Attracted to a Deacon


#1

I just need to get this out and ask for prayers: first off, I know it's wrong so no justification for my actions.

From the first time I saw him, I developed an attraction to a deacon in my parish. What's worse is he is a seminarian and is probably going to become a priest. Even if he doesn't and stays a deacon, I already know that as an unmarried man, he took vows of celibacy. Intellectually, I KNOW he's off limits. I know it's wrong. Who am I to covet this man from God? I have asked God for forgiveness and strength. I've also asked God to remove him. He *was *gone for a while but he returned. :rolleyes:

Nothing has happened. We've only interacted a few times and have never officially met/introduced ourselves. However, the last time we spoke, he said "nice to see you again" which made me wonder if he *had * in fact noticed me. Although I'm SURE it's in my head, sometimes I think he's noticing me during Mass (which is insane since I'm sure his mind is on the Liturgy!!!!). I don't see him regularly (thank God) but when I do, it totally disorients me for days/weeks! I think about him and feel guilty about it. I don't even know this guy :eek: But there's something about him and his presence--he seems to humble and sweet. :( Please pray for me?


#2

When I was a young Franciscan friar in formation, wearing a habit and living in a large parish I had more women flirting with me than when I was single and free and wishing I could rustle up the courage to ask some girl out. I was the same person, except previously I was available! For some reason being single but forbidden (and wearing a habit) was like dangling a mouse in front of a herd of cats!:stuck_out_tongue:

The experience was quite embarrassing and disturbing and put me in an occasion of sin, 'cos I was a young healthy male. To be honest I could have done without it.

So, from that experience I will say: It’s tough being a young guy trying to live a celibate life for God. He’s just a guy doing his best to live his life as God asks. There’s a ton of other good guys out there who are far more eligible (and available!). Do him a favour and let him live out his vocation.:thumbsup: Pray for him. And don’t put him on a pedestal.:cool:


#3

What he said is a courtesy he would extend to anyone.
The Liturgy isn’t for seeing is someone’s paying anyone else particular attention, the Liturgy itself is the focus.
I’m sure he sees and notices everyone, not just you.

As you half suspect, I think you are projecting your feelings onto him, and if you keep it up you and he notices, you will cause him embarrassment or temptation, and that is wrong. He doesn’t belong to you just because you are attracted. He is trying to give his life to God and if he is called, you are sinning against God if you allow yourself to obsess about him. If you’re attracted, no doubt others are. God doesn’t choose the ugly but whom He chooses. And there probably isn’t a priest who has never had someone, or several women illicitly want to claim him in some way. It’s far from a unique or special situation.

In any state of life any of us can be attracted to someone that we don’t have a right to. We all have to do the same thing about it, the right and Christian thing. Sooner or later most people do have to put aside an attraction.
If he is humble and sweet it isn’t his gift to you, it’s God’s gift to every person whom he will serve. Why would God only have to call those who are unattractive and not humble?

I’m being blunt, because being sweet and gentle isn’t appropriate and wont shock you from this dream, realism might. May God help you to find sensible as well as prayerful means to get past this infatuation. May our dear Lord help you to find a good and wonderful person, whom He lovingly chooses for you.


#4

[quote="Trishie, post:3, topic:278183"]
What he said is a courtesy he would extend to anyone.
The Liturgy isn't for seeing is someone's paying anyone else particular attention, the Liturgy itself is the focus.
I'm sure he sees and notices everyone, not just you.

As you half suspect, I think you are projecting your feelings onto him, and if you keep it up you and he notices, you will cause him embarrassment or temptation, and that is wrong. He doesn't belong to you just because you are attracted. He is trying to give his life to God and if he is called, you are sinning against God if you allow yourself to obsess about him. If you're attracted, no doubt others are. God doesn't choose the ugly but whom He chooses. And there probably isn't a priest who has never had someone, or several women illicitly want to claim him in some way. It's far from a unique or special situation.

