I’m new to this website so greetings to all!
So…in case the title wasn’t straight foward enough, I have a dilemma. I feel drawn to both marriage and the priesthood. This seems a somewhat common problem. I found this website through googling this dilemma, and read about other men having the same problem (and women being drawn to the monestary and marriage), but I didn’t find one that really answered my specific question so I’m adding a new one!
Basically, I’m 18 years old, graduating soon, and I am completely, 100% in love with this girl…who lives 600 miles away. I know what you’re thinking. “How do you know you really love her”. You’re right in thinking that. Honestly, if I was looking at this relationship from the outside, I would ask the same thing. But deep down, after long deep thought and contemplation, I cannot see it any other way. I love her. I’d do anything for her. This isn’t a crush, or a lustful relationship. To put it bruntly, if all I wanted was sex, I wouldn’t bother with the difficulties of a long distance relationship.
And recently, I’ve felt a very strong urge to become a priest. Think about being in love. Think about how strong you feel for that relationship, and how you couldn’t turn your back on that person, even if you wanted to, and how badly you feel this has to work. Well, that’s how I feel for her, Mariah. But, if it seems possible, I have an even stronger feeling for my possible call to the priesthood.
What worries me (not in a bad way, but in a “I need to take this very seriously” kind of way), is that, when previously asked, I’ve brushed off the idea of becoming a priest, because I never thought I’d be good enough, or that I’d make it as a priest. And now, not only am I considering it, I feel an urge stronger than I’ve ever felt to at least take the first step in becoming a priest, and see what’s required to enter a seminary. I feel that, since this urge came up, completely unexpectedly, out of the blue, there must be a reason for that.
I haven’t brought it up to Mariah, because I don’t want to scare her. This is a very difficult situation, because, on the one hand, I feel this terribley strong urge to join, and I don’t want to lead her on till the last possible moment, and break up with her. At the same time, I don’t want to give up what I see as true love. People like her don’t come around often. On top of that, she’s coming off a relationship that devestated her. I don’t want to leave her when she needs me most.
So I don’t know what to do, other than pray, but I need some input. I see my only other option as, becoming a Deacon, which I cannot do until I’m 35, but if I feel like I should, I’ll work towards it. I know in the Eastern Orthodox married men can sometimes get ordained, but I’m not going to switch my rite for a selfish reason. No offense to the Eastern Orthodox Brothers and Sisters out there, but I am 100% devoted to the Latin rite. There are parts I like about the Eastern Orthodox, but not enough for me to switch.
With each passing day, it becomes clearer to me I can’t simply break things off with Mariah. On top of her previous relationship, her parents really aren’t the greatest people (I am understating it, I don’t want to say what I really think of them), she has experimented with cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and she has cut herself twice. She feels horrible about it, but she was desperate, and she has been getting better since we met. I cannot simply put her on hold or break up with her. I love her so much, and this would just make things horrible for her.
Sorry this is so long, but I have no where else to go. I…can’t really open up to my parents. Just never have been able to. I can’t meet with a priest due to transportation reasons, but I am going to email one. I haven’t seen him in 4-5 years, but I trust him a lot, and was lucky enough to find is email. Anyway, thanks for reading my novel of a post, and giving any input or advice you have. It really means a lot. Obviously I’ll keep praying. I have time. But this is reeeeeally stressful. :sad_yes:
Thanks again and God Bless!