Becoming a priest or a man or woman religious is not primarily our own decision…. Rather it is the response to a call and to a call of love.
If you have ever thought about pursuing a religious life, these qualities may be clues to a future vocation:
1. God has placed in your heart a desire to be a priest.
If Jesus has placed a desire in your heart for priesthood, no matter what your age, don’t ignore it. Talk to a priest you admire about how you feel.
2. You have a deep love for Christ and His Church.
A priest functions in persona Christi capitas—in the person of Christ, head of the Church. Thus a man who wants to be a priest must love Jesus Christ above all else. And like Jesus, he should have a deep love for the Church, the Bride of Christ. In general, a man who wants to be a priest will find himself drawn to Church teachings and “all things Catholic.”
3. Other people have mentioned that you would be a good priest.
Often other people will notice a “priest’s heart” in a young man and say to him, “Have you ever thought about being a priest? I think you’d make a good one.” In fact, many men report that they grew tired of people making such comments—but that the encouragement eventually led them to seminary!
4. You desire to live a life of virtue and prayer.
People do not expect priests to be experts in anything but the spiritual life. Thus, a good candidate for priesthood attends Mass, prays frequently, receives the sacrament of Confession, serves others, and strives to grow spiritually.
5. You want to help others grow closer to Christ.
A priest brings Jesus to people and people to Jesus. For this reason, a man who wants to be a priest must have a deep concern for the people of God. He wants to help them grow in holiness; he wants to teach them the truths of the faith; he wants to minster to them during the trials of life. The vocation of priesthood is about leading others to heaven.