Consecrated Virgin or Marriage?


#1

It seems that celibacy is one of the greatest gifts that one can give God and is a superior state to marriage in general. However, the most perfect path to God is one's personal vocation specifically.

  1. To practice the second counsel, which concerns mortification, and profit by it, you should engrave this truth on your heart. And it is that you have not come to the monastery for any other reason than to be worked and tried in virtue; you are like the stone that must be chiseled and fashioned before being set in the building. Thus you should understand that those who are in the monastery are craftsmen placed there by God to mortify you by working and chiseling at you. Some will chisel with words, telling you what you would rather not hear; others by deed, doing against you what you would rather not endure; others by their temperament, being in their person and in their actions a bother and annoyance to you; and others by their thoughts, neither esteeming nor feeling love for you. You ought to suffer these mortifications and annoyances with inner patience, being silent for love of God and understanding that you did not enter the religious life for any other reason than for others to work you in this way, and so you become worthy of heaven. If this was not your reason for entering the religious state, you should not have done so, but should have remained in the world to seek your comfort, honor, reputation, and ease.*St. John of the Cross *

It seems that by choosing marriage one might be choosing comfort and ease. What if the thought of celibacy depresses one and one is joyed by the thought of marriage. And because celibacy is lonely it becomes an emotional struggle to help others so it frees up no free time to serve in a broader way than the family? On the other hand, a relationship helps one to be grateful for God's blessings and to be more cheerful about serving others although children mean that time is still limited. What is the proper way to discern the correct vocation in this case? Are there any saints or writings for God that clearly pointed out when one knows that one's correct vocation is marriage?


#2

"It seems that celibacy is one of the greatest gifts that one can give God and is a superior state to marriage in general. "

I am very curious as to why you think the above to be true.


#3

From: religious-vocation.com/

Is Consecrated Life A Higher Calling than Marriage?
The Catholic Church teaches, as dogma, that a consecrated life of celibacy is a superior calling than the married state, and should be preferred, if it is within the capacity and disposition of the soul to do so.

Pope John Paul II , Vita Consecrata, no. 32: “As a way of showing forth the Church's holiness, it is to be recognized that the consecrated life, which mirrors Christ's own way of life, has an objective superiority. Precisely for this reason, it is an especially rich manifestation of Gospel values and a more complete expression of the Church's purpose, which is the sanctification of humanity. The consecrated life proclaims and in a certain way anticipates the future age, when the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven, already present in its first fruits and in mystery,[62] will be achieved and when the children of the resurrection will take neither wife nor husband, but will be like the angels of God (cf. Mt. 22:30)”
Pope Pius XII, Sacra Virginitas, no. 32: “This doctrine of the excellence of virginity and of celibacy and of their superiority over the married state was, as we have already said, revealed by our Divine Redeemer and by the Apostle of the Gentiles; so too, it was solemnly defined as a dogma of divine faith by the holy council of Trent, and explained in the same way by all the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church."

** Council of Trent, pg. 225: “If anyone saith that the marriage state is to be preferred before the state of virginity, let him be anathema.” …] "writing to the Corinthians, [Paul] says: I would that all men were even as myself; that is, that all embrace the virtue of continence…A life of continence is to be desired by all.”** (Note: this is the same Council of Trent that chose the books of the Bible. It is an article of faith for the Church, hence the word “anathema.” However, I do not believe it is infalliable.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, p. 916: "The state of the consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a "more intimate" consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ's faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come."
I Corinthians Chp. VII: "It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman. [v.1] Indeed, I wish that everyone were like I am [celibate]. [v.7] I should like you to be free from anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord; how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world; how he may please his wife, and he is divided. [v.32] Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will

In addition, St. Bridget of Sweden has Revelations spoken to her directly from Christ that say the same.


#4

I also wish for a lifetime of continence. But what does that have to do with a vocation? ;)


#5

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:4, topic:269591"]
I also wish for a lifetime of continence. But what does that have to do with a vocation? ;)

[/quote]

I don't quite follow you? :confused:


#6

[quote="LovePatience, post:5, topic:269591"]
I don't quite follow you? :confused:

[/quote]

Do you understand what continence means? In relation to *in*continence, perhaps?


