Turnaround Vocation

Pray that God’s will be done. Give yourself: accept the difficulties that you are facing and put yourself in God’s hands.
by Father Anthony Bannon, LC | Source:
Q. Dear Fr Anthony,

Hello. How do I start this? My life up to this past year has been a sin. I never did good in school, I lived a life for my own sake and did what I wished. I hated myself and the path I was headed for, then I turned to our beloved Lord, and asked sincerely for forgiveness of my sins, and I offered my life to him. My life has taken an extreme turn towards living the word. I have a extreme love for our Lord and the Holy Mother, and I am ready as of to date to give my life to Christ, the Church and towards charity. The problem is my past: I did poor in high school, even though my college grades to date are around a 3.0. I know that Jesus has forgiven me, but why is it that his so-called apostles still judge my past instead of looking towards the future and the love I have for Christ? I know in my heart my calling is to become a priest, but I need someone to give me a break so I can join an order and serve God. Thank you for your time, and God bless you.

- Joshua

A. Dear Joshua in Christ,

I see what you are struggling with, and I will keep you in my prayers. You give me no details, so I will answer just with some generalities and you can take the ones that apply to you.

The sad fact about sin is that, even after God has forgiven us and restored us to his Grace, many of its effects remain in us - in the pull of habits, a weakened will, even in our psychology and sometimes in our physical health, depending on the type of sin itself and other circumstances - and it can often take a long time for those effects to be healed, sometimes they never will be (for example, if a man ruined his liver because he drank excessively he may later straighten out his life, be forgiven, become a true saint, but still die of liver failure). So if there is hesitancy in a seminary about accepting you right away, it may be because the nature of your past is such that prudence and sound theology advise them to go slow.

It could be also that there is something specific they want you to work on. The love you have for Christ is certainly important but it may have to grow, mature, and set deeper roots before being able to take on the commitments that go with the vocation to the priesthood.

These are just some common considerations that a prudent spiritual director will take into account. There are others, too. Now, given this, what should you do? Pray that God’s will be done. Give yourself: accept the difficulties that you are facing and put yourself in God’s hands. Ask the people you are in touch with what you need to do (don’t be impatient - they are trying to see which way God is pointing). Keep studying. Be sure of my prayers for you as well.

God bless.

- Fr Anthony

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