One Seminarian’s Thoughts on Discernment

Share the Call !
Ordination: May 2011
Parish: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Doylestown

Too young. Too old. Not a good public speaker. Not holy enough. There are plenty of good reasons why God shouldn’t be calling me. Yet, God did call Jeremiah, Abraham, Aaron, and Isaiah, who offered these same excuses.

The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with insufficient instruments comforts me.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

God’s call is universal. The Lord calls every human being to a particular vocation. Some he calls to be holy married couples, others to be priests and religious, and still others to be holy single people. Our primary task as young people, then, is to determine which of these vocations is God’s will for us. This can be difficult, because God’s ways are often subtle. Nonetheless, when God’s will for us and our will for ourselves start to coincide—only then will we find happiness.

God’s call is mysterious. No one could ever be worthy to share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, yet some men are chosen to do so. From the time of the twelve Apostles onward, the Lord has been calling weak, sinful, and simple men to offer their lives for the sake of His Kingdom. Rather than being discouraged, we should take this knowledge as a great source of hope. In moments when I am confronted with my own unworthiness to be pursuing the priesthood, I like to think of Pope Benedict’s first words after his election as Pope: “The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with insufficient instruments comforts me.”

God’s call is urgent. The Lord earnestly desires to use His people as instruments of His grace. This is a daily task to be carried out throughout the world. Our part in this mission begins with authentically discerning our vocation. When we answer the call to our true vocation, we will find happiness and holiness. Then we will be able to say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). This is the call to priesthood—indeed, the call to any authentic Christian life.

THEN: More about Seminarian David Friel (2003)
NOW: Ministry Highlights of Rev David Friel (2014)