In any state of life any of us can be attracted to someone that we don't have a right to. We all have to do the same thing about it, the right and Christian thing. Sooner or later most people do have to put aside an attraction.
If he is humble and sweet it isn't his gift to you, it's God's gift to every person whom he will serve. Why would God only have to call those who are unattractive and not humble?

I'm being blunt, because being sweet and gentle isn't appropriate and wont shock you from this dream, realism might. May God help you to find sensible as well as prayerful means to get past this infatuation. May our dear Lord help you to find a good and wonderful person, whom He lovingly chooses for you.

[/quote]

Great post but one small correction. I have bolded the part.

There is not "and if" about it. He is called. He is an ordained deacon, he is in Holy Orders. He has been called to ordination by his bishop. God has called him. Even if he is not eventually ordained to the priesthood, he still has been called.


#5

[quote="GraceUnderFire, post:1, topic:278183"]

Nothing has happened. We've only interacted a few times and have never officially met/introduced ourselves. However, the last time we spoke, he said "nice to see you again" which made me wonder if he *had * in fact noticed me. Although I'm SURE it's in my head, sometimes I think he's noticing me during Mass (which is insane since I'm sure his mind is on the Liturgy!!!!). I don't see him regularly (thank God) but when I do, it totally disorients me for days/weeks! I think about him and feel guilty about it. I don't even know this guy :eek: But there's something about him and his presence--he seems to humble and sweet. :( Please pray for me?

[/quote]

This is what's called an "obsessive crush" on someone. He's NOT noticing you. Take it from another single girl, it's all in your head.


#6

[quote="GraceUnderFire, post:1, topic:278183"]
From the first time I saw him, I developed an attraction to a deacon in my parish. What's worse is he is a seminarian and is probably going to become a priest.

[/quote]

Outside of some extraordinary circumstances he will become a priest. Transitional Deacons are rarely held up from being ordained priests.

Intellectually, I KNOW he's off limits. I know it's wrong. Who am I to covet this man from God? I have asked God for forgiveness and strength.

Well, you don't need forgiveness you haven't done anything. People become attracted to another person for all sorts of reasons, sometimes we can explain why and other times we can't. There's nothing sinful in feeling attracted to someone, its what we do with those feelings that matters.

I've also asked God to remove him. He *was *gone for a while but he returned. :rolleyes:

Remove him from what? God doesn't move other people around based on what we want.

We've only interacted a few times and have never officially met/introduced ourselves. However, the last time we spoke, he said "nice to see you again" which made me wonder if he *had * in fact noticed me.

That's a standard line that doesn't mean much of anything. I recognize people from Mass or events and say "nice to see you again" all the time. Its similar to saying "nice to meet you" the first time you meet someone.

Although I'm SURE it's in my head, sometimes I think he's noticing me during Mass (which is insane since I'm sure his mind is on the Liturgy!!!!). I don't see him regularly (thank God) but when I do, it totally disorients me for days/weeks! I think about him and feel guilty about it. I don't even know this guy :eek: But there's something about him and his presence--he seems to humble and sweet. :( Please pray for me?

You need to think of him as a married man. There's no good that can come from constantly thinking about a married man, so you just need to learn how to let go of those feelings.


#7

Yes, many of the good men are either taken by other women or by God. And can we say the older we get the fewer and slimmer pickin's there are. That being said maybe instead of focusing on this man who is off the table because he is ordained - your energy would be better spent getting out and meeting more suitable potential spouses. I can tell you that in the state of waiting for my decree of nullity I seem to attract much more interest now then I did back in the day when I was single. Granted I am also a much different person but it at times leaves me to wonder about the human condition and what it is that makes us want the fruit off the one tree that we know we can't eat from.


