Excerpt from sermon of St. Metr. Philaret of New York concerning ordination:

When a young man faces the question of whether to become a pastor, then many decide one way or the other depending on whether they feel “called” to pastoral service, or they feel no such calling. Those who refuse say, “Although I studied theology, I don’t feel any call to pastoral service.” Vladyka Anthony did not accept such arguments, and opposed them in the most categorical way. He said there is one genuine call – that is the call of the Church, which summons you to this service, for which you received corresponding knowledge. But this subjective “feeling of being called” (when in fact you are calling yourself to this service) should in no way be relied upon. How often have there been cases when it seemed to a person that he was “called,” and he took upon himself this service, and it turned out very badly, sometimes even reaching the point where he was defrocked. The opposite also is true. There have been cases when a young man, not feeling any “call,” for one reason or another put on a ryassa anyway, and then he gradually was seized by the greatness of pastoral service and with time was to be found among the ranks of the best servants of the Church. There have been more than a few such cases. For this reason, only one call is objectively genuine. This is the call of the Church, when she herself calls her chosen one to serve Her. This is why, when I have had to talk with people with indisputably good qualities for pastoral service, but they refuse it, I tell them, “Remember, when your mother the Church summons you, it is dangerous to refuse. If you yourselves think it over or talk with one another, that’s one thing, but if you are called by one of us archpastors, then that’s entirely another. The summons of an archpastor is always the summons of the Church Herself, and if you do not want to agree and do not attend to this summons, then you are disobeying the Church Herself.”

Pastoral paths are varied in their external conditions and “structure,” especially now when life has become complicated and is full of the most varied happenings. But, of course, there are basically two lines: either pastoral service united with monasticism, or in the ranks of the “white” clergy, when a pastor, along with his spiritual family, his flock, has also his own personal family and personal life in the family. Both ways are blessed. Of itself, the monastic path is, according to the holy Fathers, the straight path to the Heavenly Kingdom, in its ideal fulfillment. Of course, not all monks meet this ideal, not all approach it in their personal lives. This is why St. Gregory the Theologian, that great monk-ascetic, even in his day half-jokingly, but also seriously, said that when one speaks of monasticism, then one has to have in mind real monks, “but foolish ones,” he said, “we throw to the crows.” One way or another, monasticism, as a path of complete consecration of oneself to God, is an exceptional and particularly vivifying path. But to accept pastoral calling and service actually is not an obstacle on the spiritual path of a monk. On the contrary, he, being free to a significant degree of “earthly cares,” can give himself fully to the work of the Church.

Sermons and Teachings of His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret, Volume I, p.252-253