“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5
Rather than asking God to bless your life in the way in which you have chosen to live and serve Him, discernment is choosing to serve Him in whichever way He invites you. In order to fully become what God wants you to be, you must be willing to listen and hear God speak His desire for your life.
For some, this call is for a life in the priesthood. For men who feel that they are being called to live this both challenging and rewarding life of service to the Church and community, discernment considers questions like, “What does Jesus want for me?” and “What life will bring Jesus the greatest glory?”
But taking the step of applying to the seminary may feel overwhelming for some. We recently had the opportunity to talk with a few of the seminarians at The Pontifical College Josephinum and asked them to share advice with potential seminarians who may be considering the seminary. And, as always, we pray:
Oh God, hear our prayer for the men you have chosen to follow in your Son’s footsteps.
Teach them humility and fidelity to unselfishly help others.
May their devotion to Our Blessed Mother, Queen of Vocations increase, enabling them to do your will.
Strengthen their prayer life that they may grow spiritually without worldly distractions.
Give them courage and perseverance in their studies.
May the Holy Spirit lighten their struggles with their vocations, until they know the joy of being a priest.
We ask this through Christ your Son.
Learn to manage your time well. Prayer life is the most important part of your day, and everything else should fill in around it.
I would say this: Stay close to Jesus. It sounds almost too obvious, but it is really easy to become absorbed in your responsibilities, classes, events, and everything else that Jesus can be hard to remember. I have found that I am at peace and am more loving and joyful to my brother seminarians when I am rooted in prayer, especially the Rosary and the Bible.
The advice I give the most is to trust in the Lord and his purifying process through the ups and downs of seminary life.
Don’t be afraid! And stay close to the Eucharist, and to Our Lady.
You can’t discern the priesthood in private. Get in touch with the vocation director for your diocese and hopefully go to some events where you can interact with seminarians.
Stay close to our Blessed Mother and ask her to lead you closer to her Son everyday.
Beyond listening to God’s call, however, discernment requires taking action on that call. Do not let worry about making a wrong choice paralyze you from making any decision, as perfection has no place in discernment. God has a beautiful plan for your life, but you must be willing to act upon it.