#8

Stay away from him, as if he was your enemy. As the Franciscan mentioned, when following a vocation, men are extremely attractive to women...but in reality, the attraction is not them, it is the qualities of Christ in these men (look at all his good qualities and tell me if not). Christ is the most beautiful of all Adam's sons (psalm 45). However, those qualities have been given him for his mission as a deacon and maybe priest. Should he decide to leave his vocation, God might give him other graces to live his life but might also remove some of those that attracted you which he will no longer need. So, don't even let the thought mingle within you, these men might be virtuous but only blessed thus for their vocation.
My former bishop said that there is a ”special” place for people who deviate others from their vocation...


#9

[quote="NewEnglandPriest, post:6, topic:278183"]
Outside of some extraordinary circumstances he will become a priest. Transitional Deacons are rarely held up from being ordained priests.
Well, you don't need forgiveness you haven't done anything. People become attracted to another person for all sorts of reasons, sometimes we can explain why and other times we can't. There's nothing sinful in feeling attracted to someone, its what we do with those feelings that matters.
Remove him from what? God doesn't move other people around based on what we want.
That's a standard line that doesn't mean much of anything. I recognize people from Mass or events and say "nice to see you again" all the time. Its similar to saying "nice to meet you" the first time you meet someone.
You need to think of him as a married man. There's no good that can come from constantly thinking about a married man, so you just need to learn how to let go of those feelings.

[/quote]

Great advise, Father. The path to priesthood is difficult enough without the faithful, even if it is not totally intentional, making it harder. He has his studies to think about, as well as how his life will be different from what it is now. These young men need our prayers and support and, yes, in some cases our friendship. We already have so few priests, always needing more and the qualities you may see in him that attract you are exactly the qualities we need in our priests. Sound like he just might make a good one.


#10

[quote="triumphguy, post:2, topic:278183"]
When I was a young Franciscan friar in formation, wearing a habit and living in a large parish I had more women flirting with me than when I was single and free and wishing I could rustle up the courage to ask some girl out. I was the same person, except previously I was available! For some reason being single but forbidden (and wearing a habit) was like dangling a mouse in front of a herd of cats!:p

The experience was quite embarrassing and disturbing and put me in an occasion of sin, 'cos I was a young healthy male. To be honest I could have done without it.

So, from that experience I will say: It's tough being a young guy trying to live a celibate life for God. He's just a guy doing his best to live his life as God asks. There's a ton of other good guys out there who are far more eligible (and available!). Do him a favour and let him live out his vocation.:thumbsup: Pray for him. And don't put him on a pedestal.:cool:

[/quote]

ain't this the truth! I had many more women flirting with me once I was married than when I was single. I still can't figure out this psychology. If you do, you could probably write a best-seller! :)


#11

[quote="triumphguy, post:2, topic:278183"]
When I was a young Franciscan friar in formation, wearing a habit and living in a large parish I had more women flirting with me than when I was single and free and wishing I could rustle up the courage to ask some girl out. I was the same person, except previously I was available! For some reason being single but forbidden (and wearing a habit) was like dangling a mouse in front of a herd of cats!:p

You know, I was thinking about this after one of my nieces told me she was "in love with" their new parish priest (who has only been ordained for a couple of years.) A couple of days after that, I was playing golf, and my foursome of other middle aged women had a tee time a couple of minutes before four middle-aged gentlemen clad in polo shirts, golf shorts, and spikes. One of them was waving at me, and then I recognized who they were: A group of priests from my parish and a neighboring one. They didn't look particularly distinguished or holy (and after I saw our pastor take a swing on the first tee, they weren't particularly good golfers, either.) I could have passed, too, on the sight of them in shorts with dunlop bellies (belly done-lopping over the belt,) knobby knees, and hairy legs.

My sister who is a nurse always had male patients "falling in love with" her when she wore a white uniform. I'm a retired professional ballet dancer and when I was in costume, and signing programs, people reacted to me differently than when I was just a skinny brunette wearing sweats and boots in August.

