Hmmm :)


#1

Hello :slight_smile:

I have posted some crazy posts since I started becoming a devout Catholic 6 months ago :slight_smile:

I now have a girlfriend who is Catholic and I am with her because she can’t find a good Catholic man so it makes sense for me to be with her so that I can do good :slight_smile: She is very nice and she likes me a lot :o

I have recently received an email from a priest from when I contacted him about meeting to discuss the priesthood and working out my calling. I was all set on being with my girlfriend and marrying her and now this :rolleyes:

I have just been thinking that there are churches that need me as a priest and I am choosing a woman’s needs, which will be for God, over the need of a parish or two. I have just turned 23 years-old so I could do either roles very well :confused:

I don’t agree that men should be monks when there are less Catholic men in proportion to women, so I feel like I have a lot of pressure on me to choose between one or ther other. Would you say that in our modern times with a shortage of good Catholic men that it is being ‘Christian-like’ to become a monk when there is a need for priests and husbands? I don’t. I am totally giving so I think that only these two roles are ok for modern, Catholic men and myself.

I know that she would be upset if I was not with her but this is one woman and there are many churches in need of priests of whole parishes :stuck_out_tongue: haha this is crazy :slight_smile: any ideas? advice?

God bless

Dylan


#2

**I don't agree that men should be monks **when there are less Catholic men in proportion to women, so I feel like I have a lot of pressure on me to choose between one or ther other. Would you say that in our modern times with a shortage of good Catholic men that it is being 'Christian-like' to become a monk when there is a need for priests and husbands? I don't. I am totally giving so I think that only these two roles are ok for modern, Catholic men and myself.

I know that she would be upset if I was not with her but this is one woman and there are many churches in need of priests of whole parishes :p haha this is crazy :) any ideas? advice?

God bless

Dylan

God decides whether one is to become a priest or a monk or for that matter, a married person. Why does it concern you that there are less Catholic men in relation to women? Some of those women might become nuns or sisters. They go where God sends them; you go where God sends you. :)

Suppose it was the other way around, where there was not enough Catholic women in relation to men. Should women not become nuns? Nonsense. It also makes no sense merely to stay with your gf simply because there are no Catholic men around. You should stay with her because you care about her, not because there are few other choices.

I'll reiterate what has already been stated on this forum: go find a spiritual director, and he'll help you discern where you need to go. As for churches needing many priests, I know that too, but I am not interested in serving God in that capacity, so I do not believe it is my vocation. Of course, I could be wrong about my vocation---however, surely God would have put the desire in me if that's what he wanted me to do.

(It is cold in here---the apt. staff is fanning the floor since they just shampooed it----, so I am typing quickly and am not getting to all the points I want to make, but these are the main ones.:)

Paul R. Viola


#3

Well, I am sticking up for the women because I don’t agree that these monks should be monks in these modern times where they could have been priests or husbands :slight_smile: This is my view so I am going to be a husband to this woman who is in need of a husband :slight_smile: I do like her and she likes me so I will stick with it.

I know that these women can become nuns :stuck_out_tongue: I am very flexible haha :slight_smile: I could be a monk, priest or husband but I am going to stick up for the women and not leave them single - well, one woman haha :slight_smile:


#4

It sounds like you might actually love this girl, and really might want to marry her. If that is the case, then you and she (and your families if possible) should discuss a potential marriage. But you shouldn’t marry her just because there are too few Catholic men. If you aren’t meant to marry her, God will provide for her. If you do not love her, if you are not aware of the kind of sacrificial love that a good marriage requires, then do not marry. Speak to your priest about this.
To me it sounds as if you are trying to talk yourself out of the priesthood because you really would prefer to be married. But both vocations require a lot of sacrifice and are lifelong commitments. Both vocations also require a deep love and passion for serving God and your fellow humans. But the vocations are so different that you really should receive some guidance if you feel torn between the two.
Edited to add: you also need to consider if you only ‘like’ this girl, or if you love her and are just afraid of using that particular word to describe the depth of your emotions.


#5

Well, I would rather do good for others before myself so I try to not bring in my selfish feelings towards someone before making a decision. I think that I will be a husband though :slight_smile:


#6

I’m shocked that a male would state the obvious about the appalling lack of decent (my adjective:D) single Catholic men.


