The idea to follow Jesus Christ as one of his priests in the Church is not your idea. You did not put that idea in your mind and heart, God did. That call needs to be tested within the Church.
When a man enters a religious community, there are two things we look for:
- He has in his heart a firm belief that the Lord is calling him to be a priest. There is no absolute moral certainty until the day you are ordained by a bishop. But the young man should be able to say ‘I truly believe that God is calling me to be a priest’. He does not say it because he doesn’t think he can do anything else, or doesn’t want to be married, but he says it because he believes it in his heart to be true.
- After a young man comes and spends time visiting with us, he should also be able to say ‘I can see myself living in this community, in this way, with these brothers. I feel at home here.’
These two factors are a strong starting point, but there is more. You still need to be interviewed by the community and go through the whole admissions process. After you check out the community, and the community checks out you, if you are still at peace (ie. The call to the priesthood in a religious community remains strong), then the next right thing is to submit a formal application to the General Superior and the Executive council for approval.
God’s will is mediated to us through our superiors, and if they say yes to your application to join the community, then it is God’s will for you to do so. That’s how you know!