Burning with Lust

Hello everyone. As many of you may know, I have been discerning a call to the priesthood and religious life. I have also mentioned having a problem and want to have a family. Recently, I mentioned my obsession with women to my pastor, and he suggested that I may instead be called to marriage. I really believe that God wants me to become a priest, but is it normal for discerners to be so filled with lust? Should I take my priest's advice seriously and instead pursue a secular career(i.e. I really like medicine) while having the intention of entering a a third order or lay institution(like Opus Dei) and later seeking the permanent diaconate? If I were to marry and become a deacon, the priesthood would still be a possibility if I happen to outlive my wife. Is it possible that I am supposed to be a priest yet while having lust as an enduring thorn in my side? Currently, I wear a Brown Scapular and regularily pray to the Holy Mother to help me with conquering with my lust. I do not yet pray the Rosary, but I intend to start fairly soon. I would be very grateful for any advice. This is really troubling me.

Maybe you have a calling to be a teenager for the time being. If you can't control the lust then you are not called to either marriage or the priesthood, so put off both until you settle down emotionally.

Why would God call a person to the priesthood just so that he can suffer even more from a problem that should have deterred him from the priesthood in the first place? You sound like a 1970s vocation director.

May I recommend Fr. Benedict Groeschel's The Courage to be Chaste? Chastity doesn't just apply to the unmarried. It is the same with the married as well.
There is no room for lust in a loving relationship. It took me some years to finally understand that the sacrament of marriage really is when a man and a woman bind to each other in an effort to help each other and their children (if any) to heaven.

Pray, pray, pray my friend. Be open to your calling, whatever it is. I think in His time God will reveal the answer to you. At what point do you need to make a practical decision? You could think about splitting the difference by doing an undergraduate degree... you could still pursue the seminary as a graduate study if you don't accumulate too much debt. In the mean time keeping your eye open for a wife.

I'd steer clear of Opus, though. I think the focus on obedience has become exaggerated. What the Church needs right now is orthodoxy, not mere obedience. They're not the same.

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:1, topic:220661"]
Hello everyone. As many of you may know, I have been discerning a call to the priesthood and religious life. I have also mentioned having a problem and want to have a family. Recently, I mentioned my obsession with women to my pastor, and he suggested that I may instead be called to marriage. I really believe that God wants me to become a priest, but is it normal for discerners to be so filled with lust? Should I take my priest's advice seriously and instead pursue a secular career(i.e. I really like medicine) while having the intention of entering a a third order or lay institution(like Opus Dei) and later seeking the permanent diaconate? If I were to marry and become a deacon, the priesthood would still be a possibility if I happen to outlive my wife. Is it possible that I am supposed to be a priest yet while having lust as an enduring thorn in my side? Currently, I wear a Brown Scapular and regularily pray to the Holy Mother to help me with conquering with my lust. I do not yet pray the Rosary, but I intend to start fairly soon. I would be very grateful for any advice. This is really troubling me.

[/quote]

Well, Bishop Morleno once told men in Montana that he didnt want a man as a priest who DIDNT like women. He wanted men who were men, with all the faults that come with that.

I wouldnt stress over this right now (and I have the same problem, just so you know). What you need to do is fight this lust that seems to be a big problem for you. Pray that God would grant you the gift of temperance (CCC 1809-1811) that you might better serve Him and glorify Him.

Also, have you made a retreat and spent time "in the desert" to help you discern your vocation? There is nothing wrong with struggling against lustful thoughts, even for your entire life, so long as you are in the vocation to which God has called you and you constantly fight against these feelings.

Remember, the Virtues are like any other skill; when you first attempt anything you are not going to be good at it, but with practice you can become great.

Do you have a spiritual advisor? if not, get one. Too much of the writings of the saints (St. Francis de Sales, St. John Vianney, St. Jose Maria Escriva, etc.) is devoted to this topic (in specific or general) that it cannot be ignored.

So, I would suggest you make a retreat and pray that God will instruct you regarding your vocation by giving you peace in your final understanding, get a spiritual advisor who is learned in guidance and lives daily in the presence of Christ, and pray that God will grant you the virtue of Temperance (at least) and practice that virtue at every opportunity which arises while always doing your best to avoid that which tempts you to sin.

Dont stress Young Thinker. God gives us peace while the devil brings disorder, stress, and worry. Live life in the knowledge that, if you allow Him to do it, God will guide you down His path in all things.

FSC

Chastity involves establishing a balanced way of looking at and reacting to all people. Relating to people as people, not as objects of sexual desire.

It's best if you understand chastity and start that conditioning process young in life so that you avoid most of the traps that I and so many others fell into in our relationships.

Young people have a higher hormone level to push them toward interaction with potential
mates. With practice, you learn to control those desires (as Christ and Mary and Joseph did) to match stages and positions of your life.

It would be more of a concern if you weren’t interested in women and you were considering the priesthood.

[quote="KostyaJMJ, post:7, topic:220661"]
It would be more of a concern if you weren't interested in women and you were considering the priesthood.

[/quote]

Also true.

[quote="Apollos, post:2, topic:220661"]
Maybe you have a calling to be a teenager for the time being. If you can't control the lust then you are not called to either marriage or the priesthood, so put off both until you settle down emotionally.

[/quote]

Yes, but I am a 21-year old in college. I have to decide what to do rather soon.

[quote="Adeodatus, post:4, topic:220661"]
Pray, pray, pray my friend. Be open to your calling, whatever it is. I think in His time God will reveal the answer to you. At what point do you need to make a practical decision? You could think about splitting the difference by doing an undergraduate degree... you could still pursue the seminary as a graduate study if you don't accumulate too much debt. In the mean time keeping your eye open for a wife.

