More questions no answers


#1

This has kind of been brought up in another thread i just cant remember where,

but if one doesnt feel comfortable in the dating world, is that something to work on before going into a religious vocation, if one has had nothing but bad experiences in dating,

and circumstances like where one lives is preventing one from having better odds of finding someone to marry, is one short changing ones self by not exploring that option ?

I mean technically one could spend their entire life before finding someone to marry and then stay single for so long and then one day, in the golden years of their life finally do marry,

or if one feels a call to a religious life, and figures I dont want to spend the rest of my life searching for someone to marry, is that mind set wrong ?

and what i find even more disturbing, is that if a man falls in love after he is ordained, his only option is to basically run away, request a transfer, pray ones feelings for the woman away, and put as many miles between him and her as possible.

though the church allows married couples to go through an annulment ?

granted in order to fall in love one would have to be seeking a relationship in the first place, so i guess the problem arises when one realizes he has stumbled into love with out actually seeking it, that is when ones only option is to stop everything, start backing out, start seeking transfers etc..

and recently a church outting for those in discernment at a public beach,

can anyone tell me how ones eyes are not supposed to wonder ? I mean plenty of places to go on an outting for fellowship, why a public beach, where there is plenty of eye candy.

one would have to be brain dead to not notice ones surroundings, and i mean admiring a persons beauty is one thing and i would guess normal, but why put anyone in a position that could start to make one second guess themself. and one could say well that is a good thing, but also, one doesnt train for a vocation of any kind by putting themself in a position that would undermind it.

do those entering into the seminary get to discuss these things ? How real are the discussions ?

but what if you just have this sinking feeling that you are going to be single for the rest of your life, and then come to the thought that perhaps this isn't a bad thing, maybe i am called to a religious life ?

I envy those who are just so overwhelmed by God to know that a religious life is their passion and calling in life, and do not question anything and are truely happy.

I have a constant tugging, moments of peace and clarity, and a ton of questions.


#2

As a person undergoing discernment of a vocation in the priesthood himself, I have to say that your worries are not uncommon. We are all human, and we all struggle with the things you struggle with. I went to a retreat a week ago called "Quo Vadis," and some priests and seminarians were there. They told us that one never actually stops discerning their vocation, and that doubts would happen from time to time. Your greatest ally will be prayer, and being able to turn to others for support when you need it. You are not alone in your vocation, and I will pray for you. I would say that at the moment, you shouldn't worry about dating or falling in love. Discuss your issues with your spiritual director (if you don't have one, I'd suggest a priest whom you may be familiar with) about your problems. I'm not really in a position to assuage your fears online, but I can assure you that all will work according to God's will, and that so long as you remain focused on doing God's will, you can't go wrong. Even if you initially go off to the side a bit, or truly have no clue what God's will is, as long as you are trying sincerely to do God's will you will do well in His sight. God bless!


#3

John, God calls as he calls.
It’s sad that you have only had bad experiences in dating. I hope that the right person comes along at the right time, if this is for your calling and your happiness.

John, it isn’t just priests who fall in love as you put it (I would say, 'become attracted to someone") . Anyone, in any form of life, can become attracted to another person to whom one has no right to be attracted, but in all cases, we have to avoid the temptation, and even “run away”. Only last year a married man confessed to me some feelings he shouldn’t. Next day he offered me a lift in his car, but I told him nicely and respectfully that in view of what he’d revealed about his feelings toward me, I wouldn’t accept a lift from him any time. It was awkward avoiding him but I did for his sake…not mine because though he’s very likable my thoughts didn’t head that way.

No one is immune from the possibility of noticing that someone is attracted to one, nor perhaps from feeling attraction. If I or any other married person had decided against marriage in case we ever were tempted by another person, the human race might be in trouble!

If those called by God to either married or priestly life rejected their vocation because of a fear of some day feeling deep attraction to someone, it would be very troubling. The fact is that any, and maybe every priest at some time meets someone who appeals to them in a special, personal way. If we are committed already to a vocation, of marriage, or priesthood, then this is a challenge we must deal with according to God’s law. Yes, you probably would, as a priest feel attracted at some time, but our Christian responsibility as marrieds or priests are the same…the sixth commandment binds us all.
To obey this, as to obey the other Commandments are our responsibility as Christians and Catholics.

Of course there will be temptations, it is that which further calls upon our faith and faithfulness and our spiritual growth. If we are tempted we must all, with God’s grace, overcome that temptation. What you called ‘eye-candy’, (not a favorite expression of mine as it objectifies women actually doesn’t mean anything to me). I don’t find appearances tempting. What I value is the qualities of a person. Maybe that’s more a female perspective? Again it comes under the heading of temptation, women’s appearance, especially lightly clad females on the beach, which some men seem to find troubling, is to be dealt with determination and grace.

The persons who arranged the day you speak of had no ill-intent. Their focus was a pleasant event at the beach. For those for whom the lightly clad woman seems an occasion of sin, perhaps they have to decide whether it is to be avoided, but it certainly isn’t that for many whose interest in being at the beach is to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf, and pleasant company.

I do hope and pray life becomes more peaceful and resolved for you, and that you will find God’s clear will for your life, whether as a single, married, or a religious.


#4

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