Parents getting very agressive


#1

My parents are really trying to push me towards getting a girlfriend and they are getting rather agressive about it. But there is a problem with me- I dont want a girlfriend because I want to be a priest.

My mother is somewhat aware that I am discerning a call to the priesthood- she knows I am very serious in my faith, that I read religious books and go on Catholic websites all the time. She knows I have been recieving information from various religious orders (vocation information packages), but she doesnt go to Mass and is only Catholic in name. My stepfather does not know this (and I am sure even if she knew she would never tell him), and he is quite anti-Catholic. He has a very assertive approach to relationships, like to tell stories of his past sexual encounters to everyone, and often encourages me to be promiscuous.

Anyway, this evening they got really aggressive in pushing me to get a girlfriend. We live in an aprtment building and as I was coming down the elevator with my stepfather we ran into a neighbor, who happens to be a fairly attractive university student. She was bringing a new television up the elevator and we both offered to help, but my stepfather said he was busy so I carried the tv up myself, asked her if she needed anymore help, she said no, I went home. Both of my parents were there completely confused that I was back so soon. My stepfather started making some vulgar jokes and giving me “advice”, urging me to go back with fake excuses. When I declined my mother started making fun of me and asking if I was gay or a-sexual, and then jokingly telling my stepfather that I must be socialy imcompatible with people. Then she started laughing and said “wait I know- he wants to be a priest! Isnt that right?”, but all that I did was deny this (and now I feel like St. Peter denying Christ). This continued for a while, they were both getting increasingly agressive, until they gave up and went out.

Now I dont know what to do. I have considered getting a girlfriend just for the sake of keeping them off my back about it, but I could never find anyone who would understand my problem. But I dont want them thinking that I’m gay or something like that, but I cant tell them that I want to be a priest because that would make everything worse (considering that my stepfather considered all priests to be child molesters and is constantly slamming the Church).

Does anyone have any advice?


#2

Oh, God bless you! I’m sure God has something special planned for your life. Stay firm and keep praying.
—KCT


#3

I’m so glad you’re discerning the Priesthood! It’s a very special call.

I really don’t think you should get a girlfriend because if celibacy seems like it is an option for you and the way God made you, then it seems like there would be no point and it might even confuse you about your vocation.

Are you in college right now? What do you think about the idea of just coming out and telling your parents.

They should be proud… it’s disappointing, if my love and I have a son who grows up and becomes a Priest, we’d be so pleased and he’d be the pride and joy of our family! Imagine, having a Priest as a son, what an honor.


#4

I have to commend you for not getting a girlfriend if you think you are or might be called to priesthood. I think seminarians with girlfriends are a big joke. There’s some talking about how it might affect *them *(the seminarians), but no one gives the poor girls a thought. Volenti non fit iniuria (no harm is done to the willing) works in liberal economy, not in plain human decency.

Now, as for your situation, you’re not going to meet with a cheerful reception if you tell them, that’s sure. But as you must have concluded, it serves no purpose, or no good purpose, to get a girlfriend just so they would stop talking. Besides, even if you found a girlfriend, they would be asking about sexual things, so what would you do? You wouldn’t lie and think up adventures to tell them about.

I know the pain and it can become quite annoying. My own stepfather thinks I’m a little (at least a little) weird, too, and he wonders if I’m healthy because I haven’t had sex at my age of 24 and am not going to sleep with anyone until I’m married. He says it’s going to be awfully hard to find and keep a girl then and that’s where we both agree. Mother is supportive, as is father. Neither is pushing, although mum was, which I didn’t like. Talking to her about my problems (unless you prefer to call it whining about girlfriends) from time to time made it stop.

I’ll remember you in my prayers in a while. Do say a mass for the old cynic once you’re a priest.


#5

What KCT said! Getting a girlfriend at this point is lying to yourself and to the girl. Have strength my brother and lean on Jesus who was rejected by his own and even extended family members. As for your mom and step father their attacks are cross that can be offered for them and you can use this as an opportunity to possibly educate them that the priesthood is not a rejection of one’s sexuality because we are sexual beings by the mere fact that God made us male and female. Dating someone of the opposite sex or having intercourse does not make one a sexual being. Action stems from nature, not the other way around (meaning i dont become a sexual being by doing something). Many people have tried to claim that to live as a sexual being, one must be sexually active, but in many ways they deny their sexuality by living impure lifestyles, premarital sex, or homosexual lifestyles. To live ones sexuality really means to live as sons and daughters of God who embrace their vocation with authentic love and chastity. So you are living your sexuality more fully than most in reality. Sexuality is the capacity to love through one’s body and the priesthood most certainly counts as this… the mystical marriage of Christ the High Priest and bridegroom and his CHurch the Bride. Hope that helps and i will pray for you!


