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Old Sep 1, '08, 1:42 pm
jhblack jhblack is offline
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Join Date: August 26, 2008
Posts: 27
Religion: Catholic
Default How much do we sacrifice?


I'm about to become Catholic after 23 years of atheism, and I'm learning everything I can. Something that concerns me is knowing what I am to sacrifice. I understand that this life is not my own, and that I need to concentrate on the divine and not the worldly (which is extremely difficult at times). The one thing I want more than any other worldly thing is to start a family. I'm deeply in love with a girl who is to become Catholic soon as well. During studies and prayer, and meditation, I've come across this notion that my want to start a family with her is selfish, because it is a want. I understand that sacrifice is good, and to me personally, sacrificing marriage and a family with this girl would be the ultimate sacrifice; even more of a sacrifice than death. But I don't desire to sacrifice this want. I desire a spirit of sacrifice and desire to be strong in faith; I want to know as much as possible. I want to study and be well-versed. The search for truth is the search for God, afterall. I'm just concerned that because I know that sacrificing my love for this girl is the most devout thing I could do, yet I do not desire to do so, that I am disappointing my Lord.

My girlfriend mentioned to me that we all have vocations that we are to live out, and that because I have desired a family since the age of 11, that it is my calling to be a father and a husband. I understand this, but it doesn't answer my confusion about sacrifice. I can sacrifice hobbies and pleasures, time and money. I can go through loneliness at times for sacrifice and a lot of other things. If I were given the chance to die for another, especially this girl, it would be an honor to sacrifice my life that she, or another, may live. However, I know of a sacrifice that can be made that would be a cross I'm not sure I could carry, or would not want to carry, so I choose not to. I love her so much, and since we've found faith I love her so much more through God. I want to love her, be faithful to God, be virtuous and to give respect to my Lord Christ. How am I to do all of these without disappointing while living the life of love I've wanted for so long?

Thank you, and God Bless.
Old Sep 1, '08, 2:18 pm
Fr. Vincent Serpa Fr. Vincent Serpa is offline
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Join Date: May 4, 2004
Posts: 4,937
Default Re: How much do we sacrifice?

Dear friend,

Everything exists in a context. Your context is Jesus Christ, His love for you AND what He wants from you. St. Thomas Aquinas, wise theologian that he is, tells us that grace builds on nature. That is, the Lord expects us to live a fully human life under the graces He gives us. We donít jump to the supernatural level ourselves. We canít. He brings us there when and how He chooses. Meanwhile, we are to live according to what we know. Our natural likes and dislikes are not to be ignored. If the Lord should want you to sacrifice marriage, He will let you know it. Do you really think that only those should marry who donít want to? The fact that marriage is most appealing to you is His gift to you. It is a fairly strong sign that He is calling you to the married state. There is no way that we can analyze why we are attracted to the vocation we have. I was attracted to the Dominican Order. I cannot tell you why I found itóand still find it---so appealing. But my attraction to it was the first sign that He was calling me to it. The last sign was the Churchís approval of my desire to make final vows. With marriage, the final sign is the Churchís acceptance of the coupleís marital vows.

The spiritual life is not a struggle against the unique way God designed us to be. It may bring us some crosses with which we will struggle. But if they are His will for us, they will also bring joy even in the midst of the pain--because we love Him. He lets us know what sacrifices He wants us to make. I know of no people who generally make more sacrifices than parents!

It sounds to me that there is a young lady that He has hand-picked for you. Donít let Him down. You are in our prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Sep 3, '08 at 1:33 pm.

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