I wonder if people tend to get themselves all worked up over a member of the opposite sex if that person is wearing some sort of distinctive garment. Like a nurses' uniform, a stage costume, or a habit or a liturgical vestment. There's an old saying about there being "something about a man in uniform."

FWIW, I told my niece to just go to another parish for awhile until this infatuation passes. But I loved your remark about dangling a mouse in front of a herd of hungry cats! You poor guy! It couldn't have been an easy time for you, and I'm so sorry that some of my sisters in Christ made your formation that much more arduous.

[/quote]


#12

[quote="odile53, post:11, topic:278183"]
You know, I was thinking about this after one of my nieces told me she was "in love with" their new parish priest (who has only been ordained for a couple of years.) A couple of days after that, I was playing golf, and my foursome of other middle aged women had a tee time a couple of minutes before four middle-aged gentlemen clad in polo shirts, golf shorts, and spikes. One of them was waving at me, and then I recognized who they were: A group of priests from my parish and a neighboring one. They didn't look particularly distinguished or holy (and after I saw our pastor take a swing on the first tee, they weren't particularly good golfers, either.) I could have passed, too, on the sight of them in shorts with dunlop bellies (belly done-lopping over the belt,) knobby knees, and hairy legs.

My sister who is a nurse always had male patients "falling in love with" her when she wore a white uniform. I'm a retired professional ballet dancer and when I was in costume, and signing programs, people reacted to me differently than when I was just a skinny brunette wearing sweats and boots in August.

I wonder if people tend to get themselves all worked up over a member of the opposite sex if that person is wearing some sort of distinctive garment. Like a nurses' uniform, a stage costume, or a habit or a liturgical vestment. There's an old saying about there being "something about a man in uniform."

FWIW, I told my niece to just go to another parish for awhile until this infatuation passes. But I loved your remark about dangling a mouse in front of a herd of hungry cats! You poor guy! It couldn't have been an easy time for you, and I'm so sorry that some of my sisters in Christ made your formation that much more arduous.

[/quote]

You post is funny.

My mother hated my father, until one day she saw this unfamiliar yet dashing young man in a US Marine Corps uniform out and about in the neighborhood.

The rest is history.

-Tim-


#13

Get to know him first if you haven't officially met you probably don't know the sides of him you haven't seen. If you want, strike up a friendship. And support him going into the seminary. Most of the time having a man of God as a friend is better than trying to convince or show your feelings towards him. Really get to know this person and don't move things too fast. Let the relationsship form how God wants it. And offer it up to God.


#14

[quote="triumphguy, post:2, topic:278183"]
When I was a young Franciscan friar in formation, wearing a habit and living in a large parish I had more women flirting with me than when I was single and free and wishing I could rustle up the courage to ask some girl out. I was the same person, except previously I was available! For some reason being single but forbidden (and wearing a habit) was like dangling a mouse in front of a herd of cats!:p

[/quote]

This also happens WHEN YOU ARE ACTUALLY MARRIED. I had more women flirt with me after I got married than before, with one or two actually doing the flirting with MY WIFE IN THE SAME ROOM.


#15

In Canada it’s the RCMP in red serge, though their regular
Uniform is, yeah, you know, never mind. :o


#16

I don't think too many people gave GraceUnderFire a fair shake. I say this because it takes a lot to go to a forum like this and admit this could have happened.

I know this because it recently happened to me. And although this deacon initiated giving me long, lingering, unwavering stares that we both recently have engaged in, and I recently counted it - 7 times, I am still yet shaking myself saying "it's all in your head." I have but one friend and one relative I can even talk to about it and my community is huge. We happened to find ourselves in a similar setting and never before had we locked eyes and once we did it was shocking. Simply shocking, probably to both of us. All the times after we locked eyes it was also shocking. But we're keeping our heads on straight, not rocking this boat at all. And it is hard to stay level headed about it. And I do need to, at those times see him, see the person he is in Christ, and not hold him in some gaze he can't break just because he did it first. I did notice it come from him first and it was long, unwavering and unmoving when he did this, twice the first time we were in a setting. I even have noticed him look toward me from the altar when he thought I wasn't looking, many times in the last month. One friend said maybe it's true he sees God in me. That really could be it too. But that's still a responsibility of mine not to encourage it, not a fault people, to try to deal with it and to ask for prayers about it. And trust me, it is hard, difficult. But nothing is impossible with God. But few things feel lonelier.

