Would marriage be a sin?


#1

From what I’ve read, it seems to me that not following your vocation is (although foolish), not a sin.

So if one may have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, but chooses not to enter that state, it is not a sin. But, what if the same person then chose to marry someone? Would that be sinful either because they might be taking someone else from their vocation, or would they be using the person they married in some way?

I tend to over-think, so I’m having difficulty coming to a conclusion on this.


#2

I view vocations in this way.

A vocation is something which would be best for you and thus which God desires for you. It is not obligatory. God gives you free choice to accept His advice or to refuse it (in this case). So, choosing to marry when you feel you are called to be a priest is NOT a sin, but it might not be the best life path either.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. :)


#3

[quote="MilesVitae, post:1, topic:246233"]
From what I've read, it seems to me that not following your vocation is (although foolish), not a sin.

So if one may have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, but chooses not to enter that state, it is not a sin. But, what if the same person then chose to marry someone? Would that be sinful either because they might be taking someone else from their vocation, or would they be using the person they married in some way?

I tend to over-think, so I'm having difficulty coming to a conclusion on this.

[/quote]

Religious vocation/celibacy and marriage are not destinations, but paths to get to the destination. God may have pointed you out to a path that would be more rewarding for you and other people than the other roads, but you don't have to take that road. They all lead to the same destination. God's will is ultimately always done.


#4

According to Scripture and the Church, in at least some cases it is permissible for someone who could otherwise have remained a celibate to get married, even so as to make easier the battle for purity.


#5

If you enter into the Sacrament of Marriage, then married life is your vocation. If you enter into the Sacrament of Holy Orders, then the priesthood is your vocation. Simple as.

The only sin in refusing your vocation would be if you were explicitly called (i.e. had made it through 6 years of seminary, satisfied the bishop or superior of your order, and had been formally called to receive Holy Orders) and then ran away. Up until that point, you cannot know your vocation, you can only discern to the best of your ability.

As someone who went through this battle (and is now happily married with a baby on the way :D ) I can share what my spiritual director told me. His advice was not to think about discernment as like a game of 'Deal or No Deal' where God has a 'correct' box and you need to work out how to chose it. Whatever vocation you accept with joy is the one God wanted you to accept, and through the sacraments God will give you the grace to live that vocation.

I honestly believe I could have been a priest, and I'd probably have been ok at it, if a little miserable at times. If I'd chosen it joyfully, God would have done it. Instead, I chose to be married, and in so doing, God chose to give me the vocation of a married man (the laws of cause and effect kind of break down when dealing with the divine mysteries). If it wasn't a choice, then there wouldn't be any real love behind it, and love is the nature of the gift God wants us to give. I give that gift to Him through my wife, and I am thankful that I did, but it could equally have been otherwise. If there was no real choice in the matter, there would be no love either.

If, on the other hand, you are entering into marriage with the specific intent of running away from the priesthood, then the motivation is all wrong. In that case, you would be doing something foolish - luckily, however, God has anticipated this eventuality and created a failsafe to stop you from doing this - what is the failsafe? It isn't found in Canon Law, nor in the Church's Tradition. It's simply the fact that you'll be hard pressed to find a woman who wants to marry you if it's so obvious that you don't love them, and aren't cut out for marriage, but just want to run away from being celibate! Finding a woman who'll marry you isn't easy at the best of times.

Ask yourself which gift you would feel most joyful in giving to God in the long term. And don't worry.


#6

Excellent post - and

and is now happily married with a baby on the way

Hearty congratulations - twice over!:thumbsup::thumbsup:

As a Church, we are probably in need of married and lay saints desperately as a witness and guide to the rest of us laboring along in the midst of the world hoping somehow to be leaven within it. We have oodles of priests and religious who are saints and may we have many more.

TS


#7

This is exactly it.

No person knows if they truly have a vocation for the religious life until they are called forward by their superior to make their final vows.

No man knows if he truly has a vocation to the priesthood or diaconate until they are called forward for ordination by their bishop/superior.

No one knows if they truly have a vocation to marriage until the vows are exchanged and they are married.

A vocation is not about how we personally feel.


#8

[quote="MilesVitae, post:1, topic:246233"]
From what I've read, it seems to me that not following your vocation is (although foolish), not a sin.

So if one may have a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, but chooses not to enter that state, it is not a sin. But, what if the same person then chose to marry someone? Would that be sinful either because they might be taking someone else from their vocation, or would they be using the person they married in some way?

I tend to over-think, so I'm having difficulty coming to a conclusion on this.

[/quote]

no it is not sinful to make a choice of vocation that excludes another option.


closed #9

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.