"Dilemna of whether or not to enter into the priesthood"

Dear Father,

As a young Roman Catholic, I've often been faced with the dilemna of whether or not to enter into the priesthood. However, I have always dismissed the idea on the basis of the following reasons:

1) As Augustine, I am guilty of numerous sins of the flesh. I know priests aren't expected to be perfect, but there is a certain level I feel I am required to meet before I can consider myself worthy of entering into the priesthood.

2) I am not certain that I have a faith in God. While I can not deny the existence of God, and have heard numerous arguments for God's existence as well as an inherent faith. I do not believe in God without doubt. I have heard Clement of Alexandria and St. Aquinas say that no one will be able to believe god fully. Aquinas goes on and says that if God were shown fully to us our faith would have no merit, and thus we will always have doubt. However, this doubt also leads me to believe that through joining the priesthood, I could possibly be living a lie. I also fear that there may be no God and I have spent a life's work encouraging people to believe in something that does not exist.

3) I am not certain whether or not I want a family at this stage of my life. While I believe that each person has someone out there for him/her, I am finding it extremely hard to find any one with my values. Thus, I wonder if whether I am tempted to join the priesthood only in order to be given an excuse to give up my search for the ideal woman. As one friend already pointed out, I never do consider growing up alone as a single male an option.

4) While I am generally quite good mannered, I often don't think before speaking. As a result, I have put my foot in my mouth on numerous occasions which has resulted in actions such as saying or doing an improper thing which one would not expect a priest to do. I do not want to be doing these actions as a priest. Therefore, i consider myself unsuitable to be a priest.

Thanx, for your time. Great Web page.

-- Sincerely,



Dear Dave,

I could identify with a lot of what you said. I noticed that, in the investigation of the life of Mother Teresa, they have discovered letters where she expressed feeling doubts about the reality, even the existence of God. I mentioned it to folks in my Good Fri homily.

What you need to do, Dave, is find a priest who can help you in your vocation discernment. Meanwhile, you are in my prayers. I would appreciate it if you could remember me. I am "clay pot" and often feel most unworthy of the great treasure I bring to people.

God bless,

Fr. Phil Bloom

P.S. If you determine that your vocation is marriage and you are having a hard time finding a girl who shares your values, come to Holy Family. I could introduce you to ten tomorrow!


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