#7

I was taken aback when I saw your above post. Do you believe that lay brothers commit sin by not being ordained or married? Brothers can do wonders!


#8

In addition, not all brothers are lay. The term “lay brother” comes from the old monastic tradition where you had two kinds of members. There were choir monks (some lay and some ordained) and you had lay brothers who ran the house. Some moanstic communities still have them. The lay brother was to the monk what the extern sister is to the nun. Both the extern and the nun are lay in the sense that they are not ordained, but the one is a lay sister and the other is a choir nun.

I’m a brother and am not ordained. But I’m not a lay brother, because we have only one class of brother in our community. Everyone is a friar, ordained or lay. Everyone has the same obligations, the same rights, the same role and even the same title, except for me. Since I am the superior, I’m the ony one who is called Father. Everyone else is called Brother, ordained or not.

As to whether it’s a sin to be a monk or friar, that’s a kind of goofy question. God calls and man responds. I too am as stunned as you are by the above post.

In addition, the Church has always insisted that the contemplative life lived by monks and nuns is the highest form of life to which God can call a man or woman. It’s considered an even higher calling than the call to the preisthood. Without monks and nuns the Church would have collapsed centuries ago. They are the backbone of the Church. Through their total consecration to a life of prayer, penance, solitude with God, community with their brothers or sisters, they earn for the Church graces that we who are working in the world can never earn, because we do not live in that intimate communion with God without the interference of the world, ministry or other duties that we take care of on a daily basis. These men and women do nothing but contemplate God as do the angels in heaven.

As a friar, I can only do that for 12 hours per day. The other 12 hours are divided between 5 hours for sleep and 7 hours for ministry and community life. A monk does not have these distractions. Nor does a monk have to avoid contamination with the laity, because they rarely interact with the laity. Friars, clerks regular, secular priests, sisters, and regular priests constantly interact with the laity and are always having to pull back so as not to become like the laity or the secular man or woman.

God bless the monks and let us pray for more of them. We need all of the graces that we can get.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


#9

I am having a hard time reading the tone of your post, so hopefully, my reply will be appropriate. It strikes me odd that you are saying you will marry this girl because she needs a husband and good husbands are hard to come by. I couldn't tell if you were joking - I hope you are. On the chance that you're not, ummm....let this girl decide if God wants a husband for her, and you focus on what God wants of you. If God wants you to follow a different vocation, you're not going to be doing humanity a favor by getting married, you know.

I once thought that it would be irresponsible for people to have large families, because of "overpopulation." Then I had an epiphany (with the help of grace and a wonderful retreat), in which I realized if each person followed the path that God wanted them to follow, there would be just the right amount of children - the married folks will have the kids God wants them to have, and the unmarried folks would be celibate. Problem solved. Then several years later, I started realizing that perhaps I don't know what the problem is. Is fewer people what this planet really needs? I was not qualified to make that judgment that was the premise for all my thinking on the topic.

In the same way, I encourage you not to worry about what your girlfriend needs, or what the world needs, but what God wants of you. Let's assume you're correct, that the world needs more husbands and priests and not a lot of monks. Well, if that's true, then God won't call too many men to be monks. He may call some, but he'll call more husbands and priests. And if people listen to His call, we'll be just fine. OTOH, is it really your place to determine that the world doesn't need monks? Perhaps there is a worth to that life that you are not recognizing - something that might actually benefit the world in a way that priests and husbands can not. If you felt God calling you to the life of a monk, would you actually tell him "no, sorry God, I don't think we need any more monks. So even though you, the creator of the universe think I should be one, I'm gonna go do something you are not calling me to."

I've heard people say that they don't believe that there is going to be an explosion of priestly vocations in this generation. Some believe that todays children who are being brought up correctly in their faith are going to be called to family life, and it is their children who will be more commonly called to the priesthood. Even though we need priests NOW, that doesn't mean God is going to give us priests NOW. Perhaps there is a place in this model for monks/nuns. Perhaps the prayers of these monks will build up the church as a whole (prayer can do that), and will help families on a grand scale. Perhaps that solitude and prayer will result in the fruit of more husbands and priests in another generation or two.


