In an interview, the late Francis Cardinal George, stated that a man who cannot see himself as a husband and father cannot be a priest; the reason, as Cardinal George explained, is that a priest is married to the Church and through his ministry, he brings forth new children to the Church, his bride (Ellen Rossini, June 27, 2004, www.ncregister.com).
Seeing yourself as a husband and father isn’t necessarily a sign that God is not calling me to the vocation of priesthood. A healthy attraction to marriage points to a man who is willing to give his gifts and talents for love of his wife and family. A man with a healthy attraction to marriage is a man willing to sacrifice for the good of his spouse, his children; who not only wills to provide for their physical wellbeing, but most of all, would strive to help his spouse and children received the best gift any human person can receive: God’s gift of salvation.
If you find yourself conflicted between marriage and the perceived voice of God calling you to the priesthood, remember that God calls priests who are willing to take His Church as bride. A priest conforms his life to Christ’s, and the Church is Christ’s bride. Consider whether God is calling you to be a ‘father’, meaning a priest, a man, willing to use his gifts and talents to bring forth new children to the Church, his bride.
~ Fr. Jaime G. Maldonado
Fr. Michael Casey