Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fr. Michael J. Denk: God's Call to the Priesthood

"Unlike buying a car or a house or choosing a college or even a career path a vocation is a call from God. It is not something that we sit down and look at the different options and try something out, no, we believe that it is a call from God in the depth of our heart. God calls us and we respond. It’s not something that we pick out or choose what we think best suits us. God knows us better than we know ourselves. We hear the message in this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

"I felt the call to the priesthood since I was a young child but I didn’t enter the seminary until I was near the end of college. There were many things that kept me from going, as there are surely a lot of reasons for young men not to answer today, and a lot of it was because I didn’t want to listen to God’s call. It wasn’t until I said yes that I came to discover what a wonderful life the priesthood is. Anyone that knows me well knows I am truly happy in this life. It is better than I ever imagined it could be."

"If you think someone is called to the priesthood let them know. I think people are afraid to invite young men to this life because of the sacrifice as well as some of the bad publicity in the news. All too often I hear parents encourage their sons: “Go to college first, see if you can be successful at something else, if that doesn’t work, then go be a priest.’ Why would you say that to anyone who is being called by God to the priesthood? I’m sure you know good priests, holy priests, who love their life. If someone has this call why would you ever want them to follow something else? I’ve had a number of grown men come up to me over the years and say “Father, I should have been a priest.” God is calling and this is the rest of your life, so pray about it, and with great courage answer the call and you will discover a life beyond anything you could imagine."

~ Fr. Michael J. Denk, excerpts from Year for Priests: The Call~

Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest, Mother of all priests and our Mother, help us respond generously to the Holy Spirit's request, through the voice of His Church, to offer up to God Eucharistic adoration for priests. Amen.

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