On Vocational Discernment- Excerpts from CATHOLICI SACERDOTII by P. Pius XI.

To anyone who hasn't read it (especially Bishops, Priests, Deacons, seminarians, and especially those discerning their vocations) I want to encourage the reading of "AD CATHOLICI SACERDOTII" by P. Pius XI.

Like all of Pius XI's works, it is beautifully written and really strikes to the soul. I would consider this the equivalent of his other work "Casti Connubii," but for priests/religious. 

He gives amazing reflections on the duties of a priest, as well as how Bishops and rectors should go about determining whether a man has a vocation to the priesthood or not. In that same way, near the end of the letter, Pius XI gives young men principles for the discernment of their vocations.

I am posting this most especially for those young men (and women, respectively) who are investigating a vocation to the priesthood/religious life. Read these principles for discernment. I think it will be very helpful for you.

Regarding vocational discernment, the main thrust of P. Pius XI's guidelines seem to be that the individual ultimately must submit their vocation (whether clerical or lay) to the decision of his bishop. And he strongly exhorts Bishops to be very, very careful in whom they allow to priestly orders.  (See paragraph 69)

In paragraph 76, he says, “Should it ever become impossible to maintain the present number, it is better to have a few good priests than a multitude of bad ones.”


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