Discernment Self-Test

The following discernment self-tests are for those discerning the priesthood or religious life.

A discernment self-test is not intended to be a conclusive or exhaustive examination. It is meant to help you understand yourself a little better. If you are honest with yourself, you gain useful knowledge about what areas of your life need work, and what positive aspects of your life you can be thankful for.

Instructions: On each of the items, rate yourself on a scale of 0 – 5. A rating of 0 means you do not possess the quality at all. A 5 indicates that the quality is very evident in your life. At the end, total your score. The highest possible score is 100. Be completely honest with yourself and rate yourself fairly. Don’t be too lenient or too hard on yourself; remember that most good candidates for the priesthood or religious life lack one or more of these qualities, and will recognize and work on these issues during their formation.

 

Qualities of a Good Candidate for the Priesthood

  1. ____ I love Jesus Christ and I have a thirst to bring Jesus and his teachings to the world.
  2. ____ I am endeavoring to be a believing, practicing Catholic Christian.
  3. ____ I am trying to live a life of prayer and I desire a life of prayer.
  4. ____ I am trying to serve others and I desire a life of service to others.
  5. ____ I feel a desire to be a priest, though it is sometimes stronger than at other times.
  6. ____ I have had others tell me that I should be a priest or that I would make a good priest.
  7. ____ Prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture leads me to believe I might be called to be a priest.
  8. ____ I am endeavoring to live virtuously.
  9. ____ I like to be around people and I have sufficient social skills to engage others.
  10. ____ I have enough intelligence to complete graduate-level coursework and function as a priest
  11. ____ I think that I have the physical, emotional and psychological stability to become a priest.
  12. ____ I am joyful and I have a good sense of humor.
  13. ____ I think that I have a “priest’s heart.”
  14. ____ I believe that I have the self-mastery to be a good priest.
  15. ____ Generally speaking, I have demonstrated stability in life style.
  16. ____ People who know me would say I am Christian gentleman.
  17. ____ I have had events happen in my life that seem to be signs pointing towards priesthood.
  18. ____ I am usually able to accept both success and failure without losing my peace.
  19. ____ I believe that I have a healthy psycho-sexual development and orientation.
  20. ____ I am trying to be truly open to the will of God for my life.
    ____ Total

Checklist: Qualities of a Good Candidate for Religious Life

  1. ____ I feel a desire to be a religious, though it is sometimes stronger than at other times.
  2. ____ I enjoy funny situations and good jokes; I can laugh at myself; I enjoy life, even with its ups and downs.
  3. ____ I am able to accept both comforts and pleasures or to go without—without losing my peace.
  4. ____ People who know me would say I am Christian lady/gentleman.
  5. ____ I want to pray daily and try to and I want to keep growing in my prayer life.
  6. ____ I have had others tell me that I should be a religious or that I would make a good religious.
  7. ____ I want to be what God wants me to be.
  8. ____ I can keep my promises, follow rules, and try to make things work—with situations and people.
  9. ____ I have had events happen in my life that seem to be signs pointing towards religious life.
  10. ____ I think that I have the physical, emotional and psychological stability to become a religious.
  11. ____ I make it a point to avoid sin and occasions of sin and to try to live a holy life.
  12. ____ Being a faithful Catholic is important to me; I love Jesus Christ.
  13. ____ I don’t get depressed or angry for a long time when things don’t go my way; and I basically don’t base my happiness on succeeding or getting my way.
  14. ____ Prayerful reading of Sacred Scripture leads me to believe I might be called to be a religious.
  15. ____ I can live with and get along with other people, even if they have different personalities, ages, educational levels, etc.
  16. ____ I stick to commitments even when I lose interest or get bored—and I don’t get easily bored or need new things to make me happy.
  17. ____ I am able to take orders and to give them, with good will and cheer, even if I disagree with the order or don’t want a position of leadership.
  18. ____ I believe that I have a healthy psycho-sexual development and orientation.

Additional questions for types of religious life:

(Active)

  1. ____ I have a special compassion for those in need—the young, the elderly, the poor, the ill, or the dying—and I desire to be physically present to them and serve these needs.
  2. ____ I have excellent physical health and am not overwhelmed by the sight of suffering.
    ____ TOTAL

(Missionary/Teaching)

  1. ____ I have a thirst to bring Jesus and his teachings to the world.
  2. ____ I have enough intelligence to complete graduate-level coursework and evangelize at this level.
    _____ TOTAL

(Contemplative)

  1. ____ I am attracted to a life which serves others by “standing before God” and interceding and praying for them.
  2. ____ I am able to be alone, to pray and attend the liturgy with attention and devotion for a long time without giving up.
    ____ TOTAL