And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Immediately they left their nets and followed him. — Matthew 4:19-20
Do I have a vocation? In simple words, yes, we all do. God has a role for each of us in His kingdom. But, how can I be sure that God is calling me to a life of professional commitment to His people through ministry in the Church?
Some people can enter a church and feel suddenly at peace. Some are taken by the beauty of the Eucharist or a liturgical service. Some feel a passion for proclaiming God’s word and for teaching. Some see the suffering or need in their brothers and sisters and want to help – not just with the immediate need but with God’s eternal love. Others look to the holy example of the saints and modern heroes, who espouse and live according to God’s word, and seek to follow that example.
Yes, each person has a role in God’s Kingdom. The role is clearest when we listen to God’s plan for us. When we wipe away the facades and the pretenses, and stand before God as the people we really are. When we do this we can say to the Lord – “Here I am, I heard you calling” We are then ready to strive to meet that calling with all our energy, freely giving of ourselves and our talents in the process.
Giving ourselves to God does not necessarily require us to commit to the life of a priest or deacon. It does require that we give ourselves to God fully in each thing we do. It requires us to see Christ in all of our brothers and sisters – especially in those where it is most difficult to find Him.
If you have undertaken and committed to a process of striving to follow God’s will in everything you do, and have done so for quite a while, you may be at the right moment in your life – a moment in which God is clearly calling you to investigate making a full time commitment to Him as a priest or deacon.
A commitment at this level is filled with rewards, the greatest of which is serving the Lord. At the same time there are necessary sacrifices. As with any vocation the rewards and sacrifices are in balance as long as the individual taking them on is in balance. In the ministry this balance is aided by God’s gift of Grace imparted at ordination.
Does This Describe You?
- I am in love with Jesus. I have a personal relationship with Jesus. I want what Jesus wants. The Lord’s teachings and Truth are a real part of my everyday life.
- I have zeal for the Faith. I love my Catholic faith and I am willing to devote myself to bringing it to others.
- I am open to the will of God in my life. I believe that God has a plan for me. I truly want to discover and follow God’s plan for my life. My own desires and secondary to God’s desires for me.
- I feel/felt called to the priesthood, but not the celibate priesthood. I could not understand or accept the idea of marriage being an impediment to the priesthood or priesthood being an impediment to marriage.
- I feel the Holy Spirit calling me to live out my Baptismal promises. I feel called to proclaim the Gospel and build God’s Kingdom.
- Prayer is part of my everyday life. Sometimes I find myself praying, talking to Jesus, and was not even aware that I was doing so. I read the Bible and take time for personal prayer.
- I have a desire to be a priest or deacon. I see the priesthood or diaconate as a fulfilling life even though I know it involves personal sacrifice. I can imagine myself as a priest or deacon.
- I am a believing, practicing member of the PNCC. I believe in the Truths taught by the Church. I go to Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days.
- I have discussed the ministry with my family and they support my desire to pursue the active ministry as a priest or deacon.
- I feel love and compassion for others. I want what is best for every person: to love Jesus, to live a holy life, and to go to heaven.
- I believe in a life of service and actively serve others in my parish and community.
- I live a virtuous life. I know what is right and wrong according to the teaching of Jesus and his Church. I have developed a well formed conscience and follow it in my daily life. People I know would say that I am living a virtuous Christian life.
- I have basic human goodness. I am generous and unselfish. I am kind and gentle with others.
- I am able to make friends easily, and I enjoy being with people.
- I have a good sense of humor. I am able to laugh at myself and with others.
- I am physically, emotionally, and psychologically stable. I have the stability necessary to care for others.
- I have self-control. I am courteous, punctual, and composed. I can control my anger. I have a healthy amount of personal discipline. I fulfill my personal responsibilities and duties towards myself, others, my country, and God.
- I have stability in my lifestyle and in my relationships or marriage. I have a good interpersonal, scholastic, and employment history. I feel comfortable with myself and I am successful in my endeavors.
- I have a healthy psycho-sexual orientation. I have a normal sexual attraction for adult females and this attraction is under the control of my will. I do not have any sexual addictions or aberrant sexual behaviors.
- I am capable of college level study and perform well in school.
- I take good care of myself. I maintain a neat appearance and proper hygiene.
- I have good manners.
- I communicate clearly and logically. I develop well formed and thought out ideas and can convey them to others.
- I can accept failure. I do not quit when things get tough. My self-esteem remains healthy even when projects and endeavors do not succeed.
- Others have told me that I would make a good priest or deacon. People in my life (priests, parishioners, family members) have suggested that I should think about the priesthood. Things keep happening that make me think I should become a priest.
Are you ready to “Come and See”?
If the 25 points above make sense to you, if you can see how they apply in your life then the time is right to explore the possibilities of a life in the ministry of the Church. Whether you are married or single, a recent graduate, or on your second or third career, we encourage you to “Come and See”.
To find out more about vocations to the diaconate and the priesthood, please contact the Savonarola Theological Seminary of the Polish National Catholic Church, 1031 Cedar Ave, Scranton, PA 18505. School, (570) 961-9288, Office, (570) 343-0100.