My discernment so far and “It’s ok to be holy and NOT a priest or even the Pope”

There are many in the church who believe I have a calling to the P word. I’ve always been “open” to the calling but always felt unworthy. Because of interactions last year, I thought it was appropriate to look moreinto it. I did find that it’s a good thing to feel unworthy because no one is really worthy of ANYTHING God gives us, let alone the vocation of Holy Orders. Today, I want to present 4 saints who said no to a vocation due to unworthiness.

And by the way, the following 4 saints are HUGE saints. It’s a “no no” to use capital letters with writing but I’ll do it because these ARE huge saints in our Church! And what they all have in common is the fact that they said no to the objectively higher calling (but not subjectively higher calling for them as they chose the right calling for themselves in particular).

1) Saint Francis of Assisi. The most well known saint even to non-catholics, was a deacon and did not become a priest due to feeling unworthy of that vocation. #humility

We could end with St. Francis but there’s more awesomeness.

2) Saint Thomas More. Plenty of people felt he had a calling to the priesthood but he decided “to be a chaste husband rather than an impure priest.”

3) Saint Robert Bellarmine. Twice he was voted to be the pope. But he would not accept. He said, “if picking up that piece of straw there would make me pope, then it would never leave the ground.”

4) Saint Pope Pius X did not feel worthy of becoming a pope, BUT accepted it because he believed it was a sign that the day of the voting happened to also be the feast day of Saint Dominic. He had a special place in his heart for the Dominicans and had earlier in his life looked into a vocation with them. He loved them but chose not to join them. The clues point me to GUESS that he felt unworthy to join them.

Bonus Saint:

For the lovers of the Dominans, a HUGE saint for us is St. Martin de Porres. He took religious vows but as a brother, and NOT as a priest.

Just some good ol’ info for ya when you see a single practicing catholic fella! Pray for vocations but for holy vocations!

Going old school,

Mike Panlilio

10 thoughts on “My discernment so far and “It’s ok to be holy and NOT a priest or even the Pope””

  1. Great, Mike!

    On Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 7:04 PM Mike Panlilio – going old school wrote:

    > mikleson posted: ” There are many in the church who believe I have a > calling to the P word. I’ve always been “open” to the calling but always > felt unworthy. Because of interactions last year, I thought it was > appropriate to look more into it. I did find that it’s a good t” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! This reminds me of a book that I should read again: “(Un)Qualified: How God Uses Broken People to Do Big Things”. Here’s the gist of the book: “Many of us wrestle with the gap between our weaknesses and our dreams, between who we are and who God says we are meant to be. We feel unqualified to do God’s work or to live out the calling we imagine. But God has a way of using our weaknesses for good. In fact, God loves unqualified people.

    In (Un)Qualified, Pastor Steven Furtick helps you peel back the assumptions you’ve made about yourself and see yourself as God sees you. Because true peace and confidence come not from worldly perfection but from acceptance: God’s acceptance of you, your acceptance of yourself, and your acceptance of God’s process of change…God can’t bless who you pretend to be. But he longs to bless who you really are; a flawed and broken person. Good thing for us that God is in the business of using broken people to do big things. “

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  3. Mike
    Great Saints for sure! I’m contemplating your analogies with Saints!
    And your striving for holiness everywhere has always looked great on you-glad to be a friend on your journey! Go Holy!
    I just read that God ‘calls’ disciples-you cannot make yourself or be a disciple of our Lord, unless you’ve been called. Discernment on this process I guess is huge and important. Liked Maria’s comments too-that “He calls the unqualified” and “He can’t bless who you pretend to be”
    More contemplation! Thanks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aw thank you, kiddo!! yes, thank goodness for companions along the journey of faith. For the adventure of fighting the good fight of our faith. Hope your contemplation went well. I’m sure because you’re great! Bless you!


  4. For my lay religious community, we are required to pray about our vocation. There are many that choose to be single for God, and some have gone on to be Preists and some do not. We call our single brothers “the brotherhood” and many have been accepted as preists in Oregon but that is a recent development. It’s totally cool to be single for God, whether living by yourself, with other brothers with that call, or choosing priesthood. In the end, you’re the one that has to stand before your maker. It’s actually quite a tough choice when you have really joyful role models. Our sisterhood attracts a lot of young women. Good for you for tackling this big decision. I’m sure God will show you His path for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Feeling unworthy is or ought to be common to any authentic vocation. To be entrusted with the responsibility of helping a spouse get to heaven is huge — especially if you know or discover that one of you are a pain to live with or somehow hinder personal aspirations. To be entrusted with creating and carrying for a new life, a new precious soul is huge. Who is truly worthy? To be entrusted with being a chaste religious or non-religious Lay servant for your whole life is yet another vocation that no one is worthy of. To be selflessly serving others and leading them to Christ for the sake of the kingdom is a challenge; it is so easy to live for one’s own comfort instead of being a servant. To be an ordained deacon or priest is yet again another vocation that no one is worthy of. To be alter Christi. That he asks us all to be his hands, his feet, his eyes, his ears, his love in each of our vocations idespite our unworthiness to represent him can only be understood in the context of the mystery of his incarnation, Mary’s Fiat, and His indwelling within us. We have only to say yes like Mary. All according to His Holy Word. Praying for your discernment of His Holy Will.

    Liked by 1 person

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