My name is Professor Dingleberry of the Rhode Island Bible College . Many of you probably know my great-grandfather, Screwtape. I’m here today to share with you ten tips on how to effectively discern the priesthood. My hope is that in sharing these tips I’ve learned from recent studies, we will have more young people hearing God’s call and saying “Yes” to the priesthood.
1. If you’re going to pray about your discernment, set a time limit before you begin praying. Set a timer on your phone that will go off after 15 minutes or so in order to prevent you from taking up too much precious time that could be spent doing something more important in your life.
2. If you happen to prefer meditating on Scripture while you pray, do not, under any circumstances, meditate on Luke 1:38. The Virgin Mary has been known to steer many men away from discerning the priesthood and this verse in particular can do a lot of damage in your efforts. The woman will only remind you of all the sex you will not be having; therefore keep her out of your mind at all times.
3. Since you are already practically Jesus, remind yourself that you can do all things through yourself who strengthens yourself. Guidance from the Holy Spirit or a vocation director can be an annoying hindrance in your discernment and may slow down the process. Like all the self-help programs teach, you are your own master! You are completely in control!
4. Remember that deciding to enter the seminary is like signing a contract which you cannot get out of easily. If you end up realizing it really wasn’t for you, it’s very difficult to leave and will cause your friends, family, and Diocese a lot of stress and paperwork. Only enter seminary if you know for sure that you will be a priest in order to prevent this kind of hassle later on.
5. Remember that there’s no rush. Some people don’t hear the call until they’re fifty years old! What if that was you? You’d look back when you were fifty and regret the time you spent now being a square when you could have been out partying and thinking about anything but discernment.
6. Ask not what you can do for your God and Church, ask what your God and Church can do for you. Sacrifice and serve every once in a while when it’s convenient for you, but don’t discern the priesthood if you think it will get in the way of your constant state of happiness!
7. Think about how exhilarating it will be to deliver awe-inspiring homilies one day! After all, a vast majority of your time will be spent preaching. As long as you have the desire to be in the spotlight, you’ll do just fine.
8. Take into account the majority opinion of the public. If the world tells you that you shouldn’t be a priest, listen to them! You want to do what will please the most amount of people. What’s the point if you know there will be Facebook friends who don’t like your decision?
9. Know that only the most elite men are called to the priesthood. Not only should you be able to quote any Bible verse and sufficiently answer every philosophical and theological question on a moment’s notice, but you should also be without sin. If you have a temptation in your life or regret something you’ve done in your past, chances are you are not fit to be a priest. Only discern if you are perfect.
10. Finally, know that we need men who are ready to change the world! To be on the front line in battle, on the attack! If all you want to do is empty yourself in sacrifice and be a servant to God to administer the sacraments to your small flock, the priesthood is not for your cowardly soul. Only consider discerning if you are gun-ho about saving the world!
If you happen to reside in the Saginaw Diocese and think you fit this criteria, contact your Vocation Director, Rev. Andrew Booms at http://www.saginaw.org/contact-us/contact-us/booms-rev.-andrew-d.html
For all young men of other diocese’s, please consult the vocation director for your diocese.
Best of luck,
[Note: For those without a sense of humor, this was satire.]