Discernment and Dateing


#1

Hello!

I have been discerning the vocation to diocesan priesthood for about 3.5 years now. I have had several meetings with my church's pastor and our diocese's vocations director. I graduated high-school in this past semester, but I was definitely not ready for seminary.

Last week my best (girl) friend confessed to me that she has feelings for me. Quite strong too.

I like her as a great friend and I have feelings for her too (not as strong thou). Recently I've been getting distracted from my discernment of the religious vocation.

I have heard it said many times (and I agree) that dating is discerning the vocation of marriage with a person.

I am really confused as to the ethical attributes of my situation. I would like to date her ( Not sure if God wants me to thou) but at the same time whenever I think about the priesthood I am happy. I long for the day where I can participate actively in the mass and the sacraments.

I know I am being very hypocritical, but I really don't know what to do I am really confused.

Please help,

A confused teen discerning


#2

Maybe God wants you to marry instead of becoming a priest.

But do what ever seems best to you without hurting anyone.


#3

You should make an appointment and discuss this with your pastor, he is in the best position to advise you.


#4

As a teenage guy who is dsecerning the call to the Priesthood as well, I would highly recomend that you*** not ***date while discerning. It will become very tempting to sin with this girl, and your hormones will also be pushing you to this end as well. It is better to avoid all near occasions of sin, especialy sexual sin, as it is offten the downfall of many otherwise good vocations. Not to mention that the emotional investment that dateing requires is also very distracting to a religious vocation, not only because it takes up time, but also because it is of such a radically different nature. I would staying single untill it is beyond doubt that you are not called to the priesthood.

God Bless and Ave Maria!


#5

[quote="DAAVEED1590, post:4, topic:254906"]
As a teenage guy who is dsecerning the call to the Priesthood as well, I would highly recomend that you*** not *date while discerning. It will become very tempting to sin with this girl, and your hormones will also be pushing you to this end as well. It is better to avoid all near occasions of sin, especialy sexual sin, as it is offten the downfall of many otherwise good vocations. **Not to mention that the emotional investment that dateing requires is also very distracting to a religious vocation, not only because it takes up time, but also because it is of such a radically different nature. I would staying single untill it is beyond doubt that you are not called to the priesthood.

God Bless and Ave Maria!

[/quote]

And very distracting to studies and other things in general (I would assume)


#6

As someone who is in discernment and studies for the priesthood myself, I would tell you that dating can actually be quite helpful in your discernment. You shouldn't just jump on your emotional impulses the instant they hit, to be sure, and you certainly shouldn't pursue a relationship if you've actually entered seminary. But remember that "being in discernment" means that you're actively seeking the will of God, and not that you've made a plan and are following it--you can't make up God's mind for Him. If you're in college and not yet to seminary, dating can be a helpful part of the process, and the self-discovery that occurs while dating can only make things clearer for you. This doesn't mean you should date just for the sake of dating, or just for the sake of trying things out. What it is important to remember is that being in discernment (and certainly before entering seminary or religious formation) does not mean that anything is set in stone. Finally, realize that if you have a vocation to the priesthood, nothing will stop that from happening, and if you do not, nothing can force it to happen. Consult a spiritual director, be open and honest, and pray that God's will be done.

-ACEGC


#7

[quote="andy92, post:1, topic:254906"]
Hello!

I have been discerning the vocation to diocesan priesthood for about 3.5 years now. I have had several meetings with my church's pastor and our diocese's vocations director. I graduated high-school in this past semester, but I was definitely not ready for seminary.

Last week my best (girl) friend confessed to me that she has feelings for me. Quite strong too.

I like her as a great friend and I have feelings for her too (not as strong thou). Recently I've been getting distracted from my discernment of the religious vocation.

I have heard it said many times (and I agree) that dating is discerning the vocation of marriage with a person.

I am really confused as to the ethical attributes of my situation. I would like to date her ( Not sure if God wants me to thou) but at the same time whenever I think about the priesthood I am happy. I long for the day where I can participate actively in the mass and the sacraments.

I know I am being very hypocritical, but I really don't know what to do I am really confused.

Please help,

A confused teen discerning

[/quote]

A couple of things.

First, get a spiritual director.

Second, you are already participating actively in the Mass and the Sacraments as a lay person.

Third, you should not really date while discerning a call to religious life and/or the priesthood. Many religious institutes and dioceses have a requirement that to enter into candidacy you must not be in any relationship and some actually spell out that you must not have been in one for a number of years. That is they will not be willing to let you into the seminary/formation if you are breaking up with your girlfriend the weekend before you leave.

Fourth, if you do start dating while you are still discerning such a call (something that I would not advise) then you must be totally honest and open about this discernment with the woman you are entering into a deeper relationship with.


#8

[quote="ByzCath, post:7, topic:254906"]
A couple of things.

First, get a spiritual director.

Second, you are already participating actively in the Mass and the Sacraments as a lay person.

Third, you should not really date while discerning a call to religious life and/or the priesthood. Many religious institutes and dioceses have a requirement that to enter into candidacy you must not be in any relationship and some actually spell out that you must not have been in one for a number of years. That is they will not be willing to let you into the seminary/formation if you are breaking up with your girlfriend the weekend before you leave.

Fourth, if you do start dating while you are still discerning such a call (something that I would not advise) then you must be totally honest and open about this discernment with the woman you are entering into a deeper relationship with.

[/quote]

1st I talk a lot with one of the youth ministers at my parish. He as been my spiritual director (sorta not sure of the specifics on spiritual directors) for a while now. As a former seminarian and now discerner of the vocation to holy matrimony, he has been much help.

Secondly I meant on a deeper level, obviously I have full active conscious participation in the mass and the sacraments.

3rd I will check with my dioceses vocations director on that rule, I was unaware of that thank you for bringing that up, I will take it into consideration.

4th she is my best friend, she knows i have been discerning the priesthood. I know she thinks about the convent (sometimes). we already have a super open relationship, we share any and all relevant pertinent information. We keep no secrets.

ps I like how "edward_george" and "DAAVEED1590" are pretty much in complete opposition, It is fulfilling to hear both sides.


#9

[quote="Swiss_Guy, post:5, topic:254906"]
And very distracting to studies and other things in general (I would assume)

[/quote]

I agree. Thats why I refuse to date in highschool, even if all my friends do it. I dont want to be tempted to sin, and I also dont want to be distracted from my possible (and probable) vocation, my school work, and other things. It (dateing) feels like a petty waste of time to me......


#10

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