God calls all men to the fullness of life, by sharing in the salvation that he has merited for us by his Cross and Resurrection. And he calls some to leave everything in order to follow him, in the same way as the apostles.

1. God calls

The vocation to the priesthood is first of all a loving call by the Lord; God sows in certain hearts a desire to be totally dedicated to Him in order to announce the Salvation to mankind. In a concrete life, this call is often manifested in a discrete manner, which it is necessary to know how to notice. It passes in particular by three things: the desire, the experience and the aptitudes. A deep desire to unite oneself to Christ, to evangelize and to serve God with an undivided heart; the experience of a particular joy obtained during moments consecrated to God, in charity works or in prayer; and the personal aptitudes that one has. Through this, one may recognize that the Lord is calling us; being a priest is as well an acceptance of an invitation from God as a reply to the deepest desires of the heart.

It is necessary to clarify: God calls freely whoever he wishes, and without consideration to merits. The Apostle isn’t chosen because he is better than others – the many errors of Peter, chief of the apostolic college, show it well, and he himself is conscious of it (cf. Lc 5,8). God does not choose the best, he chooses “those he wishes” (Mc 3,13).

His call extends to the silence of the heart. At the same time, this call is eminently personal, which is to say that it comes to encounter that which is deepest in our person, and to reveal the best part of ourselves.