What if you don't feel called to the priesthood or marriage?


#61

it’s a shame but a lot of men want to marry down. maybe it’s an ego thing


#62

I am in my forties now and not married. I never set out to stay single, but life’s turn of events have led me to this path, so far.

Don’t forget that Saint Paul gives the single life very high praise:


I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord


#63

I have a tendency towards this for a number of reasons, but it’s not set in stone or anything.


#64

I read that verse you just quoted from St Paul and it seems like he’s referring to the consecrated religious life.


#65

what are the reasons? i don’t see why it matters


#66

“seems like” is the key phrase there.

I would have to disagree with that position.


#67

Off topic: I can pm you if you wish.


#68

yeah please pm me


#69

Well, I’m not a cleric, I’m not consecrated, and I’ve never married, so I guess that would make me “single,” even though I greatly dislike that term. What I find most tone-deaf about the debate about the “single vocation” is how so many, in an attempt to be well-meaning, try to define it as a vocation coequal to marriage or an ecclesiastical vocation but then have nothing they can generally say about it at all. To be frank, I find it a reductionistic novelty that some only hold to because there are some persons who’ve never married who just carry a chip on their shoulder because of it.

An earlier poster here is right: we have the universal call to holiness and our distinct personal vocation, such as a profession or particular avocation to guide us in all of this. So, I can’t help but think that the drive to recognize a “single vocation” simply masks a deep insecurity on the part of its more vociferous advocates. To them, I’d advise changing some aspect of their lives if they don’t like it rather than rationalizing that God called them to their particular state in life. If you don’t like your workplace, find a new one. If your parish is dismissive of you, go to Mass elsewhere. If your friends have become distant, find new friends. If you don’t even want to be single anymore, then consider marrying. But, whatever you do, don’t blame God for all the evils of your particular state while you’re doing nothing to improve it.

I’m 37, and I was rejected from seminary studies a decade ago for reasons still unknown to me. Only once over that past decade did I consider a potential wife, and once I considered applying to the FSSP. My primary focus in that period has been my career as a college tutor, my writing, and my service at the altar at Extraordinary Form Masses. The fact that I don’t have a wife and kids at home really had about as much to do with this as the fact that I am right-handed. I can’t say I was called not to marry – and I still might marry – as I was called not to write with my left hand. That’s just the way things turned out, but my career, writings, studies, and service were a matter of a type of calling, of tasks that emerged that I willingly either sought out or accepted and continued to develop into. These were matters of personal vocation. To those who would vent and ramble about being single, I would dare ask if they’ve even considered the matter of personal vocation yet.


#71

I prettymuch agree with everything you said.


#72

One of the things you can do as an individual is to take college courses similar to what is taught at a seminary.

For example, you could call a seminary for late vocations such as Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell Connecticut … which is focused on late ordinations … and ask for a course catalog.

And then you could call around to parishes or your local diocese and express an interest in taking those courses.

Many seminaries do, in fact, accept as students people who are just interested as individuals. Men, women, Catholic, non-Catholic, older, younger.

You can also inquire about studying for the diaconate. Even if you do not complete the program. Just take the courses, as your time and finances allow.

If you are not already an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, you can apply for that as well.

It can take years but it is enjoyable. And you meet great people. And you grow.

Over time, having the additional education makes you more valuable as a parishioner.


#73

:roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:


#74

Thanks

But one clarification: married men in the Latin Church / Roman Rite are allowed to follow two vocations: marriage and the Diaconate


#75

I’m sorry - am I not allowed to acknowledge my own intelligence? If you need independent verification, I’d be happy to send you the list of scholarships and commendations I’ve received.

Or do you object to the fact that I possess the self-awareness to know that I need someone who is able to converse with me on the same intellectual level or, at least, doesn’t require me to minimize or hide my intelligence?

While I don’t consider myself a feminist, I do consider your reaction to my comments hurtful. Men are not only permitted to acknowledge their talents and abilities, they are encouraged to do so; women, on the other hand, are expected to be “quietly smart”. We are expected to be smart in a way that doesn’t bother anyone. And we are, under no circumstances, supposed to stand up and say “I’m smart.” That is why so many men have difficulties accepting a woman who is obviously smarter than they are.


#76

Then you may be called to Monasticism.

Or maybe to the eremitical life.

Or to a consecrated single life.

There are many vocations in this game called Life.


#77

I think the issue was that your post came off in a very… how shall I put this… not humble way.

Going around bragging how smart and ambitious you are is very Trumpian… and very off putting to most people. Nobody likes a braggart, including the Sacred Author of the Book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.


#78

I wasn’t bragging. I was asked about why I don’t date and was giving my experience. The fact that I am smart and ambitious were relevant to the answer.

Again, there is nothing wrong with be aware of the fact that you are smart and being willing to say it. It doesn’t not make one arrogant and does not make one a braggart.


#79

Proverbs 27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.


#80

This attitude is largely why I find myself not dating - Heaven forbid I open my mouth and reveal that I am smart, and in doing so, make the person across from me uncomfortable.


#81

Reveal you are smart by saying and doing wise things.

Don’t go around in a Trumpian way claiming such things as “I am so smart, I have the best words, I could read in 6 languages by my first birthday, etc.”


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