How Can You Be Sure?

If there is no clear sign in your life against a vocation, and there is some attraction based on a good, spiritual reason, then it boils down to what you are willing to do for God, how generous you want to be, how real you want to make your love.
by Father Anthony Bannon, LC | Source: Catholic.net

Question:
Dear Father Anthony,

If someone thinks that God is calling him to the priesthood, how can he be sure? Is a college education necessary prior to studying for the priesthood in a seminary? Thanks for your help.
– Curious

Answer: Dear Curious,

You can be sure you are called when the Church ordains you, assuming you have been honest, and the Church “knows what it is getting.” That sounds like a really bad deal, because we want to know for sure if we will make it even before we say yes to the vocation. But this would be to treat the vocation like a mechanical, practical problem, and not like what it is, an act of love. We are talking here about love that gives itself, love that is willing to suffer in order to make everything work out.

Probably what you really want to know is how sure you need to be in order to take the first step; how can you be sure you should even try it? This requires some self-examination: on the positive side, look at where you’ve come so far, what is important to you in this life and the next, the gift of faith God has given you, and all the other gifts, too. Ask yourself is he not already inviting you through all of these signs of his love. On the negative side, look at your weaknesses and seek advice to find out if any of these is a clear sign it would be imprudent for you to pursue the vocation.

If there is no clear sign in your life against a vocation, and there is some attraction based on a good, spiritual reason, then it boils down to what you are willing to do for God, how generous you want to be, how real you want to make your love.

As regards your second question: a college education is not necessary to start studies for the priesthood. Some dioceses or religious orders may not accept you before graduation from college, but not all. As a matter of fact, if you are thinking of the priesthood it makes much better sense to get right into it and do your college in a seminary context. However, there may be exceptions, so speak to a spiritual director as regards your own case. God bless.

– Father Anthony


On the Net:

www.vocation.com

www.whynotpriest.com






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