“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Mt 5:4)
When we mention mourning, we indicate that we have suffered a loss — usually the loss of a loved one. In every stage of our lives, we make choices. Choices always involves rejection and rejection always means a loss. Every loss has its impact. It may be very small or very large. It may be positive or negative. The intensity of mourning is dependent on the kind of impact resulting from a choice. (see here for my ideas regarding choice.)
In discerning a vocation, there is always a loss of something and we have to mourn that loss. Until we have made peace with ourselves regarding that loss, our intentions accompanying the choice in discernment needs purification. In the purification of intention during the journey towards the diocesan priesthood (indeed for any vocation), there is a great need to mourn and grieve the loss that results from a choice to answer that particular call from the Lord.
This is not to say that we need a hundred percent purified intention to make that final “yes” to the Lord. I was reasonably sure of the Lord’s call when I entered the seminary and was even more certain when I applied for the priesthood. Yet, I am still mourning the loss of the opportunity to form my own family. There are times when I wonder what it would be like if I had my own family. There is a small tinge of regret that indicates to me that my mourning is still not over. However, the important thing is to identify that loss and to begin the grieving process. As long as this is not done, we will be afraid to say “yes” to the Lord and whatever He wants of us.