The man made eunuch?


#1

Hi CAF,

This is an interesting topic that hopefully hasn't been discussed.

I am in a time of discerning whether God has called me to single life or married life.

My question / topic comes from Matthew 19:12
"For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it".

*The following has two parts, giving the reader protection, respect, and time: *

The first is a brief general discussion, suitable for everyone.

The second is personal reflection, of my own life, which is longer and a bit depressing-- and may NOT be suitable for everyone.

For those with a gift of counseling and feel led to respond, I welcome your input. To maintain order and peace, please email me at clbsc7 att yahoo dot com if you have a personal response and keep the posts on here for the general discussion (thank you).

*** Part 1 ***

Ok, so I follow cases 1 & 3: 1) those born with the gift of singleness for the kingdom's sake from the beginning and 3) those not necessarily born with that gift, but at some point decide to choose it.

I'm curious about case 2 ? I get it from a historical perspective, in that some were "made eunuchs by men" for specific and functional purposes such as serving in court.
Hopefully most of us do not have to worry about that happening today.

But what about indirect situations, say a child born in a dysfunctional home, where they may not have been given the healthy capacity for intimate relationships? Can you think of any others? Maybe geographic or economic disparity? Being born with a genetic or mental disability?

In such cases, is the individual at the mercy of their circumstances regarding their vocation; or are they free regardless? If they are free, how do they choose responsibly and with certainty?

*** Part 2 ***

I am contemplating whether my own life falls into the second case, being a man made eunuch.

Both my parents made really big boo boos in having kids before resolving their generational issues of alcoholism, codependency, and abuse. In short, the children, my sister and I, have been greatly compromised and have not transitioned well to adulthood.

I'm 30 now, and have spent the last 12 years going to counseling, recovery groups, retreats, and reading self help books, trying to amend the loss and move forward. While there has been some progress, I still have not finished my education nor been able to consistently hold down a job. No joke, in trying to achieve these goals, I have had a few close encounters with death, either from poor health or job accidents.

At this point, my nerves are shot, I'm exhausted, and I regularly have PSTD. Growing up in a constant survival state, I have not been able to truly learn how to love or relate to God, others, or myself, as I can't seem to get free of the old ways of coping. I don't trust myself or others, nor do I truly trust God. I would like to, but not sure how to learn in a way that's lasting. More than that, I'm afraid of being hurt again and am in so much pain I can't seem to open up. My relationships with both men and women have suffered as a result, and also because of my poor boundaries and inappropriate social skills.

Honestly, it's a scary place to be in, but I am trying to trust that God has a greater purpose in all this. It has also been incredibly painful watching my peers move on, establishing careers, getting married, and starting families, as I feel like a complete flop.

In looking at my grandparents, most ended up lost and divorced. Nor were they ever really able to become "healthy adult" members of society, as they never fully understood themselves or their past.

My maternal grandma and great aunt, for example, did not attain some level of self acceptance till their late 70's. Really? So far, I'm moving at the same rate; which to me, is humiliating, embarrassing, and shameful-- and pretty much makes the whole married life idea laughable, unless God wants to change my name to Abraham; in which case, it's going to be really hard given how much pride I have. I know pride is bad; but sometimes, when you've been spit on, pissed on, and constantly beat up, and I mean literally, you don't have much holding you up. One might say "God can hold you up," but not if you aren't able to really trust Him.

Anyways, that societal ideal, the American dream (the career, the house, the family, etc.), for me is starting to fade. I always thought I'd be a part of it, but now I'm not so sure. My mental and physical health is poor, and at this point, I'm just hoping to become self supporting, hold down a job, serve in some small capacity, and make it into heaven. This is realistic and practical for my life; and yet, there's a great sense of bitterness behind it all, over what my life could have been, as I feel greatly robbed and rejected. I understand how bitter-roots "have defiled many" and that this is not a good situation to be in, and I have tried my best to forgive and move on, but daily triggers keep me stuck.

I appreciate your prayers for help, healing, and mercy.

Given all that, it's seems easier to just forget about the possibility of marriage and live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience, either as lay-person or consecrated person in religious life. Could this be a case of a man made eunuch?

clbsc7


#2

You have my daily prayers. I am sorry for your sufferings and they are quite extreme. May The Lord speedily bring you healing and Mercy and He Will insofar as you persevere through this very painful time with your hand in His in trust and confidence - or as much confidence and trust as you can muster at this time. If you cannot feel this, then in Dark Faith in your will. That is, you cannot feel it, but you can tell The Lord constantly that you do trust Him despite being unable to feel it. It can be a difficult time indeed in that the passage can be very dark and confusing with no light at the end in that one does not seem to have a real goal one is aiming at. Personally, however, I am very goal orientated and this necessity, I thought, to have a clear goal may be just a personal quirk of mine. Although, a goal of healing and Mercy is a sound goal. Perhaps a further step is a goal of loving acceptance of God’s Will for your life, but this can be far easier said than done, I know. Be assured, however, that God’s Will is for your happiness, Peace and Joy and in this life. I think you would really benefit from, even need, regular sound spiritual direction and most especially as you struggle to work through a very painful and confusing time in your life.

