Discerning between marriage and priesthood


#1

Hello all,

Ever since I can remember I've always wanted to raise marry a girl who I love and who loves me and raise a big family. But lately I've been wondering if that is what God wants. A year ago I had a pornography addiction, and during this period I really had to choose my faith. Well I'm out of that now, and I've started praying so much more. I've started doing the liturgy of the hours and I really love it. I'm almost 16 now.

I dont have a girlfriend, but I do have a girl who's a VERY close friend to me and who I really do care for. We've helped each other alot and our relationship has helped both of us grow in our faith.

What I'm wondering is at my age, how should I continue with my relationships with girls, particularly that girl? I really still do want to get married someday and raise a family for God, but I'm wondering at my age, what should I do? I've always been a very lonely feeling type of person, sometimes an outsider I guess, and to be honest I am afraid of living alone as a priest. But maybe God is calling me to that? And not to raising a family as I had hoped?

From a spiritual aspect I think that being a priest would be so beautiful. I really want to consider being a priest.

But I've always wanted companionship so badly, and I've always wanted to be a father more than anything.

So my question is, how exactly should I continue with my life at this point?


#2

I’m going through the same thing right now so you’re not alone. Keep discerning and remember the first vocation that we are all called to is holiness. After that and after we has a true relationship with Christ, He will revel what He wants to us. Praying for you :thumbsup: :signofcross:


#3

I’m not sure I recall where it was said, but it has been said that 1 out of every 6 people have a vocation to the religious life.

PUSH - Pray Until Something Happens. :slight_smile:


#4

Hello, I am too discerning my vocation to the priesthood, so please do pray for me.

Anyway, I really think getting a spiritual director is essential in helping you discern and grow in holiness at the same time. Few advices though given by my spiritual director and Fr.Brett Brennan, God can't move a park car so get moving! Go to camps, ask questions and what not.

PRAY! If you're not praying, your not discerning and finally always remember God will NOT send you where His grace cannot sustain you.

I'll leave it at that because the rest will be done by the spiritual director..but I do recommend getting the book "To save a thousand souls" my Fr.Brett Brennan.

PM if anything!

God bless you in everything and as you discern! †


#5

I know exactly how you feel.

I have always believed that if I was completely open to God's will and I sought to Love a girl rightly and in a Holy way that God would use that to guide me to where he wanted me to be. I would say, seek to love her as Christ loves her. If life takes you to marriage then you will need to know how to love women rightly. If life takes you to the priesthood then you will need to know how to love women rightly.

Every man desire to marry a good woman and raise a good family. I would go so far as to say that if a man doesn't desire this then he may well not be fit to be a priest. I myself have always wanted to be a father. God has been showing me lately however that all my desires can be fulfilled within the priesthood.

How should you continue with your life?
You are sixteen. You have no idea where God is going to take you tomorrow, much less where he is going to take you ten years from now. As you get older you will find that to be true, regardless of your age. Focus on loving (and serving) God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself. It is NOT time for you to decide to be a priest or to decide to be married. Take one step at a time and don't make decisions before their time. For example, it may be time for you to visit a seminary and learn, but it is probably not time for you to commit to a seminary. It may be time for you to go on a date, but it is probably not time for you to propose. I have discovered that one can be certain about big decisions by being certain about the little decisions that lead up to it.

That said, remember that there IS a time to make commitments. I would suggest you keep a journal and write in it your thoughts on when that time is. Write your thoughts about what marriage, and religious life are. Also write out your passing thoughts toward theology and truth. I can't tell you how much this has helped me.

One thing I would strongly encourage you to also do is to keep a diary. Write one sentence about what has happened that day and how you feel. I have been doing so for some time and am quite surprised at what I have written a year ago. It is not easy to keep up though. I consider it a penitential sacrifice... haha.

Also, try to build up friendships. You need strong Catholic friends.

And of course I would suggest the rosary. Meditate on the mysteries of Christ. Go to daily mass if you can.

And lastly, don't worry. I have often meditated upon the thought that it is not MY vocation. I give even my future to God. He will use it as he sees fit.


#6

Let me concur with everyone who says to pray, pray, pray. You are still very young with plenty of time to discern what God is calling you to do. One thing that I would like to say to all of my friends on here discerning the priesthood is this: Society, family and others will tell you that having a family would be the easier route to go. I can tell you from experience that at times, no matter who you marry, family life can be very, very difficult. So please don’t choose marraige thinking that it will be “easier” than the priesthood. I am sure that being a priest has its very difficult moments too, I am just saying don’t base your decision around the idea that married life will be a less challenging choice to live with.


