Does God force people to become celibates?


#1

This is really bothering me. I’m a 22 year old male who has never had a girlfriend, although I want to have one really badly, since I feel very lonely without one. I also have a real interest in learning about God. I try to live a holy life as much as possible, too.

Unfortunately, many of my Catholic friends and family are annoying me. They see my singleness, my gentleness and my interest in God, and they automatically think, “He should be a priest!” Several people have actually told me that. However, I personally don’t want to become a priest at this time, and I honestly feel almost put off when people tell me that. I think it’s kinda sad that I can’t be like an evangelical and be married and yet be a theologian.

Anyhow, I have some social anxiety, too, which means that I’d literally panic if I had to speak to any more than two people every Sunday. I really want to get married, but at the same time I want to help spread the faith. Ultimately I want to write works on the Catholic faith. I’m not really certain about everything the Catholic Church teaches. I’m still investigating certain issues like the papacy and the filioque. I think that God wants me to be married though. At least I hope so. :frowning:

I just hope that God doesn’t force me to live alone the rest of my life.

Do you think that God forces people to become celibate?


#2

I don’t know. I understand the position you are in, though. I’m kind of in the same boat as you, 'cept I’m female. Anyway, all I can offer is that know I will pray for you, ok?


#3

God doesn’t force anyone to become celebate as this would be contrary to the free will He gave us. We all have to make choices, and we all have different crosses to bear.

I am 30, single, and beginning to wonder if I"ll be an old maid for life. People have suggested to me that maybe I should be a nun. Rather than being put off, I think that maybe they see something in me that I don’t see in myself…and it has caused me to reflect upon certain things.

I do not feel that I am called to be a nun, and you may not be called to be a priest, but try to put things in their proper perspective; sometimes well-meaning people say things they have no idea are offensive to you in any way.

Regarding being forced to do anything…no, you are not. You have the choice to be single if that is God’s plan for you now, and morally, if you are single, you are obligated to be chaste and celibate. You could make the choice like everyone else in society and be single and promiscuous, you can choose to spread STD’s to people, and if you really wanted to do so, you could choose to do drugs.

God does not want you to do these things but the power to do so in in your own hands. What he asks us to do is to lead holy lives; and if being celibate for life is what you, I, or any other single is called to be, then so be it.

Just remember…while God doesn’t force you to be celibate, he likewise won’t drag you kicking and screaming into heaven. You always have a choice. Use it wisely.


#4

celibacy is not forced, it is a gift, a charism granted to certain people to help them live the life or vocation God has willed for them.


#5

I would say, just off the top of my head, that neither of you have a calling to anything more than normal old God blessed married life. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, at all, at all. I know that you both must be praying and asking Our Lord to lead you to that one soul who is meant for you.

Is it possible that maybe your posts are a step towards an answer to that prayer? If I was you two, I’d get some kind of e-mail thing going so that you can at least mutually support each other and who knows huh? I promise to join you both in prayer because after about 33 years of marriage one way I KNOW that I’ve never had even a remote calling to the religious vocation is that I have absolutely no interest in celibacy. I recognize it as scriptural and good, but I know in my heart it is not for me, so that is a clear indicator of His will for me. God love you both…I know He’ll lead you to the person you are meant for. Until then keep on keepin’ on, hang out with good Catholics your age (singles and couples) and try to relax, be yourself, and let Our Lord do the rest, okay?http://pages.prodigy.net/indianahawkeye/newpage28/1.gif


#6

[quote=Madaglan]Do you think that God forces people to become celibate?
[/quote]

I guess I have a slightly different angle than the others on this, but maybe it is relevant. A person could get married and then through whatever circumstances be left alone, yet still quite married. This person would spend the rest of their life celibate, in a way, in that they would not have any type of that fun stuff, and they also would not have a companion. And I’d guess they did not really get much of a choice in it. Such a person would be given the necessary gifts to persevere in the situation. If they are lucky, they will have a child with them to be a parent to!

Hey, Madaglan, I know some geeks who didn’t really date for the longest time, but marriage came in their thirties. Don’t despair. If a Dew-drinking geek has hope, so do you.


