Discerning the Call: Career Men
How can I hear God His will to me?
None of us will ever hear the Lord’s voice unless we really listen, and we do that through prayer. Spend time in silent prayer, and meditation. Spend time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, go to daily Mass and read Scripture. Form a good relationship with a priest you trust, and go to regular confession. The more you speak to the Lord, and allow Him the chance to speak to you, the more clearly you will hear His will.
If God wants me to be a priest, why haven’t I always felt called?
God has an individual plan for each one of us, because He is our Father and He loves us. He calls many men to the priesthood, and He calls them in many ways. Some are called for years before they are ready to respond. Look back on your life. Do you feel like God has been calling you for years, but you just weren’t listening? Are there signs in your past which show that God has been guiding you through many paths, which could ultimately lead to the priesthood?
Am I the only one who has thought about this?
The trials of life are always toughest when faced alone, and that holds true for seminary and the priesthood. The devil does not want priests. So he wants those who think about the priesthood to feel alone and foolish. Do not listen to him. Countless men in the seminary and in the priesthood left their careers and ambitions to join. Some had spent years in another field, but never felt complete until they followed the Lord’s call. From 2006-2008, six men were ordained for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and all six had left their former professions to study the priesthood.
Does this mean I must have never been able to find a wife?
The priesthood is following the footsteps of the Lord, who forsook marriage “for the sake of the kingdom.” Those who choose to follow after Him are not doing so because no one would ever marry them. That wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. Priests live a celibate life because they must be able to give themselves fully in service to the Church. Many men who have entered the seminary had previously been in serious relationships, and some were even engaged. This is positive, in that we are looking for normal, healthy, sexually balanced men.
Can I really go back to school?
In the major seminary, someone already with a degree has the opportunity to study philosophy for two years, and theology for four years. If God wants you to be in seminary, then these topics will be very exciting to study. Saint Meinrad Seminary in southern Indiana is well-equipped to get students who haven’t gone to school for some time acclimated to the program.
How will I support myself and where will I live?
Once men join the major seminary, they receive a monthly stipend during the year. During the summer each seminarian receives a weekly stipend, as well as an assignment in-residence at a parish, as a place to live and a place to learn from holy and experienced priests.