How to find out if are called to the priestly ministry
Deciding whether or not to pursue the priesthood is a deeply personal and spiritual decision that requires prayer, reflection, and discernment. You have ticked the first box by having interest. That is the first indication you may be called to a vocation. If you have zero interest in it, that interest can never grow into a passion and that means that life is probably not for you.
Here are a few steps that might help you determine if you are called to the priesthood:
Pray about it:
Take some time to pray and ask God to reveal His will for your life. This is an important first step in discernment, as it helps you to open your heart and mind to the possibilities that God may be calling you to. As you pray, try to be open and receptive to any thoughts or feelings that come to you.
You may also want to read and meditate on passages from the Bible or other spiritual texts that speak to you. It can also be helpful to spend time in quiet contemplation, listening for any promptings or guidance from the Holy Spirit. Remember to be patient, as it may take time for God to reveal His will for your life. It is important to be persistent in your prayer and to continue seeking guidance as you discern your vocation.
Reflect on your passions and gifts:
Think about what you are passionate about and what gifts and talents you have. Consider how these align with the ministry of a priest. For example, do you have a love for preaching or teaching? Do you have a particular talent for counseling or comforting others? Are you drawn to working with youth or young adults? These passions and gifts can be a good indication of where your strengths and interests lie, and how they may be used in the ministry of a priest.
It can also be helpful to consider your personality and how it might fit with the life and work of a priest. For example, do you enjoy being around people and building relationships? Do you have a calm and patient personality that would allow you to handle the challenges and demands of priesthood? Reflecting on these qualities can help you determine if the priesthood is a good fit for you.
Talk to a spiritual director or mentor:
A spiritual director or mentor is a trusted person who can provide guidance and support as you discern your vocation. This might be a priest, a religious sister or brother, or a lay person who has experience in spiritual direction. They can provide a listening ear, ask thought-provoking questions, and offer guidance and insights as you consider the priesthood.
It is important to choose a spiritual director or mentor who is knowledgeable about the priesthood and the discernment process, and who can provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to share your thoughts and feelings. Meeting with a spiritual director or mentor on a regular basis can help you to stay focused and grounded in your discernment journey.
If you are not sure where to find a spiritual director or mentor, you can ask your pastor, a trusted member of your faith community, or your diocese’s vocation director for recommendations. You may also be able to find resources online or through your local Catholic community.
Meet with a vocation director:
Many dioceses have a vocation director whose role is to help men and women discern their vocations. A vocation director can provide information about the priesthood and the discernment process and can answer any questions you may have. They can also provide resources and connections to help you learn more about the priesthood and the life of a priest.
Meeting with a vocation director can be a helpful step in your discernment journey, as they can provide a wealth of information and support as you consider the priesthood. They can help you to understand the requirements and expectations of the priesthood and can provide guidance on how to move forward in your discernment process.
To find a vocation director in your area, you can contact your diocese or search online for resources in your local Catholic community. You may also be able to find information through your parish or by contacting your local bishop’s office.
Spend time with priests:
Consider spending time with priests, either through volunteering or by shadowing them in their ministry. This can give you a sense of what life as a priest is like and whether it is something you feel called to pursue.
Spending time with priests can be a valuable way to learn more about the priesthood and the life of a priest. You can ask questions and get a firsthand look at what their daily work involves. You might also consider volunteering in a ministry or service that is led by a priest, such as helping with a youth group or assisting with liturgical celebrations.
It is important to approach this step with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Remember that every priest’s experience is unique and that your own experience as a priest may be different from what you see during your time with other priests. However, spending time with priests can be a helpful way to gain a better understanding of the priesthood and to determine if it is something you feel called to pursue.
Ultimately, the decision to pursue the priesthood is one that only you can make. It is important to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to seek guidance from trusted spiritual advisors as you discern your vocation. You can only do this if you hold onto the truth. If you tell lies to yourself or your spiritual director or vocation director, you may end up being stuck in a life that isn’t meant for you. So be open and honest and you will figure out where God wants you to be for him.