Do you have a vocation?
At some time in their lives,
many feel the need to consider a calling to the priesthood or deaconate. "Do I have a vocation", they ask themselves, and,
"How do I know whether I have a vocation?". Like most important
choices in our lives, the call to the ministry is rarely so clear as to
exclude all other possibilities. Those who expect "a sign from
heaven" are likely to be waiting for the rest of their lives. We
are invited to make decisions by carefully and prayerfully examining the
matter, weighing the "pros and cons", and trusting that God will
guide us in a way that is in keeping with His divine will. There may be indications that accurately suggest that God is calling.
Below are a few self-help suggestions in this discernment process. You and your spiritual
director may find some others.
Some helpful elements of discernment
A minister then, must be blameless, married to one spouse, reserved, prudent, of good conduct, hospitable, a teacher, not a drinker or a brawler, but moderate, not quarrelsome, not avaricious. He (or she) should rule well the household, keeping the children under control and perfectly respectful. For if a person cannot rule one’s own household, how is he (or she) to take care of the Church of God? One must not be a new convert, lest one be puffed up with pride and incur the condemnation passed on the devil. Besides this, one must have a good reputation with those who are outside, that one may not fall into disgrace and into a snare of the devil. Deacons also must be honorable, not double tongued, not given to much wine, nor greedy for base gain, but holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience. Moreover, let them first be tried, and if found without reproach let them be allowed to serve ... Deacons should be persons who have married one spouse, ruling well their children and their own households. In addition, those who have fulfilled well this office will acquire a good position and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
[1 Timothy 3: 2-13. See also Titus 1: 5-9]