A man discerning a vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood will be attracted to what Diocesan Priests do. He will be able to imagine himself working as a Priest, celebrating Mass, preaching and perhaps he may be able to imagine himself getting old as a Priest.
When he reads the Scriptures, they will speak to him in a special way and come alive as if God was giving him a direct message.
God often speaks through others
People, parishioners, friends, family members, your Parish Priest, even complete strangers may ask you whether you are considering a vocation to the Priesthood. They may have an encouraging word for you. God often speaks through others, to encourage and reinforce a vocation.
An event like Hearts Aflame, World Youth Day, a retreat may ignite an idea of a vocation which will continue to grow.
A TV show, a movie, an interesting book, the lives of the saints, joy and or tragedy may open a pathway to begin discerning a vocation to the Priesthood. The death of a loved one or an event in your life which has changed or moved you, may highlight a change in your thinking, that perhaps you are being called to do something extra ordinary, a vocation to the Priesthood.
A call may happen over a period of time. You may become aware that God is calling you to something which you may or may not be comfortable with. This may not be a part of what you had planned for yourself and what you had imagined your life to be.
A feeling or a desire
A calling may start off as a feeling or a desire which overtime may get stronger and stronger and continue to persist.
Hearing others talk about their calling to the Priesthood or Religious Life may inspire you to explore the possibility.
Could this be for me?
Is God calling me to the Priesthood or another vocation?
Call to holiness
The call to holiness or the desire to be holy is also a healthy sign for a man discerning a call to the Priesthood. Faithfulness to attending Sunday Mass and weekday Masses, regular Confession, a good commitment to daily prayer and desire for holiness, are a healthy sign. Striving to live a life of virtue are signs that God could be calling you to the Priesthood.
Against huge odds
Some men have been called to the Priesthood against huge odds and opposition. Sometimes God tests you to see your endurance and stickablity. A calling does need to be tested. Is this what God is calling me to do?
Talk to somebody
Sharing your thoughts, desires, dreams, fears and concerns is an important thing to do. Talk to your Parish Priest and or the Vocations Director who can often reinforce what you may be thinking and diminish your fears and concerns.
Take the initiative
A man discerning his vocation needs to be driven, he can’t be luke warm, stuck and lazy in the practice of his Catholic Faith and in his efforts to discover the Lord’s call for him. He needs to be motivated and determined, and willing to take the initiative to test his calling. A motivated man who is willing, keen and determined are healthy signs of a call to the Priesthood.
Take the risk
God calls men of different ages, abilities and talents to the Priesthood. It takes courage to respond to God’s invitation. It is about taking a risk and trusting in the Lord, if you believe you are being called to the Priesthood. God can’t drive your car, send an email or dial the phone for you. It is up to you to respond, discover, search, ask questions and particularly pray that you may learn what your vocation for life will be.
kind regards and God bless
Father Eamon Kennedy
7th December 2012
Feast of St Ambrose