Discernment and dealing with attractions


#1

So here is my situation:

I am discerning my vocation at the moment, and I feel a tugging from both the married life and the religious life! I know its good for any Catholic woman to consider both vocations, and that its normal to be attracted to both because both vocations are so beautiful. I don't really feel like either calling is stronger than the other, but there is a constant tug of war between the two.

I am however, dealing with attractions to guys, which is normal I know, but I feel like it may be clouding my discernment process. It seems like I am attracted to every young Catholic guy I meet, and as I spend time around a certain guy, I end up not being able to stop thinking about him for a while and thinking about if he might be my future spouse and almost daydreaming about what it would be like if we were married....but then just as quick ill meet or spend time around another guy and the same thing will happen! And this happens with a lot of guys I meet, and half of them I don't even know very well. I would never act on any of these attractions unless I was absolutely sure the guy could be a potential husband and unless we had a strong friendship first, but I just find them very distracting!

Any advice or experiences that might help?

Thanks and God bless!


#2

I’ve noticed some of that in myself at times. My best advice is just to guard your affections around those men, and keep your heart on Jesus. Keep focused on discerning the religious life until you know whether it is your calling. I tell myself I’m taken by Jesus, and so I don’t tend to get into much fanciful thinking.


#3

Thinking about marriage and religious life is completely normal. I read a story online about a nun who was talking to possible candidates for priesthood and she said, “If you don’t have a natural inclination towards marriage and family, then bye…seeya…adios.” The fact is that they don’t want anyone, who considers themself “asexual” or doesn’t have that natural desire for family or marriage. If you become a nun, you are married to Jesus Christ - the most perfect husband. So, you have to be faithful to him just like you would be faithful to a mortal man. Priest are married to the Church - the perfect wife, and they have to be faithful to her children.

It seems though that when I think about being married to a woman, Jesus says, “I can give you the most perfect wife, the Church.” :slight_smile:


#4

[quote="LightofDawn, post:1, topic:244780"]
So here is my situation:

I am discerning my vocation at the moment, and I feel a tugging from both the married life and the religious life! I know its good for any Catholic woman to consider both vocations, and that its normal to be attracted to both because both vocations are so beautiful. I don't really feel like either calling is stronger than the other, but there is a constant tug of war between the two.

I am however, dealing with attractions to guys, which is normal I know, but I feel like it may be clouding my discernment process. It seems like I am attracted to every young Catholic guy I meet, and as I spend time around a certain guy, I end up not being able to stop thinking about him for a while and thinking about if he might be my future spouse and almost daydreaming about what it would be like if we were married....but then just as quick ill meet or spend time around another guy and the same thing will happen! And this happens with a lot of guys I meet, and half of them I don't even know very well. I would never act on any of these attractions unless I was absolutely sure the guy could be a potential husband and unless we had a strong friendship first, but I just find them very distracting!

Any advice or experiences that might help?

Thanks and God bless!

[/quote]

its very normal to have this, I'm not a women so I'm not the best person to give advice. Anyway its normal to have these attractions. God created Man and Women to be in communion with each-other in marriage, its normal to have these attractions.

A priest should feel an attraction to marriage, if he doesn't feel attracted to marriage there is something wrong with him. Id imagine its the same is for Women.

What you are feeling is perfectly natural. Just focus on Christ, and his mother as long as our mother Mary.

having a personal spiritual director is important too. If you ever have issues that come up like this go to him or her, and they should know alot better then we do how to handle it.


#5

I know the feeling. I am a guy and I never married. There were many women that I would love to have been involved with, though they either weren’t interested or already involved with someone else. I daydream of having a family I ponder what would it be like to have two kids in tow at a Walmart or Chucky Cheese’s and have my child in excitement “Daddy look what I won” or take my son to a ballgame (Go Cardinals!!) but at the same time I daydream being married to my true love the church. Being a priest bringing in the sacraments and counseling people that need help hearing confessons visiting the sick and imprisoned. If I am ever to be ordained I know I iwll never hold my child in my arms, but I will have many many children and the perfect wife and that is my joy and I get excited as I await for the phone call. And Jesus Christ is the perfect living giving and intament (sp?) husband that will never abuse you cheat on you or abandon you for someone else or someone much younger when your husband reaches male mentalpause. Jesus will never change You will be rich in many things that a mortal husband cannot give that your perfect husband will. I still see families in malls or walmart resturants and when I worked for a school district I dreamed how nice it would be to have a wife and children. But I choose the church. I pray she accepts my marriage perposal. That great day shall come if she accepts. go for Christ and I pray he accepts. We need sisters and nuns so bad. God bless and may God accept. Scoob.


