The difficulty of explaining “why I desire to be a Catholic priest” is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one, rather mysterious and all-encompassing reason: I have heard a still, small voice in the silence of my heart. And I believe it to be his voice.

I could fill the remaining space of this reflection with other, no less important or inconsequential reasons as to why I desire to be a Catholic priest. As, for instance:

(1) I desire to give my whole heart to God with complete freedom of soul, such that he becomes my only inheritance, my only possession; and it seems that I can do no better than to become a Catholic priest in order to fulfill this desire.

(2) I desire friendship with Jesus, and the thought of caring for him in the Blessed Sacrament and for all that appertains to it—including its reservation, distribution, and adoration—produces a deep and abiding joy in my heart; and no other vocation allows for such intimacy with the Blessed Sacrament as that of a Catholic priest.

(3) I desire to save souls, to give to each individual soul that which is most suitable for its salvation, and to give to all souls what is, in the end, everything: God; and the grandeur of this task is principally entrusted to Catholic priests.

(4) I desire to be a Catholic priest, because I wish to be nothing without Jesus, and everything with him; and so on.

Or I could fill the remaining space of this reflection with my so-called vocation story, but I happen to think that my vocation story is an absolute bore. Thousands of much better men have given their lives to the priesthood. And their stories are magnificent. I would much prefer to say here precisely that which can be said by any man who has sought ordination to the priesthood. In short, the desire to be a Catholic priest is born from love. But this love is not only greater than man, it is greater than anything in the world, and still greater than the world itself.

This love of which I speak is the love of God. And the desire to be a Catholic priest is born from this love, from the very love of God. Why? For the sake of space, four reasons will suffice:

(1) The desire to be a Catholic priest is born from the love of God because any semblance of desire for the priesthood (and what it entails) is inconceivable without knowledge of the love of the heart of Jesus.

(2) The desire to be a Catholic priest is born from the love of God because only God can enlarge the capacity of the human heart to embrace souls with the gentle and chaste love of Jesus, the eternal high priest.

(3) The desire to be a Catholic priest is born from the love of God because only God can so thoroughly conquer the heart of man with a voice as soft, delicate, and forgiving as his.

(4) The desire to be a Catholic priest is born from the love of God because only God can fill the heart of man with himself, with his own adorable heart.

The mysterious designs by which God communicates this desire to men is nothing short of astonishing. It reveals the exquisite tenderness and incredible patience of Jesus with the souls of priests, who so often drag their dignity through the mire and repay his love with deceit. And yet, God continues to call lowly men to Holy Orders; and I pray that he has called me.

The difficulty of explaining “why I desire to be a Catholic priest” is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one, rather mysterious and all-encompassing reason: I have heard a still, small voice in the silence of my heart. And this is no human voice.

“Come, follow me.”

 

This piece was originally written by Br. Maximilian Maria Jaskowak.