Rambling on Discerning a Priestly Vocation

All right, how do you know you have a vocation to the priesthood?  Many young men think of St. Paul being knocked off the horse and a blazing light from heaven announcing their sacerdotal calling; but it is rarely, if ever like that.  So I propose some indicators that might reveal that the Lord is leading you to the priestly call.

  1. When growing up, did you play Mass?  Besides being darn cute, you will of course be sanctioned by the Church for simulating a sacrament; but still this is a reliable child behavior for a budding seminarian.
  2. When you attend Mass or any liturgy, do you dream of what you would do differently than the priest celebrating to make it better?
  3. Do you think the Church building where you grew up worshipping was the most beautiful Church in the world? [Only to be told later in seminary that it was an a) preVatican II monstrosity; b) a postVatican II monstrosity; or c) just a monstrosity?]
  4. Do the dreams of your First Mass include an orchestra, three types of incense and six elephants?
  5. Do you think that once the holy hands of the aged bishop descend upon you all thoughts of sex will go away? [This is adorable.}
  6. Do you think that the laying on of hands will impart infused knowledge as well as Holy Orders? [You will be disabused of this approximately one year after ordination.  But not to worry, if you are ever ordained a bishop, this illusion will return permanently.]
  7. Do you get more excited about the release of a new vestment catalogue than the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition?
  8. Have you been looking at cassocks; you know, just in case?
  9. You see a Sports Bar and a Catholic Church next to each other and decide to go into the Church.
  10. You have a picture of Jesus, the Pope and not less than three saints on the wall of your room.

If you have two or less of these indicators, your future as a lapsed Catholic, whose claim to fame is bragging that you once THOUGHT about becoming a priest, is assured.

Three to five of these indicators means you will have a career in the seminary, however brief.

If you meet six to eight of these you will probably make a half way decent priest.

If you are among the happy few who make nine of the criteria, you will either be raised to the purple (ordained a bishop) or eventually raised to the altars (canonized a saint).

If you make all ten of the criteria, you will never pass the psychological screening test for entering the seminary.

I hope this helps many young people discerning a vocation to the sacerdotal life.

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