#6

It's interesting to note what I read in To Save a Thousand Souls:

No one will ever call me daddy, but many will call me Father.


#7

how is the book so far I’m about to start reading probably won’t read it from front to back there are some sections I won’t need to read like how to tell you parents. They know and are very supportive, or the application process, by the time I get to taht Ill probably be a seminarian. And so on and so forth.


#8

[quote="catholictiger, post:7, topic:244780"]
how is the book so far I'm about to start reading probably won't read it from front to back there are some sections I won't need to read like how to tell you parents. They know and are very supportive, or the application process, by the time I get to taht Ill probably be a seminarian. And so on and so forth.

[/quote]

Really good! There are a lot of stories. In chapter one when he is talking about "this is just what a priest does", he was encountered by a young boy after Mass one Saturday evening, and this boy had a hole in his heart, which was fixed when he was an infant, and this boy ran up to him saying, "Father! Father! We are going to get a burger tonight and go bowling!" Then later that evening, he got a phone call saying that this boy had died at the bowling alley because his heart gave in. This priest had to do the funeral, and it was totally heart-wrenching, obviously. The priest afterwards felt Jesus saying, "Thank you for doing this for me. Thank you for being my priest."

I just got finished taking the discernment exercise, which comes with it. I got 100/100 :D

I find that this book practically describes me. :eek::D


#9

[quote="LightofDawn, post:1, topic:244780"]
So here is my situation:

I am discerning my vocation at the moment, and I feel a tugging from both the married life and the religious life! I know its good for any Catholic woman to consider both vocations, and that its normal to be attracted to both because both vocations are so beautiful. I don't really feel like either calling is stronger than the other, but there is a constant tug of war between the two.

I am however, dealing with attractions to guys, which is normal I know, but I feel like it may be clouding my discernment process. It seems like I am attracted to every young Catholic guy I meet, and as I spend time around a certain guy, I end up not being able to stop thinking about him for a while and thinking about if he might be my future spouse and almost daydreaming about what it would be like if we were married....but then just as quick ill meet or spend time around another guy and the same thing will happen! And this happens with a lot of guys I meet, and half of them I don't even know very well. I would never act on any of these attractions unless I was absolutely sure the guy could be a potential husband and unless we had a strong friendship first, but I just find them very distracting!

Any advice or experiences that might help?

Thanks and God bless!

[/quote]

You are not alone!! I am 18 years old right now and i too seem to just fall in love with every Young Catholic Women i see :love: But those are just feelings that go away, they are never really serious. What helped me was to pray for these people and also to pray for the gift of chasity! One word of advise that my priest gave me, Never EVER fantasize about a girl or guy because that will just make you attached to them and most of the time its hard to move on from those feelings of attachment.


#10

Some really good advice I once heard about dating and discernment is that you should think of life as a race towards God. In this race, we are running toward God. That is, we are to pursue God, not other people. And it is only in pursuing God that we can then look to the left and right and see who is running next to us.

It is that special person that may be running next to you that you might then think about dating.

And also, I’ve always been a firm believer in letting the man pursue the woman. Let him win over your heart, give him a challenge. Be a mystery. But always remember that your number one lover is Jesus Christ. :slight_smile:


#11

Attraction is like gravity. If you want to mitigate its effects, keep your distance! Souls - not only your own - are at stake.


#12

I do not mean to be a naysayer, but I do need to argue with those who say simply to avoid relationships. It's easy to assume that anyone who has thought about religious life is called to it. It is entirely possible the OP is called instead to family life. Either vocation is beautiful, and either vocation takes prayer and discernment.

I would personally advise not trying to discern alone. Try to find a prayerful spiritual director. He or she will be able to guide through discernment of feelings and help spot what is constant in our lives, and what is good and true that we can easily miss. He or she might encourage a period of discernment in either a relationship or in a religious community as well. The point is, either vocation is likely, and to avoid pigeonholing yourself into one mindset. I hope this helps.
"Don't answer questions for God."

You're in my prayers.


closed #13

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