Bear with me for a minute. I'm reading a book about how you as a woman need to not obsess - over anybody. To remember that if you don't fill your head with good thoughts, the devil will fill it with bad as I think it was St. Thomas More said. Realizing that even if it were ever a real relationship that could happen, there's still an amount of trust and respect you build instead of filling your head with obsessive thoughts and an amount of sending bad thoughts out to the garbage you need to do. One of the things it said was to recognize the trigger that sends you there - whether it's music or movies or what. In true discernment of this, for me the largest trigger has been his initiation of this unwavering and intense and much longer than normal gaze, many times, his move to almost hug me (I put my hand out to shake his even though I am still left here wishing I would have hugged him though I know it is wrong). That is one good thing I am learning and exploring more from this thing, not to obsess. In our situation, if it were allowed it could quite easily be called love at first sight for both of us. But in any allowed setting this type of obsessing is wrong no matter what. Though this quite likely (or more appropriately) goes nowhere, it has expanded my breadth of knowledge. And I hope it brings me that much closer to Christ. The obsessing part is one piece of it. And one I am proud of you, GraceUnderFire, for asking and seeking prayers from a few blaming and seemingly unforgiving people on this forum. That's what you should do. I myself am going to a confessor for my obsessive thoughts.

The ever and overlooming issue is. His vocation. I know for myself, never in my life have I looked twice at someone in the clergy. Not once. And it's not because they're not good looking. Several are, but there's just a real respect I have of them. I haven't been a "preying" woman. God knows, I know all about the ones who seem to want what they cannot have. This wasn't my course. But now I know how it happens. It's true that 100,000 priests have left their vocations to marry. I always thought the women who fell for these guys were just stupid women. Boy am I humbled. I don't want to be this deacon's excuse to leave something he might want to leave. I'd even be astounded he would want to. He is such an amazing deacon. But now I see how it happens. And it can happen. And I am telling all of you it's not just the woman's fault. God is the biggest issue here. We have to do what is right in living out our faith. He IS called, unfortunately for me. Or he would not be there. But sometimes in life these moments happen that on one hand, you can't be fooled by. On the other, they make you seek God's will that much more and realize that much more where you might be weak in prayer life or relationship with God. Maybe that's it for both of us. We each need to seek GOD that much more. Where we were extremely strong and knew it and the people around us knew it, there is this weakness that is suddenly ever glaring (and unfortunately if it continues it will be very obvious because we both choose a life that walks in the light, and it might be ever so obvious when we do lock eyes that I'm nervous someone has already noticed it - we are that astounded that we cannot hide it) and we need to turn that much more to GOD for the guidance we need.

These moments happen and there's no one to turn to, to ask about it. There's confusion, isolation and loneliness and the devil wants us at just that, a culture of isolation. Don't bash someone for asking for your prayer. There are two sides to every story. In my case even, it may be more one sided on his side. But his look toward me that has happened well more than once, his move to nearly hug me, really drew me in. I'm in and thinking about it now a lot, I admit it. I have obsessed. I'm a sinner at least in thought who needs forgiving. And one too who needs your prayers.

I still must be in something of my own penance because it is its own kind of torture to find this situation and know I have to give it up in the same breath.


