A Convert needs to have a Rant


#1

So I’ve been in the Catholic Church since 2011, I am frustrated, confused and I need to rant so hopefully you folks will do me the justice to just hear me out.

I am so frustrated with the Catholic Church as a whole. I am working on my Master’s degree in Catechetics and Evangelization from Franciscan University, I have taught at schools and in parishes, but yet the one thing that I feel called to, I get nothing.
I entered into the Church attracted by the beauty of the Mass. I felt called to the Priesthood, and I discerned that for several years until I could get no peace. I gave up, got married and just last year I got thoughts of the Priesthood again. This time stronger and much more forceful. I can’t even sit in Mass or the Liturgy without the thought of the Priesthood bearing itself upon me. I know God is not forcing anything on me, but hinting at these things. I’ve thought, “Hey maybe its not the Priesthood, just the Diaconiate” but I can’t be a deacon until I’m 35.

So let me get this straight… I have a desire to be a Priest (that I can’t seem to get rid of), I have want to go further in my relationship with Christ, lay down my life for his most Holy Church! Yet, the Church says… no sorry. WHAT?! I honestly don’t want to hear a single word about shortages in Priestly Vocations. Apparently its not that bad, or you wouldn’t be so picky about someone’s marital status. I understand the argument, and I agree, a City Priest should not be married. For those areas, Celibacy needs to be mandatory. Yet, there are a lot of country churches out there that could really use a Married Priest, so what’s the issue. Oh wait… it’s not a part of tradition… well… It actually was not formalized as a mandatory order until after the first 1000 years of Christianity and notice how out of the 24 particular churches in the world that the Romans are the only ones who do this??? I mean the Anglicans ordain married priests, the Orthodox ordain married priests. The scriptures ALLOW for married priests. So what is honestly the issue?

These days the only thing keeping me in the Catholic Church is 1) My wife is Roman Catholic and I love her to much to pull her away from the Church (even though she agrees with me on the married Priest thing) and 2) I believe firmly that Pope Francis holds the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. He is the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of God and thusly, anyone not in communion with him is not a member of the Kingdom of God. Sorry, that’s how the Old Davidic Kingdom worked, and since Christ established the Davidic Kingdom again on earth and in heaven, then that’s how it works.

Don’t even mention the Eastern Churches, they won’t ordain in the United States. Why? Probably because they don’t want to make the Latin Bishops angry and get that right banned for another 100 years.

Ok rant over. I really am lost, confused and very frustrated, please keep me in your prayers as I discern these things. At this point, if I leave the Catholic church, I’ll probably go Orthodox. Don’t agree with the whole women priests thing the Anglicans got going on.


#2

how about considering becoming a deacon?


#3

The fact that you would consider leaving the Eucharist because you are hitting roadblocks in your desire to become a priest…may be why there are roadblocks to you becoming a priest.

Maybe you are called to the priesthood, but it’s on God’s timetable, not yours. One of the priests in our diocese was a heart surgeon, married with children, and became a priest after his wife passed away. The same with another priest in our diocese.

Instead of focusing on your feelings, perhaps you should spend that time in prayer asking for clarification for what God wants you to do where you are right now.


#4

FEELING called to be a priest or even a deacon is not a sure fire sign that you are. Besides, your vocation is marriage now. So when you are 35 you can investigate the deaconate if you want but right now you are called to be a husband. Called, as in, God wants you to be a good husband and forget about being a priest.

And frankly, since you are obsessing about this to the point that you would consider leaving the church, it sounds to me like you would not be a good candidate for the pressures of that life. Of course I don’t know you at all so I am not saying you ARE a poor candidate, I’m saying you should just think about the fact that the saintly response to your situation would be to humbly accept the will of the church until such time as your situation changed.


#5

This is a temptation. You are being tempted in so many ways by this one idea! You are being tempted to disrupt your family life (even country priests are incredibly busy, often all the more so as they are the only priest for miles around!). {ETA: You are being tempted to disobedience, and I bet your prayer life right now leaves something to be desired.} You are now even being tempted to leave the Church!

*You are married. *That *is *your vocation. Stick to it, and pray when these other thoughts come along. Believe me, married life offers *plenty *of scope for gving one’s life to God!


#6

I’m sure that makes your wife feel special.