#10

Yes, luckily monks not only don’t have to worry about other apostolates (unless they have a retreat house), but don’t have to worry about the lousy 5 hours of sleep either. :wink: :smiley:


#11

You get used to it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Try it!

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


#12

I wonder, Brother, if you mean “contamination with the laity” or contaminated by wordly distractions or something else. I rather cringed at the word “contamination” in direct connection with lay people as a direct generalization embracing all lay people. Or have I misread? I am very confident that some lay people can be positively inspiring and inspirational even to those in all forms of religious life and the secular priesthood. Just as those in these latter states of life are not necessarily inspirational people although we pray so. Admittedly each particular vocation may have its own particular call and ‘brief’ from God and mission into His Vineyard.

Re the opening post - we go wherever God may call us as to state in life and vocation. This may take a journey of discernment and very often does - often too it will ask regular spiritual direction. Nothing, speaking for any individual on the subjective level, can be higher or greater, better, for any person than God’s Will for their life. And this is what discernment and spiritual direction in part is about - discerning God’s Will for an individual. Objective theological consideration of each of the states in life and vocations is a different matter. Strange world if we were all monks and nuns, religious and priests and no married people - each of the states in life and vocations are interconnected and ideally each with a sense of the importance and dignity, value, of the other and others. A sense of the importance of each of the states and vocations for the life of The Church and the good of the world wherever they may be called and to what.

TS


#13

Your question is not crazy at all. I’m sure many young men ask themselves a similar question.

One reason that one’s vocation can be hard to discern, is that the qualities that would make a man a good priest are very similar to the qualities that would make him a good husband and father. We don’t call priests “father” for nothing.

From the ultimate perspective there are two reasons for a man and woman to get married: to cooperate in God’s creation of new human beings, and to help each other get to Heaven.

Marriage is a great and holy vocation,but the priesthood is a greater one. If you really believe that you might make a good priest, then if you and your girlfriend truly love each other neither of you should object to your taking steps to further discern if you have a priestly vocation.


#14

Get married and becomone an Anglican Priest or an Eastern Rite, you don’t have to be a Roman. You are allowed to change rites once during your lifetime. Who knows maybe God is calling you to do both? Pray on it and see what happens.


#15

Good post.


#16

While you are allowed to change sui juris Churches most likely the bishop of your new Church will not accept you as a candidate for the priesthood if it appears in anyway that the change was done so to get around canon law.

God does not call one to a place that one can not go to.

A feeling of a call is not a Call until it is acknowledged by the Church when it Calls. So a married man is not called to the priesthood in the Latin Church just as a woman is not called to the priesthood.

Now of course, the celibate secular priesthood in the Latin Church is just a discipline and could change. If it did change then a married man could be called to the priesthood but no one what was already a priest would be allowed to get married. Ordination is an impediment to the Sacrament of Marriage.

I only posted this to dispell the misconception that one may easily change churches to skirt canon law.

I do not see why we are continuing a thread where the Original Poster has been banned.


#17

[quote="TiggerS, post:12, topic:198009"]
I wonder, Brother, if you mean "contamination with the laity" or contaminated by wordly distractions or something else. I rather cringed at the word "contamination" in direct connection with lay people as a direct generalization embracing all lay people. Or have I misread?

TS

[/quote]

Contamination was the term that was used for many centuries. It fell into disuse, because many lay people were ofended by it. It is making its way back as many religious orders return to our roots. To understand the term one must understand what is the contamination that is to be avoided. The list is quite extensive, but I can offer a few examples of what happened after we dropped the term.

Most religious orders of men were founded to be brotherhoods. Some of these brotherhoods were monastic and others were mendicant. They had several things that were unique to them or different from the laity.

They were to be contemplatives. Some were enclosed and lived the contemplative life in solitude and silence (monks). Other contemplatives lived outside of the enclosure, but had rigorous schedules of prayer, silence, solitude and liturgy, with a few hours of external ministry (friars). Gradually, there was an increased demand on these communities to do the work of secular priests: parishes. To fulfill this demand, they ordained more men than they needed for their way of life. Gradually, they became communities of priests. This is seen as contamination, because these religious orders were not meant to serve as parish priests. Originally, those monks and friars who were ordained were very few. Most of them were never ordained. Those who were ordained only celebrated the mass and heard confessions when they received permission from their superior. You could go your entire life without hearing a confession or celebrating any sacrament, except for the community mass when it was your turn to do so.