#7

Talk to your priest about your interest/discernment for a vocation to the priesthood. He may tell you whether you should go and visit the seminary, etc. Go on a retreat if you can. Congratulations on beating the porn addiction, it is not an easy thing to do and shows great strength of character.

If you have a calling to be a husband and father, you will discover this over time. If your calling is to the priesthood, or another brotherhood, you will hear the Holy Spirit's call.


#8

Thank you so much for the replies everyone! :)

About the porn, I really dont see that as a strength of character. I guess I see it more as a weakness, since it never should have happened in the first place, and it's completely my fault it got to the level that it did.

But it really got me to pray more and when I began praying because I really wanted to stop, I couldnt help but feel that God had something planned for me that was so much deeper and better than what I had been doing up to that point. Sometimes that's why I think about the priesthood. But I'm wondering if I feel that way because I was feeling the call to holiness and not necessarily just the priesthood?

The thing is though if do start dating in the future, (which I could easily see happening), I'm afraid that I would forget about the priesthood. And what if that is really what God is calling me to? So I'm wondering if maybe I should try to prevent any relationships now from developing into a dating relationship? I mean... I dont want to go in the wrong direction if I am called to be a priest.

I still think that I probably am called to marriage, but there are times when I really think that God might be calling me to something else. I really want to remain open to the priesthood no matter what though, and not forget about it, because it is soooo beautiful spiritually.

Is it possible that God could call me to something that I dont think would make me completely happy?


#9

[quote="stephengomez32, post:8, topic:279507"]
Thank you so much for the replies everyone! :)

About the porn, I really dont see that as a strength of character. I guess I see it more as a weakness, since it never should have happened in the first place, and it's completely my fault it got to the level that it did.

But it really got me to pray more and when I began praying because I really wanted to stop, I couldnt help but feel that God had something planned for me that was so much deeper and better than what I had been doing up to that point. Sometimes that's why I think about the priesthood. But I'm wondering if I feel that way because I was feeling the call to holiness and not necessarily just the priesthood?

The thing is though if do start dating in the future, (which I could easily see happening), I'm afraid that I would forget about the priesthood. And what if that is really what God is calling me to? So I'm wondering if maybe I should try to prevent any relationships now from developing into a dating relationship? I mean... I dont want to go in the wrong direction if I am called to be a priest.

I still think that I probably am called to marriage, but there are times when I really think that God might be calling me to something else. I really want to remain open to the priesthood no matter what though, and not forget about it, because it is soooo beautiful spiritually.

Is it possible that God could call me to something that I dont think would make me completely happy?

[/quote]

Well...yes, in a way, but God wants JOY for you, not mere happiness. If you keep listening, you will hear His urging. Go talk to your priest. Get a spiritual director to help you with these questions. Ask your priest who he can recommend, or if he's a holy priest, he can direct you if he has time. If you hear any call whatsoever, you will need guidance.

As for dating...You aren't ready to marry right now so you don't need to get serious with any girl. Go out with a group of friends, but concentrate on your schoolwork, your activities, and your discernment.

God wants the best for you, for all of us. It's up to us to figure out if what we want is what He wants.


#10

Well I meant like in the future should I date if I’m not completely sure that marriage is what I’m called to? I read you’re not supposed to exactly just “try dating” to see what it’s like, but yknow what I mean? And if I shouldnt, shouldnt I be more cautious with my relationships with girls (in case they develop into dating in the future) until I’m more sure about God’s calling?


#11

I’d advise to stay away from female relations (beyond friendship) in your mind and in reality until you’re at least 10 years older. Whether or not you want to or end up becoming a Priest, your first and foremost priority is to get yourself educated properly. If you haven’t done so already, begin looking into CATHOLIC universities that offer solid CATHOLIC theology programs. I emphasize Catholic because many universities claim to be Catholic and have Catholic theology programs yet are far from being/having either.

Consult with a Priest about seminary, even if you don’t end up becoming a Priest seminary will form you to be an excellent husband and parent for any potential wife. In the meantime I would recommend reading the following:

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

Also, to any female that interests you at this time, I would recommend doing them a favor and turning them on to these books as well as a good female role model like Leah Darrow. Have them watch some of Leah’s videos on Youtube such as her interview on EWTN’s Life on the Rock (why not watch these videos WITH them?).


#12

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