#17

I'd like to add that the course of the entire post of the last message, this whole thing, and I DO mean this WHOLE thing happened the entire time I was saying the Christmas Novena to St. Andrew for the first time ever, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 24 in which I asked his intercession in asking God to lead me to the man I will marry and that God will best prepare me and my future spouse for each other!!! Which makes it all the more confusing. Perhaps he's preparing me alright - preparing me to do things better and healthier.


#18

I did like what anonymousdollz had to say about how having a man of God as a friend is better than trying to prove or show feelings for him to self or to him. In my situation, maybe it is that I wonder why it is we weren't friends before in the last few years. It is high time I know him in a public forum just because of his homilies and friendliness. I am in search of a spiritual director but I am going to have to rule him out after all of this though I'm sure he's a great one simply because it's not a good idea. I do think, should it come up, I have to be strong enough to have a conversation reminding him about his vocation and duty to holy orders. That's on advice from my friend. Though I don't want to guilt him. I'll take responsibility for keeping the attentions going and say why but will state where we are and where we should be as brothers and sisters in Christ with ministries that God and His path for us brought us to. It's so true how everything can become so twisted. It's our job to stay diligent to the truth and to state it to the person involved if given the chance. I too think you should GraceUnderFire try a friendship meanwhile working hard on not obsessing, but overall support him on his path toward priesthood.


#19

I've turned a lot to the sacraments in my situation. A lot, a lot. I don't think I've been to adoration so much in one week. :heaven:

What I've come up with? The same as someone said, to put the friendship in God's hands to form it as he wills. He gave us this chance for introduction. And I'm that much better off with a man of God in my life even if at this meeting it can't be more than friends with his vocation. To be thankful for beautiful moments God reveals to me. Maybe I had a small slice of astounding wonder in a moment, in several few moments seeing him actually, but according to yesterday's mass I need to let God know I'm ready for the abundance He wants for me in His own time. Whatever that abundance may be.

The deacon may never know how much I think of him. Or how it's not just one thing that strikes me about him. It's everything... It's all of it. :bighanky: That I'd like to truly know him better of course too just as a real person, not this fleeting light that appeared one day, this beautiful person... But as the real person that he is with many important purposes.

I am working on being content God's here. Light is here between us. Not darkness. A little bit of fear? Yes, fear the moment's gone. Fear he forgot it. And the sadness knowing he can't acknowledge it in the place he's at. But I'm working on trusting God that he brought this great man of God into my life, even if it be for his mentorship as a speaker or leader, for a better community within where we are, and/or hopefully as an eventual friend. :hug3: I am working on trusting God that much more. A confessor told me eventually maybe the deacon and I will be friends. I do look forward to that.


#20

I've turned a lot to the sacraments in my situation. A lot, a lot. I don't think I've been to adoration so much in one week. :heaven:

What I've come up with? The same as someone said, to put the friendship in God's hands to form it as he wills. He gave us this chance for introduction. And I'm that much better off with a man of God in my life even if at this meeting it can't be more than friends with his vocation. To be thankful for beautiful moments God reveals to me. Maybe I had a small slice of astounding wonder in a moment, in several few moments seeing him actually, but according to yesterday's mass I need to let God know I'm ready for the abundance He wants for me in His own time. Whatever that abundance may be.

The deacon may never know how much I think of him. Or how it's not just one thing that strikes me about him. It's everything... It's all of it. :bighanky: That I'd like to truly know him better of course too just as a real person, not this fleeting light that appeared one day, this beautiful person... But as the real person that he is with many important purposes.

I am working on being content God's here. Light is here between us. Not darkness. A little bit of fear? Yes, fear the moment's gone. Fear he forgot it. And the sadness knowing he can't acknowledge it in the place he's at. But I'm working on trusting God that he brought this great man of God into my life, even if it be for his mentorship as a speaker or leader, for a better community within where we are, and/or hopefully as an eventual friend. :hug3: I am working on trusting God that much more. A confessor told me eventually maybe the deacon and I will be friends. I do look forward to that.


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