No, you can’t get married.
No, you can’t have sex.
No, you can’t be a dad and raise a family.
No, you can’t make serious money.
No, you can’t determine the course of your own life.
When I first felt the call as a teenager, I thought of the priesthood through the lens of all these Nos. Most of the priests I knew growing up embodied this life of No – unapproachable, grouchy and insecure in their authority.
Who would want that kind of life? Not me, for sure. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties, when I started taking the faith seriously for the first time, that I started to think of the priesthood as, not a list of Nos, but one great YES.
Yes, Lord, I offer you my body.
Yes, Lord, I offer you my masculinity.
Yes, Lord, I offer you my strengths.
Yes, Lord, I offer you my weaknesses.
Yes, Lord, I offer you my past.
Yes, Lord, I offer you my future.
YES, Lord, I give you all of me – without conditions or reservations – in the ultimate YES. Yes, Lord, I will serve you as a priest.
If you are struggling with your calling to the priesthood, reframe what the priesthood is. It’s not a series of Nos, it’s the life of YES.
~ Fr. Anthony J. Federico