We all have a purpose

The reality is that God is the Creator Who created me for a purpose, and I can come to know that purpose. Therefore, the goal of my life is to come to know that purpose and to live it out to the best of my ability. How can I come to know that purpose? Authentic discernment happens in and through the circumstances of real life; and the best discernment happens not only through committed prayer with the Holy Spirit as our guide, but also with the help of a spiritual director who can help us to be attentive to what is going on around us and within us.

Be honest with God and yourself. 

Many men feel called to the priesthood, but out of fear, attempt to explain it away. If you are feeling a conviction that God might be calling you, acknowledge it; say it out loud to a friend or a priest – God is present in that moment. Reality becomes more present with honesty. Being honest about the reality that we perceive a call doesn’t necessarily mean we will become a priest, it just means that we are acknowledging God at work within us. 

Discernment is Patient

Mature discernment takes place over time. Every big decision in life should be done in counsel and prayer – this is especially true of a sacred vocation. If a perceived conviction is sustained over the course of a month, it means one thing. If it is sustained for 6 months, it means something more. If I live faithful to daily prayer and virtue while remaining convicted of a divine call over the course of a year, the meaning is a lived reality. On the other hand, if I can’t live out a life of prayer and virtue in the midst of a perceived calling, then I have to acknowledge that reality, and be honest with myself and others, that though I may be called, I might not be ready.