Am I wasting my childhood/teenage life?


#1

I posted this in the vocations section mainly because I am discerning a vocation to the priesthood, while still in high school.

I'm 15, male, and from Georgia, USA.

I feel compelled to ask this because it has been told to me a few times by my peers.
My peers are not interested in Catholicism, or even Christianity, like I am. They rather much text, listen to music, go with friends on trips, etc. But I do not.

I rather be at my local Parish, either serving Mass, confessing, or at Benediction. I rather be reading my book about the Catholic Church and it's influence in Western Civilization or Church History, than be doing what they are doing.

I wouldn't say I am totally socially awkward, but if if you put me in a room with a total stranger, I wouldn't be able to start a good conversation. Nonetheless, I do have several friends and I do invite them over sometimes and go to their house to play games or what not.

Instead of talking about Rihanna or the Super Bowl, I rather be talking about St. Thomas Aquinas, or Vatican II, or the doctrines of the Catholic Church. I don't talk about it at school a lot because either they do not care or are too ... 'ignorant' (Wrong word to be used, my apologies) to understand all of this.

I try to discuss it with my parents but they do not seem to fully understand, they though listen a lot. So they help. If it wasn't for internet forums or chat services, I would go mad not able to vent about my new found knowledge about some Saint.

But regarding all of this, do you think I am wasting my childhood away?

The main reason I am a Catholic (Actually a convert), is because Jesus called me earlier than most people. I believe it is because Jesus is God and I have always had a deep connection to Him. But I also believe another factor is that I see that a few young people die, at ages of 14 - 19. It's very sad. I also see these people lack Christ, and I fear that may one day be me and I do not wish to go to hell.

Though when I first converted, I do say I was pretty blunt and mean when talking to other people of different faiths because I recently found this new faith and accepted it as full truth and everything else is wrong. But I have been praying and I can now have genuine nice conversations with Protestants without having a blunt dissertation about faith.

So do any of you think I should lay back on the Church and live my childhood or what? Or do you think from this message that I live a balanced life?

Thank you!


#2

As a fellow young Catholic I’d say don’t stop what you’re doing! We need more people like you :thumbsup:


#3

I'd say everything you're doing is great! At the same time, I personally would make sure you continue to have a pretty good circle of friends and to learn how to make conversation with any type of person, especially since you mentioned you're interested in becoming a priest. I too have to work on making conversation with some people, but that develops over time if you are willing to change yourself in that area.


#4

Live your life the way you want it to be.

I won't necessarily assume that other people are ignorant or disinterested either. Things like football and music are interests as well. They might also share the same interests but they haven't discovered it yet. I know people who are scientists at heart but spend more time talking about other things in their personal time outside of ther work.

I'm several years older than you but I'm a convert myself. As you get older, you will meet people similar to yourself.


#5

Go to college. Get more social skills


#6

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:313767"]
I posted this in the vocations section mainly because I am discerning a vocation to the priesthood, while still in high school.

I'm 15, male, and from Georgia, USA.

I feel compelled to ask this because it has been told to me a few times by my peers.
My peers are not interested in Catholicism, or even Christianity, like I am. They rather much text, listen to music, go with friends on trips, etc. But I do not.

I rather be at my local Parish, either serving Mass, confessing, or at Benediction. I rather be reading my book about the Catholic Church and it's influence in Western Civilization or Church History, than be doing what they are doing.

I wouldn't say I am totally socially awkward, but if if you put me in a room with a total stranger, I wouldn't be able to start a good conversation. Nonetheless, I do have several friends and I do invite them over sometimes and go to their house to play games or what not.

Instead of talking about Rihanna or the Super Bowl, I rather be talking about St. Thomas Aquinas, or Vatican II, or the doctrines of the Catholic Church. I don't talk about it at school a lot because either they do not care or are too ... 'ignorant' (Wrong word to be used, my apologies) to understand all of this.

I try to discuss it with my parents but they do not seem to fully understand, they though listen a lot. So they help. If it wasn't for internet forums or chat services, I would go mad not able to vent about my new found knowledge about some Saint.

But regarding all of this, do you think I am wasting my childhood away?

The main reason I am a Catholic (Actually a convert), is because Jesus called me earlier than most people. I believe it is because Jesus is God and I have always had a deep connection to Him. But I also believe another factor is that I see that a few young people die, at ages of 14 - 19. It's very sad. I also see these people lack Christ, and I fear that may one day be me and I do not wish to go to hell.

Though when I first converted, I do say I was pretty blunt and mean when talking to other people of different faiths because I recently found this new faith and accepted it as full truth and everything else is wrong. But I have been praying and I can now have genuine nice conversations with Protestants without having a blunt dissertation about faith.

So do any of you think I should lay back on the Church and live my childhood or what? Or do you think from this message that I live a balanced life?

Thank you!