What it seems to me you are doing is working through some very painful situations - and this is always quite painful and difficult - even confusing and what I call ‘dark’ in that one cannot make sense of it all.

I went through a rather long passage of illness and a certain resentment and anger at the way my life was going. My early years to my twenties revealed many gifts and the promise, it seemed, of a lifetime of building on those gifts and a shining future. Very serious illness cut all that to the quick and all dreams crashed to the ground and were eliminated. As I struggled and tried to work with and through my anger and resentment at it all, as the years passed, I found that that illness was ushering in through initial suffering, the happiest years of may life and one of Peace and Joy, contentment and fulfillment - not without The Cross now and then and still dealing with serious illness, but in these difficulties I found I had a new and more fruitful way of dealing with difficulty and suffering.
I am now committed by private vows to the evangelical counsels to the single lay state and have been now for over 30 years. But first I sought the advice of priests that I knew and also my director and confessor at the time. I have always had a spiritual director and still do.
I pray that your passage of difficulty and suffering may prove similar in that it will prove to be from darkness into light. Although you are still quite young, hence do not permanently discount any of the more traditional vocations. Do you have a spiritual director? If not, then I strongly recommend you pray and search for one. If you find it easier (i.e. more Peaceful - “seek after Peace and pursue it”) to abandon at this time thoughts of any of the more traditional vocations, then abandon the thought temporarily. If it never resurfaces, well and good, but at this point anyway, you cannot know what lay ahead, where God is leading. The workings of The Holy Spirit are always works of Peace, so do seek after Peace and actively pursue it as Scripture states.

Discussion sites such as CAF here can be very helpful and supportive very often in our journey, but they are very limited in that nothing at all can replace the advice and support of a sound and holy spiritual director in a face to face situation.

God bless and hold you close as He does - Tigger


#3

Given all that, it’s seems easier to just forget about the possibility of marriage and live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience, either as lay-person or consecrated person in religious life. Could this be a case of a man made eunuch?

Personally, I think what Jesus meant by “eunuchs are made for The Kingdom of Heaven” is that some are gifted with the ability to live in the celibate state which is not the way of human nature in the normal course. It is a gift in order to commit oneself to The Gospel in some manner, or “for The Kingdom”. If one finds one can live happily in the celibate state (and as long as one is not married, one does have a call to single celibacy in the lay state of course unless one goes on to the priesthood or religious life).
Be assured that if you feel you can live happily in the celibate state that this is a Gift from God whether it apears to be one’s natural disposition or ‘man made’. No matter what it may seem to appearances, all that is good has its origin and end (or purpose) in God. And it seems to me the fact that you are not unduly and overly troubled by your human sexual urges or a great desire for marriage, it is good and hence from God - and especially at this time when you have so very much on your plate. So much difficulty and struggle, confusions.

Tigger


#4

TiggerS,

Thank you for all your sound wisdom and for sharing your own journey-- it gives me hope to hear how the Lord has brought you through such loss and disappointment to joy and peace!!!

I do have a long time spiritual director and counselor who has helped me tremendously, but I am also looking to join a group (online or not) for additional support since I do not get to see him very often. I have noticed that CAF has a few groups, such as recovery / abuse survivors, that may provide a place of support and accountability. I plan to look into it.

If anyone knows of a good online accountability group for recovery issues, please let me know.

Blessings, C


#5

It probably could; I feel your pain.

Feel free to PM me if you need any commiseration/encouragement.

As long as "getting into Heaven" is on the list, the others will fall into place, IMNAAHO.

God Bless and ICXC NIKA


#6

[quote="clbsc7, post:4, topic:263694"]
TiggerS,

Thank you for all your sound wisdom and for sharing your own journey-- it gives me hope to hear how the Lord has brought you through such loss and disappointment to joy and peace!!!

I do have a long time spiritual director and counselor who has helped me tremendously, but I am also looking to join a group (online or not) for additional support since I do not get to see him very often. I have noticed that CAF has a few groups, such as recovery / abuse survivors, that may provide a place of support and accountability. I plan to look into it.

If anyone knows of a good online accountability group for recovery issues, please let me know.

Blessings, C

[/quote]

Hi C - If your inclination is towards groups as something you think you would find helpful and supportive, then that is the way to go to my mind. However, if you have long time spiritual director and counsellor and you are happy and at Peace in the realtionship, then always be guided by his or her advice primarily.

As long as "getting into Heaven" is on the list, the others will fall into place, IMNAAHO.

Wisdom in operation and sound advice!

I am so hoping this will not sound patronizing nor condescending in any way, but from what you have shared and with such an open heart, it seems to me that despite all the suffering you are going through and other negative related matters, you are on a safe path. Stay on it and I know The Lord will return "one hundredfold" as your journey unfolds. It may be a two steps forward two back, three forward type of journey and hiccups and difficulties in your path to be worked through and negotiated - but keep on your path as you journey with your hand in The Lord's and you will smile again and know Peace and Joy, fulfillment.
To seek help is sometimes looked upon as weakness. Rather it is a very real strength and a sign of active humility. And humility is the foundation of all virtue, as common sense is the guide. Every single human being is going to need some kind of help at some stage in their journey for some reason. It is a sign of spiritual strength(wisdom with fortitude) to know when it is time to ask for help and to do so.

Tigger


#7

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