Are you talking about the same priesthood we are? Priests have one of the most exciting jobs in the world! They stand with people in the most profound moments of life: at weddings, baptisms, deathbeds and everything in-between. If you're called to be a priest, trust that you will be happy! The overwhelming majority of priests are extremely happy in their vocations! Why? Because they are doing what the Lord intended for their lives…for their vocation. Most priests will cite administering the Sacraments, preaching the Word, and helping people and their families as great sources of satisfaction.
Ultimately, the source of happiness for any child of God is his relationship with Jesus Christ and the priest is given the privilege of acting in the person of Christ at key moments in the life of the Church. Studies consistently show that priests are very happy in their ministry, in far higher percentages than those studied in virtually any other life work.
Of Course. Priesthood can be lonely, just as often as people who are married, single or consecrated religious. We try to nurture significant relationships between our brother priests so we can fill our human need for closeness to other people and, of course, we pray. There is, however, a real difference between simply being alone and feeling lonely. Think about it!
Yes and no. No sensible person tries to live free of all responsibilities and obligations to others. Why has Christ set us free from sin and death? Certainly not to live a self-centered life. We have to make choices about how we will use the freedom we have.
In addition, because they want to serve God within the Church, diocesan priests make a formal promise of obedience to their bishop. Their personal integrity is on the line in this promise. It binds them to do what needs to be done, as seen through the eyes of the bishop who is responsible for the entire diocese; they renounce the exaggerated freedom to do always and everywhere what they like or want to do.
On the other hand, diocesan priests can testify that there is great freedom to be creative in the priesthood. Bishops rely on priests along with the laity to suggest necessary pastoral initiatives. A bishop also tries to match his priests with the work that needs to be done. Ordinarily, a priests ends up doing work for which he is well enough suited. The bottom line, however, is service, not pleasing oneself.
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, spoke about finding true happiness to a group of young people on pilgrimage. “Our 'yes' to God makes the font of true happiness gush forth,” the Pope observed. “It frees the 'I' from everything that closes it in on itself. It brings the poverty of our lives into the richness and power of God’s plan, without restricting our freedom and our responsibility. [...] It conforms our lives to Christ’s own life.”
This pilgrimage, the Pontiff concluded, “is also a good time to allow yourselves to be asked by Christ: ‘What do you want to do with your lives?’ May those among you who feel the call to follow him in the priesthood or in consecrated life – as have so many young participants in these pilgrimages – reply to the Lord’s call and put yourselves totally at the service of the Church, with a life completely dedicated to the Kingdom of Heaven. You will never be disappointed.”
I'm not holy enough to be a priest!
You're right! Get over it. No priest who ever lived was worthy! Through God's grace, those who are called share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Of course you are not ready to be a priest now; this is what the years of seminary training are for. Give your weaknesses to God and trust that over time, you will grow in virtue.
“By virtue of this consecration brought about by the outpouring of the Spirit in the sacrament of holy orders, the spiritual life of the priest is marked, molded and characterized by the way of thinking and acting proper to Jesus Christ, head and shepherd of the Church, and which are summed up in his pastoral charily.” – Pastores Dabo Vobis #2
“No one has a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Indeed no one claims this office for himself; he is called to it by God. Anyone who thinks he recognizes the signs of God's call to the ordained ministry must humbly submit his desire to the authority of the Church, who has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive orders. Like every grace this sacrament can be received only as an unmerited gift.” - Catechism of the Catholic Church 1578