I am in love with a girl that I will never be able to marry. Does this mean I shouldn't pursue a vocation?


I am strongly considering the franciscan missionaries, and I completely accept the required vows of celibacy. It’s also worth noting though that my heart does belong to a young lady with a saintly soul; however, we will never be able to marry. Can I still pursue a vocation, given I accept my celibacy?


I think if you're wanting to be a Religious your heart is meant to belong soley to God


Why cant you marry the girl? Does she feel the same way about you?


While I’m sure it’s true that men who have been unlucky or disappointed in love have resorted to religious or priestly life as a result, I think it would be very wise if you allowed yourself time to come to terms with the inability to pursue your wished-for life with this lady. Jumping into a religious life, even if done with the best of intentions, may not succeed if done so “on the rebound”. Indeed, I would be very surprised if you were allowed to ‘sign up’ if the vocations/admissions director (or whoever is responsible) understood the situation you were in. It probably wouldn’t be the responsible thing to do.


Some vocations directors expect applicants to have had experience of romantic relationships. others do not require it. This experience may be part of Gods plan for you. It is certainly an important factor in your discernment process.

I see a problem in your wording: “my heart does belong to a young lady”. whether your vocation is married or celibate, your heart should belong to God alone.

“I am the Lord your God. You shall have no false gods before me.”

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength.”

Those are the first commandments from both the list of 10 and the list of 2.

There are many possible vocations. it’s not a simple choice between Priesthood / Religious Life / married.
But: We need good priests. We need priests who understand something about romantic relationships and marriage. who have seen good relationships between their parents and their peers.
We also need good Deacons… they can be and often are married first.
We also need all forms of committed Christians living the Vocation of a Baptised Christian. that is to be a Evangelist / Missionary / Charity worker.



Brony4life, the main thing you need right now is time. You may feel this way about this girl right now, but time has a way of diminishing unrequited love.

Maybe you are called to the priesthood or religious life. But jumping into it “on the rebound” is seldom a good idea.

I applaud you that you are open to this possibility and I hope you will remain so. Keep praying about it and remain open to God’s will.


[quote="Brony4life, post:1, topic:310701"]
I am strongly considering the franciscan missionaries, and I completely accept the required vows of celibacy. It's also worth noting though that my heart does belong to a young lady with a saintly soul; however, we will never be able to marry. Can I still pursue a vocation, given I accept my celibacy?


You should discuss this matter with someone (ex. a vocations director) within the community you feel called to.

And don't state that your heart belongs to a creature, when nothing belongs to you, not your body, not your life, not your soul...exception made for your free will, which God has granted you so that you may freely follow Him in spirit and truth.

Loving someone is - in my view - not a hindrance to consecrated life, if your love is purely spiritual.

There is even provision for something rather rare called "Josephite marriage" in which the spouses, by mutual agreement, abstain from sexual relationships. This was the case of the Blessed Louis and Marie Martin, whom later, under spiritual direction, decided to cease the complete abstinence...and all 5 surviving children were called by God to consecrated life, one of them being St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church.

As you can see, then, God understands highly spiritual love. However, there is quite a bit of discernment to be done on your side, and you ought not to do this alone, but under spiritual direction.

Openness to consecrated life and willingness to accept a vow of celibacy does not mean you are called to or ready for this vow. Consider the very religious community you are looking into. From what I read, the Franciscans have a year of Novitiate (with no vows), after which you take simple temporary vows becoming a Simple Professed...and the simple vows are then renewed every year for three or four years...and only after these 4 to 5 years of discernment, you are allowed to request to be admitted and to pronounce solemn perpetual vows.

May the Beloved Lord bring to completion what He has deigned to begin in you

being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ


Thank you all. You’re advice is well taken. I read all the replies, so I’ll try to respond as best I can to the ones I remember.

First of all, I agree completely that joining the priesthood or missionaries or something like that as a rebound is a bad idea. I understand this. But the thing is, I have been considering a vocation, particularly franciscan missionary work, since before I met her. By the grace of God, I have always had a gift of preaching to the poor, thanks to His love for them working through me. So my calling to this way of life is not, at least in my opinion, a rebound. But I do agree that perhaps I need to think about it more, and I’m not trying to hinder your advice. But rest assured, this is not a rebound thing for me; I have always loved the poor, and I have always loved bringing them the kingdom and the three divine virtues of faith, hope, and love.

In response to the point that my heart should belong to God alone (at least in the case of a friar or vocational), I don’t disagree. However, I must point out, and not necessarily as a rebuttal, that if you love God, then you love His creatures and you see beauty in them, and in the case of humans, you do your best to bring souls to Him (separate from putting a creature above God, which is sinful).

My love for the one I speak of, God rest her saintly soul, is reflected by my love of God and all good things. She was(is) pure and humble at heart, sweet and hardworking, and I had never seen such things magnified stronger in any other. I mentioned the reasons above for why I felt called to a vocation, and how I felt this way before I decided to do it; but for me to just “forget about her” is out of the question. I hope to see her in heaven, and I cannot reject that. But at the same time, I understand what is being asked of me in the life which we have discussed. I accept all the trials and active prayer that I will part-take in should I leave. But in my opinion, thinking about her does not in any way hinder my relationship with God, especially her saintly qualities. I recognize that she comes from God, who is worthy of all of my love.

I hope this clears some things up for some of you who either asked questions or sought to help me. I appreciate your advice, and I will continue to read this forum after this reply to see your further encouragements. God Bless


I’m not entirely clear, but by the use of your language, are we to understand that the lady who is/was the object of your affection is recently deceased?

If this is the case, then if the depth of feeling you harboured for this lady was great, then you should certainly wait a significant period of time before contemplating a life-changing vocational decision. The death of someone greatly loved will throw our emotions and our ability to discern off balance for quite some time. I would strongly advise just getting on with life and not dwelling on things that are ‘momentous’ for the time being until you can see everything in context in a more rational way.


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