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  #1  
Old May 21, '12, 8:12 am
justnyx justnyx is offline
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Default My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

hi there everyone

I am new here. Anyway, I am 23 years old and has been a Catholic my entire life. I have a boyfriend. He's also 23 and also a Catholic. He studied Theology in Uni and he will be able to finish is Master's degree soon. He's really nice and he came from a Catholic family too. I already met his parents and all I can say is that they are the nicest Catholic I ever met.

Even though my boyfriend and I have been together only for a couple of months, I can say that I am madly, deeply and extremely in love with him. He told me that he's in love with me and I am able to see and feel that he really does love me. We pray and go to mass together and do stuff that expected to a normal young Catholic couple. We talk to each other a lot and laugh together.

When we started going out. I asked him if he's sure that he really doesn't want to be a priest, since I didn't want to be a hindrance to the will of God for him. He said no, and he already decided a long time ago that he doesn't want to because he thinks and feels that he is not suited to be a priest. I asked him not only once but a lot of times. And because his answers were consistent, I believed him.

Yesterday, he sent me a message that he needed to see me. With the tone of his message, I felt that something is wrong. I was really bothered. So I sent him a message what it was about and if it was possible for him to send whatever he wanted to tell me through SMS. I asked him if he wanted to break up. His reply was "I don't want to honey.I really love you. But there is something important we must talk about. I'm so sorry I've made you worry. I promise I'll come by later and be open with you." followed by "I'm not happy with myself and i feel torn in two directions on what to do with my life. That's all i can say for now. I lost sight of that for a while. I'm confused and I need to talk to you. Please forgive me for bringing this up at a bad time in a bad way".

So we met after a couple of hours. He told me that he is being 'called' by God to enter priesthood. But he's not sure because he really does love me and he doesn't want to leave me. He told me that he's really bothered and he doesn't know what to do any more. When I heard this, I started to cry and I knelt to the image of my Black Nazarene and asked God why. I cried and cried and cried and continuously asked God why does He need to call the man that I love to enter priesthood. I know I can't compete with Him. Before, I never asked God 'why' because I know that He has better plans for me. That time was the only moment I questioned His plans for me, or for us. I felt like I'm being ripped into two. It hurts a lot.

After I cried, My boyfriend told me that he's not yet definite then I started convincing him that there are other ways of serving God. That there are 3 Orders for the Franciscans-> and one of the order is for those people who decided not to enter the seminary or the nunery but decided to serve God. I also told him that maybe i was the sign sent by God for him to realize that he's not really called to be a priest.

He has not fully decided whether to continue to enter the seminary because he's really confused and that he really loves me and he doesn't want to leave me. He still has decisions to make and he decided that he will put everything into consideration.

I just can't imagine myself being separated from my boyfriend for good. I just can't accept the fact that he is being called and he's going to break up with me and leave me. I think my world will be torn apart and will not be able to pick up myself if ever he decides to continue to become a priest.

To be honest right now, I feel like I am Abraham, being asked by God to sacrifice Isaac.
Please, I need advice. What should I do?

Cheers

Nikki
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  #2  
Old May 21, '12, 8:24 am
Cristiano Cristiano is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

Take a break from dating for a while and let him think about it. He sounds like a very honest person and I think that you should support him to make sure of his vocation. If you keep dating him now and then you get married he will always have doubts about his vocation and that would be very bad for your marriage.
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  #3  
Old May 21, '12, 8:33 am
bonvivantHermit bonvivantHermit is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

Relationships, esp. ones of a few months, can be confusing. I am sorry. He can't be with you and discern the priesthood or be a priest- that's a fact.

And if he's conflicted for any reason- then you need to cut contact. Either he realizes he loves you or he doesn't- regardless it is not a good idea to be the lady in waiting forever, pining for a man who has moved on. Distance, silence those help define feelings and mercifully quickly usually. He will either continue on his course away from you ( to priesthood or elsewhere or back to you) and you will begin to sober up from being enthralled to him and move on too.

If it is "meant to be" a little time totally apart won't destroy your relationship.
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  #4  
Old May 21, '12, 9:10 am
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CallMeCatholic CallMeCatholic is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

Having been in this sort of situation before, the best thing you can probably do for him right now is to be supportive and understanding. I know it's extremely difficult, and you probably are hurt and not able to understand his feelings, but unless there's something he's not telling you, none of this is your fault.

For him, I can all but guarantee he feels as awful as you do. If he sounds like the strong brother of Christ that he is, he doesn't want to hurt you, and is in need of support as he goes through this process of discernment. Try to stay strong & keep praying. If you pray for him and especially his discernment, that's probably the biggest gift you can give to him right now.
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  #5  
Old May 21, '12, 10:26 am
chaldobyzantine chaldobyzantine is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

This type of problem does happen often actually. Fortunately there are some solutions to this. For example, I believe the Roman Church ordains married men on a case-by-case basis, unlike Eastern Catholics such as the Melkite and Ukrainian Catholics who ordain married men as a major part of their tradition. The age of 25 is the minimum age for a man to be ordained as well so you both still have time to get your priories settled together.

Some men however feel the call to become celibate priests. Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA once said he was called by God to enter the monastic priesthood instead of the married priesthood, and his girlfriend at the time was not entirely ecstatic about that news.