[/quote]

I disagree with the statement highlighted above. You can "look" your way right out of a vocation. Until you are sure where your vocation lies, pray and maintain chastity of the mind and eyes.

I'd steer clear of Opus, though. I think the focus on obedience has become exaggerated. What the Church needs right now is orthodoxy, not mere obedience. They're not the same.

I disagree, but that is a point for another thread. At the least I would suggest reading St. Jose Maria Escriva's works. They are edifying at least and truly enlightening at best.

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:9, topic:220661"]
Yes, but I am a 21-year old in college. I have to decide what to do rather soon.

[/quote]

Dont stress about making a decision quickly. I am 27 and am still able to go to seminary if that is where Christ leads me (I am reasonably sure it wont be but thats another thread). You do NOT have to hurry.

Again, make a retreat, get a spiritual advisor, and pray for the virtues along with discernment.

Everyone struggles with Chasity. Go to St. Joseph, he will help you. I pasted a website for you below. Check it out. Here is a powerful nine day novena:

stjosephsite.com/SJS_Ninedays.htm

-Rebecca

[quote="Battle_Warrior, post:11, topic:220661"]
Everyone struggles with Chasity. Go to St. Joseph, he will help you. I pasted a website for you below. Check it out. Here is a powerful nine day novena:

stjosephsite.com/SJS_Ninedays.htm

-Rebecca

[/quote]

Thank you.

[quote="Adeodatus, post:4, topic:220661"]
Pray, pray, pray my friend. Be open to your calling, whatever it is. I think in His time God will reveal the answer to you. At what point do you need to make a practical decision? You could think about splitting the difference by doing an undergraduate degree... you could still pursue the seminary as a graduate study if you don't accumulate too much debt. In the mean time keeping your eye open for a wife.

[/quote]

Since I am now going through R.C.I.A., I have until I am 24 or 25 before I potentially enter religious life or go to seminary. However, I were to decide to not seek the priesthood or life in a community and instead try to get into medical school, I would certainly have to prepare for that. Also, I would not want to start a relationship while still in discernment.

[quote="Adeodatus, post:4, topic:220661"]
I'd steer clear of Opus, though. I think the focus on obedience has become exaggerated. What the Church needs right now is orthodoxy, not mere obedience. They're not the same.

[/quote]

The funny thing is that, though I like St. Josemaria Escriva and think Opus Dei to be an excellent organization, I do not think that could not ever be a numerary and corporally punish myself every day. Likewise, I love St. Francis of Assisi, but I do not think that I could ever adopt the poverty of a Capuchin, though I could see myself as a Secular Franciscan. In my discernment over the priesthood, I am attracted to the Jesuits, so I would not mind an emphasis upon obedience.

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:9, topic:220661"]
Yes, but I am a 21-year old in college. I have to decide what to do rather soon.

[/quote]

Says who? I know priest that dated while in college. I myself am 45 and am just now taking the beinging steps toward the priesthood.

I'm 32 years old, married, a member of a third order, AND I still struggle with lust. Neither marriage alone nor the religious life alone will solve the problem with lust. Only devotion and total reliance on the grace of God one day at a time will help. So, whatever your calling may be you will have this struggle as a man, especially in today's sex-saturated culture. Don't let a single vice determine your vocation. St. Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was his constant companion as an apostle. It kept him humble and close to God.

This is why you need a spiritual director.

[quote="ByzCath, post:16, topic:220661"]
This is why you need a spiritual director.

[/quote]

I know, Brother. I just do not know how to get one. I have a good relationship with local priest and talk with him frequently, but I do not know if he would have time to act as my spiritual director. I find it somewhat awkward in asking him. He has been a priest for many years and obviously has experience as a confessor, but I am uncertain as to whether he would be ready to help me much in this way.

[quote="oneGODoneCHURCH, post:14, topic:220661"]
Says who? I know priest that dated while in college. I myself am 45 and am just now taking the beinging steps toward the priesthood.

[/quote]

I see your point, but, for one thing, many religious communities have an age-limit for entry. I also want to be a priest for as long I can be. The swiftest route for me would probably be to seek the secular priesthood(i.e. in my native diocese, I could be ordained if God wills it when I am about 29). However, I am more drawn to religious communities like the Society of Jesus, where the process is considerably longer(as a Jesuit, I would be ordained a priest when I am roughly 35 but most likely not solemnly professed until I am in my forties.

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:17, topic:220661"]
I know, Brother. I just do not know how to get one. I have a good relationship with local priest and talk with him frequently, but I do not know if he would have time to act as my spiritual director. I find it somewhat awkward in asking him. He has been a priest for many years and obviously has experience as a confessor, but I am uncertain as to whether he would be ready to help me much in this way.

[/quote]

You are discerning a vocation and you need a spiritual director.

Is this priest aware that you are in discernment?

If not let him know. If he does know then talk to him about it. The bring up the idea that you need a spiritual director. Ask him if he would be willing and if he can't can he point you to one.

Or do you have a monastery or religious community in your area?

[quote="ByzCath, post:19, topic:220661"]
You are discerning a vocation and you need a spiritual director.

Is this priest aware that you are in discernment?

If not let him know. If he does know then talk to him about it. The bring up the idea that you need a spiritual director. Ask him if he would be willing and if he can't can he point you to one.

Or do you have a monastery or religious community in your area?

[/quote]

All right; I shall try to speak with my priest about it. Yes, he has known for a while that I am in discernment. As for a religious community being in my area; there are some in the diocese in which I live but none that I know about that are in my city. However, there is a Newman Center at my university; maybe someone there could help.

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