#7

[quote=Church Militant]…after about 33 years of marriage one way I KNOW that I’ve never had even a remote calling to the religious vocation is that I have absolutely no interest in celibacy. I recognize it as scriptural and good, but I know in my heart it is not for me, so that is a clear indicator of His will for me…
[/quote]

Who IS interested in celebacy?!? Though I’m sure they exist, I can’t think of too many people who have gone through puberty and thought that celebacy was a great idea. In fact, I remember hearing that St. Augustine wasn’t too interested in celebacy either and look how he turned out :slight_smile: !

My advice is to first develop a good, strong relationship with Christ…then work on a relationship with someone else. The better your relationship with Christ, the better your other relationships will be.

Also, be open to God’s will, whatever it may be…and then be patient. You can never go wrong following God’s way. If you try to force something that you want over what God says is best for you at that moment, you could be missing out on something much better.


#8

First of all, whilst you remain unmarried you should remain celibate :). This is very hard to achieve in our present society because of the unhealthy interest that exists in sexual activity.

When a man is called to be a Roman Catholic priest, he has to carefully consider what he is giving up in the way of having a wife and family to pursue his vocation. Being a priest is not just a job it is a vocation, and it needs a full commitment to God that is not always possible to achieve when one has a family.

My view on this issue is that it is better to have a later vocation than to have a young man who has never tasted life enter into the seminary. I know a few who have been late vocation priests, including one who is 71 years old :smiley: at the time of his ordination. This last man has brought into the priesthood his experience of life, and the same can be said of the others that I know to be late vocations.

You are young, and you never know if there is a young woman just around the corner waiting to get to know you. I do understand about the social anxiety disorder and I hope that you are getting some counselling to help you to overcome the social disability that it causes. You would benefit from CBT in order to overcome your shyness.

Don’t fret about being celibate. It is better to be careful and hold yourself back from engaging in fornication than it is to do what was an abomination of the pagans in the early Christian era.

Maggie


#9

[quote=Madaglan]This is really bothering me. I’m a 22 year old male who has never had a girlfriend, although I want to have one really badly, since I feel very lonely without one. I also have a real interest in learning about God. I try to live a holy life as much as possible, too.

Unfortunately, many of my Catholic friends and family are annoying me. They see my singleness, my gentleness and my interest in God, and they automatically think, “He should be a priest!” Several people have actually told me that. However, I personally don’t want to become a priest at this time, and I honestly feel almost put off when people tell me that. I think it’s kinda sad that I can’t be like an evangelical and be married and yet be a theologian.

Anyhow, I have some social anxiety, too, which means that I’d literally panic if I had to speak to any more than two people every Sunday. I really want to get married, but at the same time I want to help spread the faith. Ultimately I want to write works on the Catholic faith. I’m not really certain about everything the Catholic Church teaches. I’m still investigating certain issues like the papacy and the filioque. I think that God wants me to be married though. At least I hope so. :frowning:

I just hope that God doesn’t force me to live alone the rest of my life.

Do you think that God forces people to become celibate?
[/quote]

It sounds from your post and your age that God is working to help you discern your vocation. You cannot have your cake and eat it too regarding the requirement of celibacy for religious vows.
I would recommend that you go about the buisness of living your life fully with what God has currently put in front of you and on your heart.

Whatever vocation that you choose, you want to look at preparing yourself for being competent and well adjusted as an adult. With this perspective, I would look to seize learning opportunities for dating, socializing, understanding the realities of various professional and personal vocational states of life.

Always pray, be open to God’s will, seek the counsel of others. If you get a disporportionate level of fear, angst over a particular vocational choice, then this may actually be a sign that God wants you to explore this further.


#10

Part of a vocation to religious life is that others see it in you.

You may not feel a calling but as I posted in the thread on Discernment in then Apologetics topic.

Discernment of a calling is not an individual thing.

As both Madaglan and MaggieOH are being told by people that they may have a vocation I would suggest that both of you be open to this and explore it. It doesn’t mean that you do have a calling but I would ask that you be open and honest with yourself on this.


#11

nope, free will.:thumbsup:


#12

Celibacy is not easy at any stage in life. But it is what we, who are unmarried, must do according to God’s will.

