VocationPhamily, I need some advice! There are some things coming together in my life very quickly and I don't really know what to do.
At the moment I'm studying to be a high school teacher in Latin and (catholic) religion. I should graduate in February 2014. The catholic education in my country is horrible, that's why I wanted to be a teacher, to finally give some real catholic lessons. But I've found out it's very hard, my religion classes are worthless. We learn nothing. I know a lot about religion and religious stuff, but I didn't learn anything of that at college. One of the teachers is even a priest, but that does not help. He likes me, because I know a lot. I don't like him, because he never speaks about real and faithful things. We read some bible texts, but aren't told what they mean or what's in them (no, we should find out ourselves). We learn some philosofy, but usually talk and think about everything very random. We even learn more about other religions than our own. And I'm the only practicing catholic, there is even a student who is not baptised! (wich means he never will obtain permission from the diocese to be a religion teacher, he knows that but he doesn't care, religion was his second choice anyway). That's a little bit the situation.
Every year we have to do some internships in schools, to practice. In November I did 2 weeks, but I was dragging myself through. The subjects I had to teach for religion had nothing to do with religion, absolutely nothing. At the end I just didn't care anymore, I didn't spend much time anymore preparing the lessons, I wanted it to be over. The next week I had surgery and could stay home with the doctors permission for 3 weeks. Tomorrow I have to go back to college. I could have gone earlier, I'm much better now, but I just didn't want to. I've had it with that college, with the teachers, with the classes, with everything...
And now the vocation stuff kicks in. Since I went to the big Pentecost pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres in May, the calling towards the priesthood grew much stronger. From time to time there are people who already think I'm a priest. But the strangest thing happened to me about a week ago. At the reception after the only ordination we had this year, a friend of mine said something that made me think. She said I should let people help me if it was needed, that I don't have to block them. And that it is sometimes necessary to hurt people, to turn in an entire other direction, to leave everything behind, to do what you have to do to be happy, to find your place. She said she already knew long time what I want to do and what I should do. But it's up to me to do it. I was a bit shocked at that moment, because we never really talked about vocation or something. She just seemed to "know". Maybe I don't realise how I radiate the "I want to be a priest" feeling.
Later that week I received a phonecall from my internshipdirector at college. She wanted to know what was going on (because she didn't receive my reports from November yet etc.) and wants to talk to me about what I'm planning to do the next semester. Apparently my teachers talked and sort of agreed I don't seem interested anymore to become a teacher and they want to know if it's useful to seek a high school for my internship in February or not. At this moment, they are right. I have had it with the whole teaching education. Tuesday I have an appointment to discus this. I have no idea what I'm going to say, or what they are going to say. I guess they will advise me to stop studying, because I'm really messing things up right now. My parents will be furious if that happens. And they will want to know what I'm going to do, how my future will be without a diploma...
In September my community (SJM) finally started something in my country. They have sent a priest here (the only Belgian priest they have, one of my best friends), he lives in a completely renewed monastery. Well, he rents a part of it (they wanted to give it completely to the SJM, but they refused for now, because it would be to expensive to maintain). I visited him 3 times already. Last time was this weekend, because Friday the archbishop came for a visit. I spend the night there and served Mass on Saturday. It felt so right to be there, I really love everything.
And now I have the feeling some pieces of the puzzle are falling in place. If I could do what I wanted right now, I'd stop studying and move to the monastery (just move, not enter, wich is unfortunately not possible here), just a while to get things straight. There I am at peace and will not be waisting my time. I could help the priest a lot, because he has tons of work to do (he actually said this weekend he would like to appoint me sacristan and also needed a secretary, without knowing what was going on in my life). And it could be a great preparation for really entering the SJM (postulancy and noviciate is in the motherhouse in Austria). But that's my crazy idea, I don't know if it's good or if it's Gods will. I told the priest about my college problems eventually, he went through sort of the same thing years ago. I didn't ask if I could come, but I know that wouldn't be a problem.
I also don't know what I will say to my parents. They will be furious if I stop studying. How they are going to react if I tell them I want to become a priest, I really don't know (they don't know I'm discerning, but I think they suspect something at least). Probably not very well. If I tell them I want to move out to a monastery, they likely kill me.
The most important thing for me now is to make the right decisions in the next week(s). I want to do what God wants me to do. At this moment I feel directed to the priesthood. Is it possible He first lets me study to be a teacher and then pulls me away when I have I learned what I had to learn? (I have finished almost all the theoretical courses now). That's pretty much how I feel now. I learned enough, time to get useful and stop delaying entrance. That's also what I keep reading everywhere the last weeks, in Scripture, in the Youcat, in The Imitation of Christ. And I have Saint Therese of course, who keeps giving me roses on occasions that have to do with the church and the priesthood. I planned to go for a secure future, to get a diploma and then enter, so I would have something if it isn't ment to be. But those are my ideas and my step by step plan for the next years. I already learned God doesn't work like that, He interferes when necessary and doesn't want everything to be secure. I feel like I have to trust Him and take the big jump towards the priesthood right now, not delay anything anymore.
Forgive me for this very long message... It actually feels good to have written everything down, to straigthen out my thoughts this way. Please pray for me, I can use every help I can get!