Identifying belief, wonderment, generosity and service, and leadership.
God recruits those who are aware of His presence in their lives and are captivated by the mystery of salvation as it is expressed in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
In the initial stages of recruitment, the signs of God’s call are but “seeds” that need to be nurtured and developed. In each seed there is potency for growth and the possibility of a response to the call of a vocation. When the “seed” becomes visible, one should urge the person to seek the spiritual direction of a Catholic priest.
Something inside of me (in my heart) makes me think (feel) that Jesus is asking me to be a priest.
It may be from the time you were very young (at your first communion) or in grammar school, high school, college or later; it is very often mysterious, but it is more than just a passing thought. It is often very persistent – it won’t “go away,” even though you try to ignore it or deny it. It may “go away” for a time and come back, but there is something there: you have learned about and come to know Jesus and, on some level, you have “heard” him calling.
The following “signs” should be considered when considering priesthood:
Belief, Wonderment, Generosity and Service, Leadership
As important as the above signs are, the call to priesthood is, as Pope John Paul II said, a “gift and a mystery from God.” Prayer, wise discernment and the call from the Bishop must bless all these signs and all the kind invitations offered by friends who ask “Have you thought of being a priest?”
Most priestly vocations involve some combination or variation of one or more of the above “signs”, but the mysterious yet clear call of Jesus Christ always has some very personal, unique element. While there are common aspects like those listed above, in many priestly vocations, each priest and each man who seriously considers priesthood in some way has his own, unique story of “hearing the call,” which is one part of a vocation to the priesthood. First He calls, and then He waits for our response.