These communities had strict rules about time together to pray the LOTH, recreate, eat, work, rest and study. As they increased their contact with the laity, the lay faithful became very critical of the monk or friar who could not hear confessions because he had to be attend a community function such as recreation or the LOTH. To avoid the criticism and the ire of some people, they began to ask for permission to miss these functions. What started out as an occasional thing became the norm and the community life was reduced to that which could be accomplished around the schedule of the people. Instead the house adapted its schedule to the needs and demands of the faithful. It was Vatican II that said this was wrong and that those communities that had been founded to live an intense life of brotherhood should return to their roots. This change from the conventual life to the parochial life occurred through contamination. The life of these communities was altered to meet the needs of the laity.

The ancient communities were egalitarian communities. Monks and friars had no distinctions among them. Yes, there were always monks and friars who were ordained. But that was seen as accidental, not essential to their way of life, except for the Dominicans who were founded as an order of friar-priests. The other orders had been founded as brotherhoods in the strict sense of the word. The brother could be: priest, carpenter, preacher, teacher, doctor, scholar, cook or farmer. When he stepped outside of his house to serve the faithful, he served them as their brother, bringing with him the gifts of his particular ministry. They did not have a common ministry. They had a common way of life. They did not look at each other vertically, but horizontally. There was a Father to the community, called an abbot, prior or guardian. He was the only vertical authority. The rest were simply monks or friars.

Gradually, the laity began to make distinctions between the religious men who served among them. What was not OK was when people demanded that the services rendered by the order be provided by ordained religious. The orders yielded. As a result, they attracted many men who entered to be priests, not religious. Gradually, these men took over the orders. Soon only priests could govern. Only priests could vote. Only priests could run parishes. Only priests could preach. Only priests could teach theology. Do you see what happened? This was viewed by Vatican II as contamination. The monastic and mendicant life turned into something different from the intentions of the founders and the Holy Spirit. This was viewed as the lay vision of status or rank. That’s how the term contamination was applied.

There are other points, but I’ll use one more. There is the issue of independence. The religious is not supposed to function independently of his community. He is not supposed to have relationships outside of his community that interfere with his life in community. Nor should he be involved in activities outside of his community at those times when his presence in his community is essential, which is all community functions, even recreation. He is not a man who comes and goes as he wishes. Life among the laity is very tempting. The lay person can go and come as he wishes. The layman can and should cultivate a network of relationships in society, for the good of society. Many religious made the mistake of believing that this was the mission of all Christians. Gradually, those communities that thought this way became very secularized. Their houses became frat houses. The idea of a few brothers living in an apartment in a neighborhood is to make present a different way of life among their neighbors. When the group begins to look like its neighbors, we say that the group has been contaminated.

I hope this helps for a better understanding of the term.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#18

Oh there are plenty of single ones. It’s just that many of them are exactly where I am. Seminary. :wink:


#19

I’m hoping that you do not mean to say that the average lay man is not a desent guy. I doubt that Cardinal Sean shares this belief. I know that I don’t share it.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


#20

Thank you. I can see now what you mean. Religious Orders need to be faithful to their founding purpose or purposes, hence the V2 instruction to return to those founding purposes and way of life and to strive in future to remain so.

Contamination was the term that was used for many centuries. It fell into disuse, because many lay people were ofended by it. It is making its way back as many religious orders return to our roots.

I can understand lay people being offended. :slight_smile: It is a most unfortunate word in modern terms directly connected to lay people as sole source of contamination I think and do wonder if lay people were the sole cause of what had eventuated in many religious orders etc. prior to V2 and will be solely so in the future if allowed. We all need to have a ‘firm grip’ on our vocation and call and to avoid what may tempt/take us away from same. We are all going to be subject to temptation in one way or another probably and Grace is always with us to resist and remain faithful.

  • and I am off topic!

TS


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