If your son is considering the priesthood, you undoubtedly have a lot of feelings and questions. This is natural for any parent when their child is making a transition in his life.
Think about the first day your son went to kindergarten. It was probably hard to watch him get on the school bus. You knew he was growing up and this was the right step for him, but you somehow hoped you could hold onto him as your little boy for a bit longer. But you wanted him to flourish, to grow up into the man he was meant to be, so you were able to let go.
Parents are asked to let go of their children in many ways throughout their lives. They let go by allowing their children to get a car and develop a sense of independence. They let go when their children move away to college. And they are asked to let go when their children get married or enter into the priesthood or religious life.
Letting go of a child entering into marriage is often easier for parents because they are more familiar with this vocation. Parents, you are most likely married now or were married in the past. Few, if any of you, can say you have been priests. It is within our human nature to be uncertain about what is unfamiliar to us. You love your children, and you want them to be safe, secure, and above all else, happy.
We are all God’s children. As much as you love your son, God loves him even more! He also wants your children to live the best lives possible, and nothing can be greater than living out God’s will for them.
Pray that God help your son in his discernment. But also, pray that God bring you to peace with your son’s vocation. You may be worried about your son experiencing loneliness, being far away from his family and not knowing the company of a wife or the joys of children should he join the priesthood. But, have you learned about the delights that a priest comes to experience? Talk to a priest. Tell him your concerns, but also educate yourself about what fills the life of a priest. You’ll find that this vocation, just as any, has its challenges and rewards. Try to understand the challenges and appreciate the rewards.
If your son hears God’s call to the priesthood, let him hear your support!