For discerners


It has been a concern for many people in this forum to complain that they are trying to discern for priesthood or religious life but they are also convinced/ attracted to the marriage life.

Let me ask a question, do you think that priests or religious people were not attracted to marriage life? I bet they were, but they denounced themselves and chose to follow Jesus in a more closer way.

I think that when one is discerning for religious life or priesthood should not be scared if a thought of marriage life keeps on coming and won't go away. You can serve God in many ways but a thought/ conviction to marriage life should not be a threshold for you to avoid discerning what God would otherwise wish you to do.

Discerners, you are always in my prayers,



You are very right. As an aspirant for a Poor Clare community, I know first hand that it is in every person's nature to desire sexuality. But the religious life prophesies the next life, in which there is no marriage and all are united to God in a bond of love. While it may be lonely at times, and the desire for children remains with most religious, God grants special graces to those with a religious vocation that enable them to live it, and to find fullness of life with Him.

If, as Densy has said, you are concerned you do not have a religious vocation because of your desire for marriage... remember that a religious calling does not change you from a man or woman into some mute rock... rather, it asks of you to give the entirety of your masculine or feminine nature to God alone. Chastity is a precious thing and requires a special calling from God, but through this calling we reach a oneness with Christ that nourishes our supernatural need for love.


I agree. I'm discerning the priesthood right now, I still have feelings for women. It's not like things just shut down but you have to put God first and foremost. After talking to priests they say they all felt called to marriage, they still are attracted to women but that's pushed aside because of their love of God. I was reading a Vocations Director's book and he said if a man didn't feel called to marriage then they won't be accepted to be a priest.


Well I'm going to disagree a touch. :p

It is true that men who God calls to be priests usually still have some kind of desire for marriage. But a man called to be a priest will have a desire for priesthood that overwhelms that desire for marriage. If marriage is a thought that "keeps on coming and doesn't go away," then it very well could be from God. The reason I say this is because for me, priesthood is a thought that "keeps on coming and doesn't go away," and I can't help but think that this is what God has called me to do.

I think what many posters express is that both the priesthood and marriage are thoughts that won't go away. In those cases, they have a legitimate conflict and, well, that's what discernment is good for. Let's always remember that both marriage and priesthood are vocations from God, and there is no reason a person cannot be as close to God in marriage as they are in priesthood.

Marriage is not a stumbling block in discernment. If we feel this way then we are really not discerning God's will, but looking for reinforcement of our own. I remember when I visited a seminary, and several young men there expressed the fact that they were in a holy relationship with a woman and tried to "discern" their way into marriage, when really God willed that they become priests. In the same way, we should be careful not to "discern" our way into priesthood.

Ultimately, discernment is meant for us to passively listen to God's will without prejudice.

God bless!


Koopa you are much more eloquent then I am at posting. Looking back on how I worded my post it's not really how I want it but your post is how I wanted to word my first post. You have have a want for marriage but the priesthood is much more prevelant in my mind than anything else. The thought of the priesthood completely overrides all other thoughts for me. There is still that slight thought of marriage but I can see that the priesthood is where I am being pulled as I constantly picture myself as a priest rather than as a husband and father.


Of course marriage is also a calling, a good calling but it has so much difference with a consecrated life and am sure that we all agree with it. Without marriage, we cannot have the consecrated lives but the issue arise for the consecrated lifestyle because as mother Angelica says, "It's not hard to know God's will but the doing of the will is the hardest one". So before one gives a life to God, it's prudent to see if you are ready to do that, to trust God Completely and love HIM only(this is the notion of discernment). It's also true that in Marriage we have to trust but at a point we also have to rely our trusts to the spouse which in a way limit our capacities by biting the share of God.

Also, in the consecrated life, there are so many promises that God gave the Apostles and therefore to be worthy of them, one has to do something; deny yourself,leave this or that etc, etc, etc."The Act of love is act of negation" said Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Therefore,the principle of Quid pro quo (Nothing goes for nothing) kinda applies and that is the reason why, one need to be man enough to be a priest because you can't negate what you don't have.:shrug:

closed #7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit