I’m engaged to a wonderful man: strong, attractive, funny, tender, empathetic and passionately catholic. We met in May of 2013 on CatholicMatch and instantly connected. We emailed daily, transitioned to daily phone calls, and met each other whenever we could. He was a marine in VA Beach and I lived in Ohio. At the end of the year he was stationed in NC and at the beginning of 2014 I moved to SC to live with my aunt before our engagement. He asked me to marry him at Christmas 2013 and I said that was too soon but I’d be ready before he left on a six month deployment from March until September. We did. We got through six months of being apart. We were blessed to be able to Skype every night. I can count on one hand the number of times we missed Skyping because of circumstances beyond our control.
Anyway, in June he mentioned priesthood to me. He wantedto tell me because it weighed on his mind and destroyed our honesty in his mind. He attributed the “calling” to daily Mass, but was in tears. He didn’t want to give me up. I prayed with him and that was that.
Or so I thought. He came home early in August and we spent the weekend together. We were going to the jewelers to order his wedding band and he turned to me after he parked and said he still felt the call to priesthood. He was a wreck! He told me he played out our breakup scene in his head and just bawled. He couldn’t bear the thought of giving up the perfect woman. Yet, he is afraid that if he doesn’t explore preisthood, God will be angry with him later in life. He is afraid that God is tricking him by giving him the perfect woman (I am not by any means! Lol) and then leaving me behind to answer the call to priesthood.
On the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (my birthday) he admitted to a comment I said to him the night before. I felt something different and said he and I were forcing the shoe to fit the wrong foot and he said he still felt the fear of being a priest. More crying. This time enough to fill the Nile River.
So just anybody please answer. Someone who knows the workings of the Holy Spirit. I know using words like “trick” and “God will be angry later” is just false. And I know Satan can be disguised as an angel of light, but I finally see this as serious. It needs to be resolved. Oh, and our wedding date is set for the end of 2014. So that just makes the situation worse. I think that’s all. And I feel for myself a great tenderness and love for him. I just want him to do whatever God wants him to do. Yeah I’d like him to marry me and raise a family with him but this is the third time and now I won’t brush it off anymore. Thank guys! Xoxo
Have you two been doing pre-Cana? Has he spoken with a vocations director (of the diocese?
It may be best if you speak with a priest in person; he’s be able to ask the right questions to find out the information to best help you.
My son felt a very very strong call to the priesthood, while dating a wonderful young lady. Before they considered engagement, he (finally) went to his priest, who sent him to a vocations director at the seminary. After a couple weekly meetings and much much prayer, both he and the vocations director realized that his call was to the married life, though perhaps after age 30, he might consider becoming a deacon.
He’s just shy of 25 and is in the military. He and his fiance married this past summer. The vocations director came to the wedding!
May God help you and your fiance discern his vocation. Call your priest, call the vocations director. It may be that he is NOT called to be a priest.
This is great advice. Put the wedding on hold. He’s not in a place to make this major decision, but he also needs to discern if he truly has a calling.
Meet with your priest, and he should make an appointment with the Vocations Director of the Diocese.
It’s VERY difficult…but take a step back. Give him space. Let him come to the decision in his own time. There’s no shame in waiting. Better than making a mistake. Who knows? He might decide he’s called to marriage after all.
Be assured of our prayers.
PRAY FOR HIM that he may choose correctly…
Please have your fiance contact the vocations director of your diocese ASAP. Please also tell your fiance to be honest as he talks to the vocation director. And remember, don’t forget to PRAY! Trust in God. If you want to start a prayer thread, please do so.
Yes, give him time to discern and to make a decision. You don’t want him to marry you and then spend years wondering if he made a mistake.
Start off by showing him you’ll be a good wife and that he needs you. Tell him that you love him and would like to spend the rest of your life with him as husband and wife but make sure to tell him that if he does choose priesthood you will get over him and move on… You could also mention that in a few years, who knows, maybe they will begin the process to allow married men to become priests again. That’s my hunch.
Praying to the Holy Spirit to give your fiance guidance & direction in his time of need.
It’s you versus God. This word discernment is being used quite freely in these posts but this is a gift from God and doesn’t come naturally…it has to be learnt and often as not needs the help of a spiritual director. These guys are not easily found either so prayer is needed to help in finding a good spiritual director. Such a person does not need to be a priest. A person of devout faith and open to the Holy Spirit can be an excellent Sp.Director and can explain things in a way that no one else has even thought of.
I think you will love this man if you step aside for awhile and let him explore the ins and outs of divine will. Your prayers are vital on this journey but a solution will emerge. May it be in your favour please God Amen
This is such bad advice that I can’t help but think it’s a parody of good advice. Start by showing him you’ll be a good wife and he needs you? That’s the starting point? Not prayer, not discernment, but create potentially unhealthy bonds?
We also have married priests already in the Eastern Rites. It is unlikely that the Latin Church will give up on its discipline of celibacy.
I believe the fact that he’s told you 3 times that he feels called to a different vocation is enough for both of you to stop, pray, listen. There’s no reason to rush into either decision, this is about understanding God’s plan for both of your lives. Don’t guess.
Take the advice about seeking help from a vocations director. Wishing you not “luck” but praying you’ll know the peace that comes only from the Holy Spirit.
I think some wonderful things have already been said, and I echo the vocations director comment because it is something he needs to do. He needs help discerning what calling God is calling him to… is it married life (and possibly the permanent diaconate later) or is it a calling to the priesthood.
I can tell how much you love him by your note and I know you want him to do what is right for him. I love my wife dearly, and I would never want to stand in her way if God was calling her. I know that can be a scary thought, but if you love him, you have to trust God, and let him explore this calling. Maybe it is God calling him, or maybe God is testing the two of you in some other way.
I am discerning the call to the permanent diaconate, and sitting with a spiritual director is very eye opening. It will make him look at things very differently. It may reinforce his call to the priesthood, or it may enlighten him and reinforce his call to the married life.
Pray for him and I will pray for the both of you. It is a hard thing to discern I can imagine. I know what it has been like for me with the diaconate, and at times, I think I am losing my marbles for wanting to go down that path.
Best of luck to you and your fiancee, and remember that God loves you and would never trick either of you.
A big thank you to all your responses and prayers! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I felt all your prayers and there has been peace in my heart.
I called the vocations director of the diocese of Charleston, SC on Thursday and found out from the secretary that Fr. Kirby would be visiting my home parish St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church on the weekend. I was surprised because I had not read of any upcoming visits from him in the bulletin. I searched online to find that info and couldn’t find it. I called the secretary of smmcc and she had just been given the news but told me that she couldn’t confirm since he just might not come. After I said I had just hung up with the Vocations Director’s secretary she said “oh, well that is a reliable source”.
Fr. Kirby called me and we set up an appointment for after Saturday evening Mass. My fiance explained to him that he wanted to be a man of his word: to himself, to God and to me. When we got engaged back in February my fiance promised to always be there for me day and night; that he would spend his life helping me get to heaven and build a Christian family. Fr. Kirby applauded him for being a man of his word since so many men hold to their word loosely. During deployment while attending daily Mass, my fiance saw the beauty of priesthood and felt the tug in his heart. Being open and receptive to God, he considered it but was afraid to address it head on until September. Fr. Kirby explained that it was natural to feel the tug towards priesthood. It was a noble and good calling but not everyone is called to it. He mentioned that God does not “trick” or punish later for a path not followed. He always brings good out of any situation. He encouraged us to pray before any undertaking and that the evil one attacks most before any great work from God is accomplished.
I will add more to this in a little while!
He definitely has the Fear of the Lord. Pray to the Holy Spirit.