If God’s will for you is to be married, then trust that God will deliver you the best person for you. You can go out and seek a person out on your own, but if it is not God’s choice for you, you will be miserable and it will be long hard work. You can date or marry anyone you wish, but it will sadly fail.

God’s choice for you may take years. You are to take up your cross and learn what God wants you to learn in this phase.

I recently started dating a man who I met at daily mass. He is 41. Guess what? I am his first girlfriend - ever! He said the Holy Spirit led him to me and nudged him to get the courage to ask me out. I am not saying this to discourage you - actually I am saying this because this man has remained hopeful in God and has put all trust in God. He is the most devout Catholic I have ever met and I am sure many people told him to seek priesthood.

The very best things happen on God’s timeframe. Ask Jesus to help take up your cross and help you with graces through this trial of lonleness and pain.
Pray, trust, wait.
God Bless you. I will pray for you also.


#13

You are young still… I would caution against wanting a girlfriend simply because you are lonely. To make a long story short, beware of dating or being in a relationship for “selfish” reasons. I know it’s not your intent, but it can lead to a way of looking at people as means to an end, which is definitely not what you need for marriage.

As for social anxiety - I think you will find people with this in all states of life - single, married, priests, religious, etc. If you are married with kids, and working for a living, you will be interacting with people every day. As for priests, there’s a wide range - there are the parish priests who meet & greet a thousand people a day, there are parish priests who are much more reserved, there are priests devoted to more academic pursuits, and there are religious orders for men that range from strictly cloistered to being very much in the world, although I don’t think your social anxiety should necessarily dictate this type of decision, e.g. I’ve met Trappist monks who were surprisingly chatty for men who live lives of silent contemplation.


#14

First of all I thought it was very interesting that you seem to think that being married and being a theologian were incompatible. There are a fair number of theologians out there who are not priests. Some are even female. Then your first question and quandry as to God forcing someone into celibacy. I think not. Chastity for all in keeping with your current state in life, but not celibacy. I have a daughter who is 38 and wants to be married but has yet to find the man. I have a female friend who was married at 42 after a long search. I asked her one time whether she wanted to be married and she assured me in very strong words yes, but she was not going to marry just anyone to be married. She was an elementary teacher with high standards. Two years ago she met her man who had never been married before either and had the qualities she most valued. Two of my sons married at about age 25, but three of them were not until over 32. I also used to be very shy but God helped me to overcome that. I started at age 29 working with teen aged kids in Scouting and in CCD. Then it was 11th graders and seniors. For the past 20 years I have worked in RCIA and with Adult Scout leaders. My wife says that I need to learn to shut up once in a while. God bless and lead you. Dick


#15

I don’t think God forces anyone to become celibate. I think, too, that it is helpful to view even the state of single life as a valuable part of life. As a single person, you are free to follow God’s will and do things with your life that neither a priest/nun or a husband/wife would have the flexibility to do. I know a woman who has never been married and believes she will remain unmarried for the rest of her life. She sees that her state of life can still be used to build the kingdom of God and is not just a “waiting room” until she gets a “real” vocation. I know it is difficult to be single, but if you see a purpose in your state of life, I think it is easier, no matter what your state of life is.


#16

first, God is not forcing you to do anything or choose anything. he never forces. you have free will, his great gift to you. Are you waiting for him to drag you to a singles bar? throw young virgins at your feet? There is absolutely no aspect of your life that has been forced upon you by God. You are alive by is grace and gift, through the natural activity of your parents, and the natural activity of cell division, growth, DNA etc. which has given you all your physical traits and your personality. Like everybody else on the planet, you have your self, your body, your soul, your personality, your talents, disorders, failings. What you do with this package is up to you. You have made choices at every stage of life – and have been acted upon by the choices of others–which have brought you to your current condition and state of life. You are responsible for what happens next. Don’t blame God, your parents, your school, your boss. Take charge of your own life. Make your relationship with God your priority and cultivate your prayer life. This is the way you will discern God’s will for you. Sorry, we can’t help you anymore than we already have.


#17

Come on, you’re 22, you’re still in diapers! :rolleyes: (I’m 23, still in diapers too.) If you want to meet some Catholic singles, try the website, that’s where I met my boyfriend. They ask you questions like how often do you pray, do you attend mass regularly, and is it important to you to marry a Catholic. You should give it a shot. But in the meantime, take it easy! Don’t think less of yourself because you’ve never had a girlfriend. When someone special does enter your life, she’ll be all the more precious and you won’t take her for granted. I’m glad God decided to wait to put my boyfriend in my life just a year ago. I thought I was ready before that, but now I see that I was not.


#18

[quote=JCPhoenix]God doesn’t force anyone to become celebate as this would be contrary to the free will He gave us. We all have to make choices, and we all have different crosses to bear.

I am 30, single, and beginning to wonder if I"ll be an old maid for life. People have suggested to me that maybe I should be a nun. Rather than being put off, I think that maybe they see something in me that I don’t see in myself…and it has caused me to reflect upon certain things.

I do not feel that I am called to be a nun, and you may not be called to be a priest, but try to put things in their proper perspective; sometimes well-meaning people say things they have no idea are offensive to you in any way.

Regarding being forced to do anything…no, you are not. You have the choice to be single if that is God’s plan for you now, and morally, if you are single, you are obligated to be chaste and celibate. You could make the choice like everyone else in society and be single and promiscuous, you can choose to spread STD’s to people, and if you really wanted to do so, you could choose to do drugs.

God does not want you to do these things but the power to do so in in your own hands. What he asks us to do is to lead holy lives; and if being celibate for life is what you, I, or any other single is called to be, then so be it.

Just remember…while God doesn’t force you to be celibate, he likewise won’t drag you kicking and screaming into heaven. You always have a choice. Use it wisely.
[/quote]

I am a 34 year old male and I feel that i am never going to find that special Catholic woman to marry. I too feel very lonely, and frankly I m so tired of it. I have not had a girlfriend since 1996, and that in itself was a bad experience. Why so much difficulty??? I am fairly good looking and well educated. My God, I feel like going to Europe, maybe there I will find my soul mate.
At times I feel that if I don’t find that special someone, then I will just go with “any” women, worldly or not.
I need prayer, please!!


#19

Originally Quoted by misericordie:

I am a 34 year old male and I feel that i am never going to find that special Catholic woman to marry. I too feel very lonely, and frankly I m so tired of it. I have not had a girlfriend since 1996, and that in itself was a bad experience. Why so much difficulty??? I am fairly good looking and well educated. My God, I feel like going to Europe, maybe there I will find my soul mate.
At times I feel that if I don’t find that special someone, then I will just go with “any” women, worldly or not.
I need prayer, please!!

I fully understand where you’re coming from. It’s all very sad. I’m not sure if I’ll find a Catholic girl, since I have trouble emotionally and spiritually connecting with most of the Catholic girls I know, but I hope to marry a nice non-denominational, e-free or baptist girl. Ideally I’d like to marry an Orthodox girl, or maybe an Eastern Catholic, but I’m not sure how many there are in this country. :smiley:


#20

[quote=misericordie]I am a 34 year old male and I feel that i am never going to find that special Catholic woman to marry. I too feel very lonely, and frankly I m so tired of it. I have not had a girlfriend since 1996, and that in itself was a bad experience. Why so much difficulty??? I am fairly good looking and well educated. My God, I feel like going to Europe, maybe there I will find my soul mate.
At times I feel that if I don’t find that special someone, then I will just go with “any” women, worldly or not.
I need prayer, please!!
[/quote]

Your soul mate whether married, single, widowed, or religious should first and foremost be Jesus Christ himself. He gives the grace to put our human desires and urgencies at peace and take that gnawing sense of urgency and emptiness aside. Basically a total surrender to God’s will and dying to self.

Remember, this life isn’t forever, everyone should be living as a sojourner in a foreign land until they arrive at their permanent home in heaven. Sounds like you need to get yourself occupied/preoccupied in serving the Lord in your present state of life and not looking to fill your natural human desire. I offer you this scripture that has been helpful to me in a similiar state of life:

Luke** Chapter 12: 26-28**

[font=Comic Sans MS][size=2]“If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides”. [/font][/size]


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