Salvation history (the Bible) teaches us that a call from God is first and foremost an initiative taken by Him. In Genesis, Chapter One, a repetition of “Then God said” happens seven times before something comes into existence. For example, “Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light” (Gen. 1, 3). God is the one who takes the initiative and then something takes place. Moreover, when we look at the calling of any of the major figures in Salvation history it is God who calls out first. For example, Abraham’s call: “The Lord said to Abram: Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. Abram went as the Lord directed him” (Gen. 12, 1&4). God’s call elicits a response from the one being called. I heard God’s call to serve him as a priest and I willingly responded. Why? Because God knows what is best for me, and if He calls me to priesthood, I believe it is because He knows that I will be happiest doing his work as a priest. In addition, He not only walks with us in our discernment, He also makes sure to confirm for us that we ought to continue our journey toward the priesthood. Some of the greatest experiences of my life have happened as a seminarian, which translate into the confirmation I needed to continue in my formation toward the priesthood.
I worked for Dollar Tree Inc. for almost three years as an assistant manager. I volunteered at my home parish, Sacred Heart, in Merced with confirmation.
St. Joseph. I was compelled by his willingness to care for a step child as if he were his own. I correlated this with priesthood. Priests have many spiritual children whom they must care for as if they were his own.
Whether you are at the point in your discernment where the idea of priesthood has moved from a passing thought to a constant thought or you have begun your process with the vocations director, my advice is that you continue praying and continue to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Remember that our first and primary call is to “keep yourselves holy, because I am holy” (Lev. 11: 44). Receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation and frequenting Holy Communion are essential factors of all Christians striving for holiness, which in effect help set a foundation for discerning His call to religious life or priesthood.