#7

Check the record…even the former Anglican priests who are now married Catholic priests do not favor a married priesthood in the Catholic Church…


#8

Yes, the above poster is correct. You are being tempted to leave your Faith, your Church, your wife. The devil loves to tempt people with something that appears good, but in the end destroys everything.

The will of God for now is that you be the best, holiest husband you can be. Later on, God will reveal what He wants you to do within that vocation Many a Saint thought they were called to religious life but it didn’t end up working that way. Doing God’s will is the holiest thing you can do.

Do not waste 20 years of your life thinking about a temptation. That will destroy you. If you need more direction than this forum can offer, please consult a holy priest. Be at peace now.


#9

That to me seems…an unusual reason…to take on an entire faith.
I would imagine someone would become Catholic because they believe the facts and premise of the religion are *true. *
Is that how you feel?

? What does that mean…“until I could get no peace.” ?

Maybe, like before, you just love the mass.

Huh? I don’t understand. Why would a city church need a celibate, unmarried priest, but not a country church?

But why would YOU leaving the Catholic church mean that she must as well?

You confuse me as well. You believe that the pope holds the keys…but you don’t want to abide by the Catholic church’s view on priesthood…but you also don’t like the views of the Anglicans on priesthood either, right?

But this is something you already knew about re the Catholic church before you joined it. Just because you can’t be a priest now, does that means the entire faith is not true to you anymore?

.


#10

I agree with what everyone above has said. PLUS… In your original post, it all seems to be about YOU. Apart from the (apparent) lack of consideration of what all of this must be doing to your wife, the priesthood (like the Mass) is not about how you “feel.” It is about responding to GOD, and serving others.

Instead of asking about how something makes you feel, how about asking what it is that would be pleasing to God?

I would also recommend that you seek some spiritual direction from someone who can help you discern God’s will for you. I wish you well.


#11

Yes.
It sounds like an obsession with you, which is very different from a calling. 'And I wonder, how can someone who goes to a very good school, even consider leaving the faith?
Something about this sounds off to me. Also, I seriously doubt your wife is supportive of this idea.
There is a VERY orthodox parish in your city, Go there, speak to a priest.
You can rant on the forum all you want, but truly, you need Spiritual Direction, and perhaps a visit with the Vocations Director of the Archdiocese in which you reside.
He will tell you that your vocation is marriage, And it’s a holy one,

PS: I hope that;s not your real name.


#12

Forgive me if I’m missing something, but you joined the Church, got married, now want to become a priest… and that’s the church’s fault? :confused:


#13

Exactly. Didn’t you know that once married, a man is no longer eligible to be a priest?


#14

Adam Cook, you have some reflection to do. And it needs to be done in a Catholic context. Your rant makes me think that you have some Protestant ideas that your holding on to. Quite frankly it worries me to see converts who want to teach but lack some underlying understanding of Catholicism. The idea that anybody can teach is a Protestant one. I also think you should speak to your professors about these things if you are or intended to teach Catholics. Good luck, the Church needs more fathers who can teach.


#15

Just for the record, the Maronite Church (Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, Bishop Elias Zaidan) ordained a married deacon several years back.


#16

The OP lists himself as Byzantine Catholic.
I thought the Byzantines ordained married men in the US.


#17

There’s a reason for that; to avoid this exact type of situation of burning with desire for something one day and being cold on it the next. Honestly, it sounds like you’ve got some growing up to do.


#18

No, not in the US.


#19

Yes, thank you JRS_88 for realizing that I am Byzantine Catholic, which is where my frustration comes in. We currently have 76 parishes in the Eparchy of Passaic and have less than that in Priests and even less than that to cover those parishes in seminary. Many other churches have ordained even before the ban was lifted and the Vatican said nothing. Now we are allowed to do it and still nothing.

There is not a cold/hot situation going on here, I have a lot of zeal and have been that way for over 15 years so if people are expecting that to go away they can probably wait another 15 years and its not going anywhere. St. Theodore the Recluse actually states that Zeal is the truest sign of Christian life, this might be why it scares people. BTW The Catholic Church recognizes that the Orthodox Churches have completely VALID Sacraments, they are just not in communion with Rome. That doesn’t mean that going to their churches fulfills the Sunday Obligation, but as they were founded by Apostles of their own accord, they do have legitimate Sacraments. Western Churches who broke from Rome lose that since their Apostolic center is Rome, thusly St. Peter. Not like the Byzantines who are derived from St. Andrew. So to say that I’m “leaving the Eucharist” is not so true if I were to go Orthodox, seeing as they’re Church has valid Eucharistic Sacraments per the Vatican.