God Bless.
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  #6  
Old May 21, '12, 10:34 am
twk001 twk001 is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

okay...first off, being early in your relationship this can be extra hard because i'm sure there is lots of passion, fun, learning about each other, etc happening.

i would suggest that BOTH of you make a retreat. that may sound corny., but believe me, when I made retreats about life decisions I always left with a clear head and a plan.

if God IS calling him, the calling doesn't just disappear because he chooses a relationship. and you don't want to find yourselves engaged or nearly so and he change his mind again, and decide to enter the seminary.

he should call a local seminary or monestary and check into their retreat options, and you should as well. if becoming a priest is His calling, you need to know what your vocation is as well. letting him go may be what God is asking of you.

i don't want to make you feel terrible, but knowing and making decisions early on is best. i agree that you should step away from dating for a bit, at least until you've both made a retreat.

best of luck!!
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  #7  
Old May 21, '12, 10:36 am
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LoyalViews LoyalViews is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, what did he do?

I can understand you feel like Abraham, and though I haven't been in your position, I think your boyfriend needs you now more than ever: help him discern his vocation. You need to help your boyfriend find a priest spiritual director to help HIM discern.

Is this a phase he's going through, or is it a genuine vocation? A priest, a good solid confessor, will help him figure this out and so will you. If he is called, he will become a presbyter in God's church. Remember the saying that many are called, but few are chosen?
His vocation could not be the priesthood. It could be the diaconate? Or to marriage alone.

I'm not advising you to just give up, since you obviously love the man so very much. But it is that love which would motivate you to help him discern his vocation.

You and he, have my prayers!
God Bless
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  #8  
Old May 21, '12, 10:39 am
justnyx justnyx is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

Hi thank you for all your replies.


I prayed after my post, and came across to this:



"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord." Jer 29:11

I will let His will be done. I know, it will hurt
if my boyfriend will continue to enter priesthood, but I have no choice but to accept and
not question God for He has plans for the two of us.

I shouldn't worry about anything and just continue to pray.

Nikki
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  #9  
Old May 21, '12, 10:51 am
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

A great many priests have someone in mind to marry when they realize that their actual vocation is to the priesthood. One priest told me that he actually told God that God would have to do something about his intended, because the young man had no interest in marrying anyone else. Shortly thereafter, the girl joined the convent. That was his sign! She didn't stay, but he got his answer, and he was very very happy as a priest. I also know several women who dated men who later became priests. Although I'm sure some women who once dated future priests do go to the convent and stay there, the ones I know are all happily married to someone else, and the couples are typically close and trusted friends of the priests. With other couples, the priesthood was a possibility but the husband realized he was meant to be married. That happens, too.

Do not let this fill you with anxiety. Consider this quote from Pope Benedict XVI, given at the close of his homily at the Mass at which he was installed as Pope:

At this point, my mind goes back to 22 October 1978, when Pope John Paul II began his ministry here in Saint Peter’s Square.
His words on that occasion constantly echo in my ears:

“Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!”

The Pope was addressing the mighty, the powerful of this world,
who feared that Christ might take away something of their power
if they were to let him in, if they were to allow the faith to be free.
Yes, he would certainly have taken something away from them:
the dominion of corruption, the manipulation of law and the freedom to do as they pleased.
But he would not have taken away anything that pertains to human freedom or dignity, or to the building of a just society.

The Pope was also speaking to everyone, especially the young. Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way?
If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him,
are we not afraid that He might take something away from us?
Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful?
Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? And once again the Pope said: No!
If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing,
absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great.

No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide.
Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed.
Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation.
And so, today, with great strength and great conviction,
on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people:
Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything.
When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return.
Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.
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  #10  
Old May 21, '12, 10:54 am
Mrs Sally Mrs Sally is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

I second the suggestions to slow down your relationship. Take a break from dating and thinking of him as your boyfriend.

He should contact the local vocations director and begin talking to him. No one can discern religious life on their own. The vocations director will have encountered this situation before (not many men know from childhood that they want to be priests) and will have advice for him - and possibly you.

Going to retreat is a great idea. Be careful though not to confuse your vocation with his. Even if he is called to be a priest, doesn't mean you are also called to religious life.
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  #11  
Old May 21, '12, 11:26 am
twk001 twk001 is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

i agree with sally- don't confuse YOUR vocation. i hope it didn't sound that way in my post, but if it DID, what i really meant was discern YOUR OWN vocation, whatever it may be. but going to retreat may be a great way for you to hear God's will for your boyfriend and help you to break from the 'loving' relationship and realize you should be more in a 'friend' relationship. again, good luck!
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  #12  
Old May 21, '12, 11:40 am
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: My boyfriend told me that he is being 'called by God' to be a priest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Sally View Post
I second the suggestions to slow down your relationship. Take a break from dating and thinking of him as your boyfriend.

He should contact the local vocations director and begin talking to him. No one can discern religious life on their own. The vocations director will have encountered this situation before (not many men know from childhood that they want to be priests) and will have advice for him - and possibly you.

Going to retreat is a great idea. Be careful though not to confuse your vocation with his. Even if he is called to be a priest, doesn't mean you are also called to religious life.
It is a good idea for him to talk to his own pastor prior to contacting the vocations director. Getting feedback from someone who knows you (or who should, if you have a religious vocation) is very important. After all, the vocations director will undoubtedly contact his pastor first thing, for an assessment of someone who knows the young man long-term.

Yes: Many people who are called to the married life also have a serious desire for holiness. Let us hope that all the baptised might have a serious desire for holiness! All young Catholics ought to ask themselves at some time or another if they are called to a religious vocation, but attracting a possible future priest as a boyfriend is not a shred of evidence that a young woman has a vocation to the religious life herself. Those two are entirely different things.
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