[/quote]

Be patient, other people haven't awakened yet. Don't push you beliefs onto people not interested, and don't be a " pain " at home. Do the normal things the family does and try to take part in things which are not harmful to anyone, help out as much as you can. You are of an age that wants to fit in and we all went through it. Just keep a level head and it will all work out. :thumbsup:


#7

You sound like me! (except I am not shy)

Yes, every day I find it hard not to want to talk about my faith. It is so hard when you see so much to talk about.

Some days, I wish it wasn't true that two-thirds of my close friends are protestant and the other one-third seems to be "spiritual". I long for the day that this changes, the day that my friends start asking me about my faith. I try to "use words only when necessary" by doing things like giving up meat and every other animal product up for Lent (Great Fast, as it is called by us Byzantines), and such.

My advice for you is to never lose that fire for Christ! I have learned that converts can be the best Catholics among us, so don't ever lose even a drop of faith. Be patient, and learn while you are waiting. God will give you opportunities to share the faith - Make sure you are ready at all times. You are a soldier of Christ, and a soldier is always ready to defend.


#8

That’s what we need, Justin. People like you and me. It’s our generation. The generation on fire with the faith and the truth. :slight_smile:


#9

Teen years are about learning about who you are, what you would like to be, strengthing interests. You are ahead of the game! Just add a little balance socially. It can mean a youth group etc, where your social life is s pent with like minded.


#10

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:313767"]

So do any of you think I should lay back on the Church and live my childhood or what? Or do you think from this message that I live a balanced life?

Thank you!

[/quote]

Well, it is not surprising that people who are not interested in Catholicism and have no faith think you are wasting your youth. Don't listen to them, they have no clue. Keep doing what you are doing. See if you can find church activities for teens and make friends there.


#11

Your interests are well-placed. It seems that you are living a very fulfilling teenage life.

Please consider developing some other interests, however. Even priests need to tend to their flocks, and if you cannot relate to anyone or anything except on an intellectual plain of Church knowledge, it will be difficult.


#12

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:313767"]
I posted this in the vocations section mainly because I am discerning a vocation to the priesthood, while still in high school.

I'm 15, male, and from Georgia, USA.

I feel compelled to ask this because it has been told to me a few times by my peers.
My peers are not interested in Catholicism, or even Christianity, like I am. They rather much text, listen to music, go with friends on trips, etc. But I do not.

I rather be at my local Parish, either serving Mass, confessing, or at Benediction. I rather be reading my book about the Catholic Church and it's influence in Western Civilization or Church History, than be doing what they are doing.

So do any of you think I should lay back on the Church and live my childhood or what? Or do you think from this message that I live a balanced life?

Thank you!

[/quote]

Anyway...are you kidding? I would have you as my son any minute.

Well, no you are not. You are living the way you want to live it and it makes you happy, it also makes God happy.

Keep the fire. In my son's class, there are several of them like you, on fire for Jesus and their faith. They lead discussions, serve in the mass, play music during the mass.....just yesterday, a group of senior students conducted a retreat for 7th graders. I was amazed that they lead that. I said to myself, what a group.

you just need to find them...or pray for God to lead them to you.

Here is a group you might be interested in contacting....couplesforchristusa.org/v251/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=20&Itemid=22


#13

Dear JD27076,
I think it is wonderful you are active in your faith especially at the age of 15. I don't believe you are wasting your life at all. In fact have you thought that God could use you to spread the faith and witness to others? When I was 17, I met a friend who was 15 and was very active in her faith. I wasn't active at all but over the years she witnessed to me and eventually I began to practice my faith actively. God calls us to witness in all areas including school, workplace and more.

Right now, we lack young Catholics with that zeal. As you begin to discern priesthood, perhaps you could also be a witness to your peers. You could invite your friends to mass. If there are any catholic young people's groups, join one and invite your friends. Right now the church needs people who are willing to invite their friends and bring people into the church of God. The priests can only do so much, it is time for the laypeople to do their part.

I would keep the idea of being a priest to yourself for now but keep your ears open as well. One doesn't need to be a priest to preach and spread the word of God.


#14

Dear JD,

You are not wasting your childhood and I also wouldn't say that you need to "lay back on the Church" either. However, you seem to have some inkling that there is reason to be concerned about your focus on the Church or you wouldn't have posted this.

It is wonderful to be on fire for Christ and for serving him and it is wonderful to act on that desire. You need to remember though that God desires for us to be whole and holy persons and that means being healthy mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

You seem to be on the right track spiritually but all these other things are connected and important for each person to grow as a child of God. I think you need to branch out and try different things to see where your gifts and interests lie in other areas in life.

As far as your future is concerned; whether you become a priest or pursue a different way of following Christ - you will have to interact with the outside world in a variety of ways. If you become a priest you will have some ministry that will require you to take interest in other topics. In my own life for example, as a sister, I'm a teacher so I study education; I have to attend sports games; I have to interact with coworkers, priests, other sisters, students, and parents; I have to be able to teach math and English, science or social studies...

The same is true for priests. They don't know where they will live and what types of people they will be ministering to. You need to be able to meet people where they are.