#6

My brothers thought I was gay. I think my father did also. But my mother, now there’s another story. I urge you to continue no matter what. When others doubt you and persecute you for your faith and your apparent vocation, they are testing you. You can think of it this way, God does not send us tests to see us fail. He sends them to us often through other people to see if we will prevale. You are not Peter, you are only denying yourself the truth and its fullness. I spent a few years in religious life and a year in seminary. My mother often screamed at me that I was wasting my life. Many are called and few are chosen. Do you desire a life with Christ, totally dedicated to him? This is a question you must ask yourself honestly. God bless you in your choice. I will pray for you.

Pilot


#7

I think it’s a recipe for disaster to either get or pretend to have a girlfriend just to keep your folks happy. And how dare your mother make comments about your sexuality if she knows you’re looking into the priesthood!

If you can, tell her at least to lay off and not encourage your stepfather by joining in with him.

For what it’s worth, when I was younger my mother was always trying to set me up with guys. Not quite as aggressive as yours seem to be though. In my case dignified silence and a bit of sucking it up was required until I left home. Try not to react to your stepfather. It’s really none of his business what your sexuality is anyway, and you’ll have bigger fish to fry if he’s anticlerical too.


#8

Hi Caesar,
Great to hear that you are following what is in your heart. Be open to the priesthood. If God has made you for that purpose, he would help you achieve it.

As regards to your parents:

First, don’t consider that because they are your parents what they are telling you is always the best. In this case what they are telling you conflicts with what God has decided. So you should disobey them (to obey God) – even if you are reluctant to disobey. 

Second, I think that you should imitate your father. By this I mean that you should also be shameless like him. Don’t try to hold back that you want to be a priest. Tell them straightaway that you are considering the priesthood. However don’t get too involved in vulgar jokes. Once they realize that you are above their level – they would stop this behavior. Even if they don’t – when God is on your side, you can never lose.  (Take all of their behavior lightly – and put it out of your mind as soon as you can.)

Praying for you,
O.O.


#9

I’ll pray for you.

Keep doing what you’re doing. Ignore them. Easier said than done, I know, but don’t let them get to you. Either you will enter seminary, or find a girl to marry. God knows which it will be! Trust Him. Keep praying, especially for them!


#10

My son asked me not to bring up the priesthood while he is discerning what he is called to. Sometimes I can’t resist but for the most part it is not brought up. I can’t imagine as a mother, ever, I mean EVER making sexual comments to my boys. I am really sorry you are going through this. A pretend gf would be deceitful and not really appropriate. I can see where that thought would come from though. Just offer it up to God. You know he won’t give you more than you and he can handle together! Trust in God… he will give you the right answers at the right time, until then… can you avoid this kind of discourse with your mom and stepdad? I know my boys hide in their bedrooms when they don’t want to talk.


#11

This is a very diffcult situation Caesar. I agree with other posts that it is not right to get a girlfriend just to try to shut them up. But another possiblity may be to find a young lady that is also interested in the consecrated life, as you are. You can become friends, and pray together. Many dioceses have a vocation discernment program where you can attend retreats and meet other people who have interests similar to yours. Another possibility is to speak about another alternative vowed life. If your stepfather rails against priests, say you want to become a monk! Find a secluded community oversees that you might enjoy, and start talking about going there! Many monks later become priests, but the public reputation of monks has not become so soiled by scandal. However, it seems a more complete solution would be to move out! Is there any way that you are able to go away to school? If you are not ready to attend seminary, can you go stay with a relative, and attend school in another city? If not, then your situation is just a cross that God has given you to bear, and you must bear it faithfully. It doesn’t matter if they think you are gay. You have no control over what they think, anyway. One friend of mine will lean into such accusations and say “yes, I am! Do you know anyone that wants to get together?” He says it works for him because it shuts people up. I think this would just give your folks something else to rail about! I also recommend using copious and very firm, assertive "I statements’ to them. Whenever they make comments, as the other poster recommended, be shameless. Respond "I feel hurt and angry when you say things like that because…(fill in the blank) and I would like it if you would (say what behavior you prefer). If you remain silent, they may think they are winning you over, but if you speak up and say how you feel, eventually it may have an effect.


#12

Caesar, I’m praying for you. Reading your post, I think of St. Thomas Aquinas. You and he have a lot of things in common. I would suggest that you pray to him and the Blessed Mother. Stay strong. God Bless you!


#13

I don’t think this is a good idea…it’s likely that such a friendship will become rather close and intimate, because of all the spiritual sharing and time alone, and then attraction will almost certainly become an issue. If you’re open to marriage, this might not be all bad…but in this case, she would have to discern marriage as her vocation too.