#7

[quote="LovePatience, post:1, topic:269591"]
It seems that celibacy is one of the greatest gifts that one can give God and is a superior state to marriage in general. However, the most perfect path to God is one's personal vocation specifically.

It seems that by choosing marriage one might be choosing comfort and ease. What if the thought of celibacy depresses one and one is joyed by the thought of marriage. And because celibacy is lonely it becomes an emotional struggle to help others so it frees up no free time to serve in a broader way than the family? On the other hand, a relationship helps one to be grateful for God's blessings and to be more cheerful about serving others although children mean that time is still limited. What is the proper way to discern the correct vocation in this case? Are there any saints or writings for God that clearly pointed out when one knows that one's correct vocation is marriage?

[/quote]

The fact that one feels joy when contemplating one route can possibly be a sign that that route is their vocation. The parents of St Terese of Lisieux apparently both tried to enter the religiois life but were turned down, at which point they each "knew" that that was not their vocation; they met, married, and each of their children became nuns, one already a canonized saint. And the cause of M and Mme Lisieux is started also.

We become saints through our vocations, through following God's will. I might have a diamond necklace and a bead necklace, but if the diamond one keeps breaking, it is not better than the bead one, is it? Altho diamonds are more valuable. And I might like the bead one better, even tho again, intrinsically its value is less.

But the best help that one can receive is person-to-person, not on a message board. Each diocese has a vocations office which should be able to guide a person thru the process of discernment.


#8

Celibacy is a gift from God, rather than a gift to God. Not all are called to celibacy and those lifestyles that ask celibacy. The way God intended for the human being is the way of "increase and multiply and fill the earth" or marriage. To some however, He gives a call and gift that transcends human nature.

Doubtful one has the gift of celibacy if there is no attraction to such a way of life; however, this would be best discerned with spiritual direction. One can start out with say, curiousity but no attraction and this might develop into attraction.

But the best help that one can receive is person-to-person, not on a message board. Each diocese has a vocations office which should be able to guide a person thru the process of discernment.

Truth in this. One could alternatively seek out a spiritual director.


#9

[quote="LovePatience, post:1, topic:269591"]
It

It seems that by choosing marriage one might be choosing comfort and ease.

[/quote]

:rolleyes: I don't see an LOL icon

What if the thought of celibacy depresses one and one is joyed by the thought of marriage.

that is one measure St. Ignatius suggest in discerning a vocation, so the person in this mode is probably slated for marriage.


#10

Thank you very much for all the advice! Very very much. :)

I was reading St. Bridget's Revelations, and I read this.

Book 4: Chapter 9 His fourth woe was carnal lust. If, then, someone should help both a virgin and a widow to enter into the convent and should, moreover, provide for a girl to join true wedlock, giving them all enough property to allow them to eat and dress sufficiently, then God will pardon the sins this man committed in the flesh, inasmuch as these are the three ways of life commanded and chosen by God to be states of life in the world.

It doesn't seem to me that consecrated virginity is an ideal state of life, the single virgin is probably part of the disorder that exists in the world due to the fall and not really a better choice than marriage.


#11

regarding trent,a conciliar canon that ends with the words anathaema sit does no necessarily mean Dogma.There are no agreed upon lists of dogmas & dogmas are relatively few.
Secondly,that teaching is historically conditioned.We know by historical criticism,that Paul preferred celibacy over marriage because he thought the end of the world was near & Christ would soon return(1 Cor 7:29-31). Jesus or Paul never imposed celibacy on anyone & as Vatican II states “Its not necessary for the priesthood” basing it on the early church where priests & many bishops were married


#12

We are all called to chastity.

Married people are called to be pure and save themselves for their spouses only. In our modern society, that in and at of itself is no mean feat.

Consecrated virgins are called to be pure for *the *Spouse.


#13

Actually, Consecrated virginity is considered the highest vocational calling for a woman in the Church, as they are consecrated and mystically espoused to Christ. Unlike religious vows, which can be undone, consecrated virginity is forever.


#14

Actually, Consecrated virginity is considered the highest vocational calling for a woman in the Church, as they are consecrated and mystically espoused to Christ. Unlike religious vows, which can be undone, consecrated virginity is forever.


closed #15

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