Regardless of your discernment for the future though, try to focus growing as a person in addition to and in conjunction with growing as a son of God.

God bless you.

SM


#15

HAHA you sound exactly like me except im a 16 year old girl discerning vocation to be a nun.
We should start a page for devout teenaged Catholics


#16

[quote="catholicrobot, post:15, topic:313767"]
HAHA you sound exactly like me except im a 16 year old girl discerning vocation to be a nun.
We should start a page for devout teenaged Catholics

[/quote]

What would we say? Would it just be some sort of "how to address this issue" sort of thing? I like the idea, but why not just ask on the normal forums like everyone else? Maybe we should start a group.


#17

Ok, bro, here's my $0.02! I'm actually entering the seminary in the fall - I've already been accepted since last spring, but I'm finishing my bachelor's degree before entering (I'm 21).

I'm going to say that it is great what you're doing. Keep going to Mass and Benediction! Keep reading about the Church and spirituality! Those things are great, and essential for your discernment. I don't think you're wasting your childhood - after all, the only waste of a life would be not to become a saint! And you're trying to get close to God, which is what matters.

I will say, though, that a little interaction with the secular world won't hurt you. There's nothing wrong with texting, with music, with going on trips, or movies, or anything like that. I'm studying at a secular university and none of my friends practice their respective religions, but we're able to get along quite well. They respect me and my faith, and I respect them; we do all kinds of great stuff together, everything that regular American college-age people do together. Occasionally my faith will get in the way of a particular activity or conversation that wouldn't be good, but I wouldn't trade my friends for anything. I wouldn't trade any of the things we do for anything in the world.

One thing we have to remember is that all people are sinners, ourselves included. Yes, we are called to be saints; but the lost sheep Jesus spoke of in the Gospels are in the secular world, among our friends, our classmates, our co-workers, even in our families. If we refuse to hang out with them because their activities are too "secular," we lose not only wondeful relationships but also chances to bring our brothers and sisters to Christ.

I read Bl. John Paul the Great's biography by George Weigel (this is required reading for you, btw, future priest! :D), and one thing he mentioned is that the newly-ordained Fr. Wojtyla learned as much as he could about the culture of the young people he was ministering to, so he could be more accessible to them. For us, that would mean knowing about pop stars, movies, rock bands, the newest fad technology, etc. It also means enjoying some things about popular culture that can be fun for us in our youth years. I'm really looking forward to the Grammys tomorrow night - two of my favorite bands, The Black Keys and Mumford & Sons, are nominated for a whole load of awards! And I'll be texting with my buddies the whole time, following the show.

No one's saying you have to do any of this, or immerse yourself in a culture you find distasteful. But it wouldn't hurt to be involved a little bit, especially if you're retaining your love of Jesus. In my case, it has brought me friendships that I wouldn't have had if I just spent all my time at the church or in the school library. I love my friends, and a number of them have told me that just seeing me as a normal guy, seeing a future priest as just one of them, has changed their ideas about Christians and the Church.

Here's an example. My buddy is an agnostic/atheist - some of sort of secularist who detests Christianity and the teachings of the Church. However, he and I became pretty close. We do all kinds of stuff together: we like the same bands, we see films together, we even brew our own beer in his living room! Great guy. But we also have our religious discussions, and he told me that because of me and another Christian friend, he realized that Christians aren't the fools he thought we all were for holding "illogical" beliefs. So there you go.

Hope this helps! I know it's long, but I thought some examples would help you. ;)


#18

That, and just to talk. Yall all know how hard it is to get into a good conversation about Catholicism, especially with somebody our own age.

Also, the “how to address this issue” part would be a bit more meaningfull because the adults on this forum offer excellent advice, but sometimes it needs to be said from someone who understands more fully because we are growing up in a whole different world then they did. So we can better understand each other


#19

[quote="catholicrobot, post:18, topic:313767"]
That, and just to talk. Yall all know how hard it is to get into a good conversation about Catholicism, especially with somebody our own age.

Also, the "how to address this issue" part would be a bit more meaningfull because the adults on this forum offer excellent advice, but sometimes it needs to be said from someone who understands more fully because we are growing up in a whole different world then they did. So we can better understand each other

[/quote]

I don't think we live in a world that was much different. Either way, you are bound to get answer from young people on the forums, especially if you ask for their input specifically.


#20

[quote="catholicrobot, post:18, topic:313767"]
That, and just to talk. Yall all know how hard it is to get into a good conversation about Catholicism, especially with somebody our own age.

Also, the "how to address this issue" part would be a bit more meaningfull because the adults on this forum offer excellent advice, but sometimes it needs to be said from someone who understands more fully because we are growing up in a whole different world then they did. So we can better understand each other

[/quote]

Could I just ask, how do you know that the adults offering you advice right now are so much older than you are? I just saw a seminarian posting - I'm betting he isn't MUCH older than you and I'm definitely in the same generation as you are so I grew up in a very similar world as you are right now.

I think there has been a lot of meaningful advice given in this thread.


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