The reality is that everyone has been called by God to live their life in a particular vocation. And at the heart of every vocation in life is the search for meaning. But discerning a life in the priesthood is a special calling that a man feels when God is calling him to help in his work of the salvation of souls, including his own.
For some, this may be a very distinct calling, or one that is heard when they are very young. For others, it may come as a quiet whisper when it is least expected. But know that once you are open to hearing the Lord speak to your heart, you will be able to truly discern, “Lord, where are you calling me to serve you in this life?”
God’s call may be subtle, and you may wonder “am I being called by God?” Here are some ways to help you hear the voice of God in your life to determine whether you are being called by God for a life of ministry. Of course, everyone’s call from the Lord is unique, and each of these may not speak directly to you, as God speaks to each of us in ways that only we understand.
- You have a strong, persistent desire to become a priest. Or, perhaps you do not have an overt desire to become a priest, but you feel a persistent nagging or sense of being drawn to the priesthood.
- You have a personal relationship with Christ, and have had an experience of “falling in love” with Christ. It is only when a young man has had a personal experience of Christ that he can truly understand the Lord’s will and, as a result, his own vocation.
- You have a desire to use your talents and gifts that you have been blessed with from God to serve the Church.
- Others recognize your priestly qualities and point out that you would make a good priest, The outside is an important factor in judging a vocation as people tend to know us better than we know ourselves.
- You have been profoundly influenced by witnessing the work of priests in your life, and find yourself longing for this sense of holiness and a fulfillment demonstrated by those priests.
- You deeply desire to spend more time with God through prayer. Moreover it seems that the more you pray, the more you discover about your faith, and the more your desire to follow His way.
- You have a deep sense of peace as you get to know God. Knowing what and where God wants you to be will come with an overwhelming sense of peace.
If you are asking yourself, am I being called, know that there is in no way an extensive list of signs that you may be called to a life in the priesthood. To gain clarity and guidance, contact Father Hahn, the Vocations Director, with any questions you have or simply to have a conversation with someone who was once going through a similar experience.