#14

If you are in High School, as indicated by your profile, I’d say that it is a bit early to choose a celibate vocation such as the priesthood. Look into it and research it of course, but remain open to the possibility that you are called to marriage. You really won’t know that if you don’t give chaste dating a chance. If you are actually called to the priesthood, then go to seminary after college. My two cents for what they’re worth.


#15

Caesar,
I don’t know who said this, I think it was Padre Pio: temptations are a sign that the soul is pleasing to God. It is amazing to me how much temptation exists when one is discerning his or her vocation; to you it has come in this form. To me, as I am discerning my vocation, it has come in other ways; but temptations have come.

You have to know something about your Vocation. It will make you very happy; in fact, it will fulfill you. Whether it is to the Priesthood or Married life, or as a consecrated lay person, your vocation will fit you like a glove, it will bring you the greatest peace (even if not readily apparent) and will fulfill you. Satan knows this. Is there any wonder that you would experience such temptation when undergoing such an enormous discernment decision?

Do not worry. Keep praying diligently and allow yourself to grow in humility, which you are most probably doing. God bless you.

-Alison


#16

Keep strong in Christ and keep discerning, for you still very young. My mother is very anti-Catholic and thought that my interest in the priesthood was the worst thing that could happen to me. She still feels that way. When I mention that we will homeschool our daughter and hopefully, God willing, she may have a vocation to the religious life, she flipped and said that would be horrible. I don’t understand her for I don’t think that the priesthood or religious life are the worse things that could happen to a person. I just know that she gave me, as I mentioned before, a hard time in high school and in the seminary. She use to call me screaming at me and upseting me while I was studying in the seminary. I even went into a monastery and that was not good for her either. Even though I can understand how you must feel that your mother and step-father are against this vocation, try to turn to the Lord for comfort. No one knows for sure if you will be a priest or get married, or even live a consecrated single life, so just keep discerning and be open to God’s will. I had no idea that I would get married and in fact never dated when I met my now wife. I met her at church and really liked her spirituality. I was on leave from the seminary, but after meeting her decided not to go back and try dating her. I don’t regret the decision and it is obvious that God had other plans for me. I met my wife when I was 27 yrs. old. We now have a beautiful little girl who is 7 yr. old.

I will share something my mom did also to get me to forget the priesthood and turn to women. When I was visiting her from the seminary, she took me to a surf shop and restaurant on the beach. There were women in bikinis every where and she would point them out and ask me if I thought that one was pretty. I would tell her that I was studying for the priesthood and really wanted to keep my mind pure and again she freaked out and lost it. She made my life miserable and I was in my early 20’s. I still don’t understand why she hates the Church so much and all priests. Trust me, I do understand how you feel. I will pray for you.


#17

I am very sorry your parents are giving you a bad time. I don’t know that I have any advice but I want to offer a slightly different perspective.

Your parents have no right to tell you to get a girlfriend. Period. It doesn’t matter whether you are discerning a call to the priesthood or not. It does’t matter if you are straight or gay. It doesn’t matter whether you live at home or on your own. It doesn’t matter if you are 17 or 27. Parents in general don’t have the right to tell a son he must date.

Now your parents might be pushing you to have a girlfriend because they don’t want you to be a priest. But I think you would be better off not using your possible vocation as a reason/excuse for not dating.

You’d be better off saying something like none of the girls you’ve met are right for you. If they push you then all you can do is smile and repeat that none of them are right for you. If what you say is true then I don’t know that anything you say can get them to lay off you. Unfortunately there just aren’t magic words to turn off disfunctional people.


#18

I suggest you talk to your priest. He may have the answers you need. I know there are schools that children attend while discerning. This helps them to make the right choice in the right frame of mind. I don’t know the term, sort of like a pre-seminary. Who knows, your parish may be able to sponsor you and you might be able to go away to school and not have to deal with your parent’s pressures.

Remember, Christ suffered much humiliation, he won’t let you down. God bless you, my prayers are with you!


#19

Caesar,

If I am remember correctly you have only one year of high school left - as in at the end of this year you will be off to College or University? Is that right?

I also know that you are looking at one of the Traditional Orders (FSSP and I don’t remember the other one). Is there someone at one of these with whom you can chat with about what is going on at home? Or your local Priest for that matter? Can he help you?

Prayer is, at this point the only action I can think of for you to do right now, that and not “getting into it” with your parents.

Can you get a job so you can start saving money to live on your own once you are “of age”?

My prayers are with you and for your parents eyes to be open to what is best for you!

Brenda V.


#20

Simply state what you want to do with your life, which apparently includes sexual abstinence entirely, and be at peace with that.

Don’t fake anything. Don’t use “beards”. Be yourself, and follow your beliefs.

Sounds like you rather need to get a few things straight with your parents.

You control you, in subservience to God. You can’t control them, and you REALLY wouldn’t want to.

Best to you…!


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