massive sacrifice on both sides because they would have to resign to the fact that you will never get married and that you’ll devote your life to God. This is extremely hard for families where the son is an only child since the parents will never have a chance of having a grandchild.

If you’re dating someone while contemplating becoming a priest, you must think harder about the possibilities that will affect you and your partner. Remember that in dating, you are not alone in anything. It would be best to discuss every significant decision involving both of you in detail, and you must consider your partner’s feelings heavily. Because once you cut off that relationship and be with God, you can never go back.

The steps for discernment

Fear is normal when discerning because no one knows how your decision to become a priest might turn out. Setting aside fear and letting faith take over is the first and most fundamental step.

It should involve prayer, with the intense willingness to seek quiet time to determine God’s will for you. This will also help you discern your love for the Church. Even though there are lots of ways to discern God’s calling for you, these are some steps you can take to help you get through it:

An established personal relationship with Jesus

The aspiring seminarian experiences how beautiful God’s calling is, similar to the feeling of falling in love, according to Pope Benedict XVI. The personal encounter with the grace of God can be the catalyst to fully understanding His will for anyone’s life, including yours. Now have you ever genuinely fallen in love with Christ?

Ask for God’s guidance

It’s hard for anyone to figure out God’s plan for the future. The path that leads to absolute joy and peace is how God has provided, even if it’s narrow. You may not hear an answer now, but as long as you let yourself be led by the Lord, you might find fulfillment along the way. Trust in His plan for your life because all He desires is what’s best for you.

Use your talents and gifts for God’s glory

God has blessed each of us with different talents unique to every person. These God-given talents shouldn’t be wasted and must be used for His glory, especially if you’re aspiring for a full-time ministry.

Pray to the blessed mother

The safest way to your vocation is complete devotion to the Blessed Mother. She became the way for Jesus to come to us, so she is our way to go to Him. The Blessed Mother provides protection and guidance. Not only that, but she also ensures the perfection of our prayers and brings them to her Beloved Son.

Seek wisdom from a priest

Even though spiritual guides are available to help you in your vocational discernment, like the book “The Catholic Priesthood book by Bevil”; nothing beats the advice of a priest. It could be someone from the parish, a spiritual counselor or director, and a friend. Their words of advice will clear out the direction you are going to take. And by heeding their encouragement and raw honesty about the priesthood, you can make sound decisions.

In conclusion

There’s nothing wrong with having second thoughts, even after considering becoming a priest. Our conscience and intuition are there to help us think, but God is also there to guide us and show us the path to our future.

Whatever decision you arrive at must come from a particular time of pondering. You must be willing to sacrifice many things you grew up with and the enormous changes once you enter the seminary. But if it’s a cross you’re ready to bear, go for it.


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