So yes, DeniseNY, it is the church’s fault because last I checked MY church tradition holds onto a MARRIED clergy, yet my Bishop fails to uphold the traditions of MY particular church.

Peace, according to St. Ignatius, is the means of discerning the path of God. There are two types of peace, a false peace, which comes from the satisfaction of the flesh, and a true peace, which comes from grace from the Holy Spirit. I discerned my initial vocation to the Priesthood and could not get true peace. This is to say that I did not receive the grace of peace to convict me that it was the path God desired of me. Whereas, now I have a conviction to go to seminary and peace in that decision that is deep and abiding. Christ himself says, “Peace be with you” symbolizing that you will know his presence in a decision by the peace that flows from it. This peace is not a feeling, it is not something that is felt, it is grace in of itself. Just as reception of the Eucharist would cause St. Thomas Aquinas to go into tears at the mystical intimacy that took place during that event, so too peace wells up inside of the heart of man as he follows the divine path of the Lord. Again, this is NOT A FEELING, it is a state of being that takes place when ones self comes to accept the divine will and one is able to walk in that way. This is something that takes place in the Saints, you can read about it in St. Francis’s prayer “Make me and instrument of your peace”, you can also read about it in St. Simeon the New Theologian’s Catechetical writings and his Mystical Theology.

Furthermore, the following of the faith does not require that you believe every teaching of the Church to be true. One does not instantly become a tree, but rather must be a small acorn and grow to a great Oak. So such is man in his own spiritual life. He must first enter into the most basic of mysteries, the Incarnation and the Eucharistic Incarnation, obtaining the mystical relationship with Christ and recognizing his divine savior, primarily through the Sacraments of Initiation, then once this beatific vision has been reached will the ease of growth into the precepts of the Church be easier. To be burdened with the whole precept of the Church is like putting to much water to a plant. If he has to much water, he will drown and die. If you give it to much light, it will die. Rather, the Eucharist, our spiritual water and the Holy Scriptures and Magisterial teachings are the very Sun that enlightens the darkened mind. We are able to receive them small bits at a time, knowing that we receive more Scripture and Magisterial Teaching than Eucharist for growth. For does not a plant get 8 hours of Sun a day? But may be watered once or twice a week? So too, the soul must receive the scriptures daily, and the benefit of catechesis as well. Reception of the Holy Eucharist reserved to Sunday, as has been the tradition of the Churches until recent times, with Vespers and Matins (Orthros and Vespers in my own tradition) taking place every day Monday through Saturday. To say that you need to believe every infallible teaching immediately is to say that those people who did not believe in the Immaculate Conception are condemned to eternal damnation because those, before 1851, did not confess the Immaculate Conception to be true. This cannot be the case, as it would condemn a great number of truly Holy Saints, including St. Thomas Aquinas, to hell, as he argued against John Duns Scotus on the Immaculate Conception. If the people know of the precept, they should seek to conform themselves to it, what I am saying should not be construed as a laxing of the Church’s Teaching, but common sense, that many of the reasons why people leave the Church is because they feel the Church’s precepts to be a Burden and not freeing. This comes from an American, or Western, notion of what being “free” is, but that is the culture we engage. Freedom comes when we master ourselves, and our passions so that we may participate in the Divine Nature of Christ (1 Pt. 1:3-5) and obtain Theosis.


#20

In short, YES I am still frustrated about this because this is a part of my tradition. I know of several families who have left the Byzantine Church because the Bishops are not following the traditions of the Church. I have four of my friends who use to attend Divine Liturgy with me that have now gone Orthodox. I, on the other hand, believe firmly in the Prime Ministerial role of Pope Francis, and thusly am fighting to try to stay in the Catholic Church. I believe God is calling me to the Seminary, in the Byzantine Church, just it doesn’t seem the Bishops want to help me discern this, even though they need priests.


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