Call to celibacy?


#1

Hi, I was wondering about how one discerns whether he/she has a call to celibacy, and if so, what to do with it.

Our priest recently gave a homily where he stated that many more are probably called to celibacy than who actually answer it. He said that all should be open to it. At the time that he gave this homily I was not very open to the idea but that recently changed.

I am 24 and I had never dated in any way shape or form up until a couple weeks ago. Throughout adolescence I didn’t really feel like I was really compelled to be in a relationship so I was content just to live a single life. Over the past year or so my mom had started asking questions about it; I sense she is a little concerned. I had started thinking about it myself a year ago and had decided I would need to do something about it. Recently there is a girl at my parish that I’ve met through various ministries who has shown interest in me. I responded, and we had started to see each other some and sort of start a preliminary “dating” phase, though not really all-out dating. After about one week of that, I realized that it just didn’t feel right; I felt very strongly compelled against pursuing the relationship any further; indeed I felt strongly compelled against any romantic relationship with anyone. There was nothing wrong with the girl, she was very nice and a good girl and we had things in common, I just really had a strong conviction against seeing her any further. Now I won’t say from this isolated instance that I am called to celibacy, maybe she just isn’t the right person, but this really got me thinking. At the very least, I am now much more content with my status as a single person and open to the idea of the celibate life. I don’t know what sort of next step I ought to take.

I wondered also, if indeed I am called to celibacy, how to discern from there what my vocation might be. It seems like it would be a given that a celibate person must be called to the priesthood or the religious life. But our priest said that isn’t always the case; some people are called to be celibate laypersons. I feel like if I’m going to be celibate I personally would rather be serving as a priest or religious and not as a celibate layperson, as I feel like that would be a waste somehow, although that doesn’t really constitute a calling. I am about to finish my Master’s degree in computer science, so it seems that switching over to the priesthood/RL would be quite a big change from my original studies.


#2

Hi, I was wondering about how one discerns whether he/she has a call to celibacy, and if so, what to do with it.

Interesting way to phrase the question you have.

This may sound like a simplistic answer however the only people in this world [size=]not called to live a celibate life are those who are called to the Sacrament of Service - Marriage. So the question isn't necessarily if you are called to live a celibate life - you are - unless you are called to the vocation of marriage.[/size]


#3

[quote="jmjconder, post:2, topic:254209"]
Interesting way to phrase the question you have.

This may sound like a simplistic answer however the only people in this world [size=]not[/size] called to live a celibate life are those who are called to the Sacrament of Service - Marriage. So the question isn't necessarily if you are called to live a celibate life - you are - unless you are called to the vocation of marriage.

[/quote]

I agree. :thumbsup: It could very well be that you're simply not called to the vocation of marriage. This seems to be the case for our son's godfather. He's an absolutely wonderful man, and has similar feelings.

You may be called to marry one day, but I wouldn't be concerned about how you feel God is leading you at the moment. There is nothing wrong with this path if it's the one you're meant to be on. :)


#4

[quote="jmjconder, post:2, topic:254209"]
Interesting way to phrase the question you have.

This may sound like a simplistic answer however the only people in this world [size=]not[/size] called to live a celibate life are those who are called to the Sacrament of Service - Marriage. So the question isn't necessarily if you are called to live a celibate life - you are - unless you are called to the vocation of marriage.

[/quote]

Perhaps I should clarify. By "celibate life" I mean a call to a lifetime of celibacy, such as with a priest or a monastic. I was under the impression that such a vocation is sort of decided upon and is not changed throughout life.


#5

[quote="CompSciGuy, post:4, topic:254209"]
Perhaps I should clarify. By "celibate life" I mean a call to a lifetime of celibacy, such as with a priest or a monastic. I was under the impression that such a vocation is sort of decided upon and is not changed throughout life.

[/quote]

So the real question is in fact - how does one know if one is called to the priesthood or religious life? I can tell you that a vocation does not come down to "hmm, am I called to live celibate". Well, it didn't work that way for me anyway, though the answer to the question is yes!


#6

Why not talk to a vocation director and get his sense on the whole thing? He would have gone through this experience or at least something similar and may be able to offer you some good advice. The advice could range from why not try out a seminary and see where that leads you to maybe you should date more and that girl you are dating now however awesome she is is just not the one for you. But it would probably be best to go to someone who knows about these things as he lives them everyday.


#7

Just a note on definitions here.

Celibacy is the state of not marrying.

Chastity is the use of the sex act according to our station in life.

All are called to Chastity, all are not called to Celibacy.


#8

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