Discernment Issue

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wbira

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Hello all…

I would like to hear some opinions and (name removed by moderator)ut on the following…

I have a woman friend who finds that she is very attracted to a man in our parish who is very active in many lay-ministries. She is rather new to the Church, having recently completed RCIA, and has been told that this particular man is discerning a possible religious vocation.
I also know this man and know that he finds her very attractive but is trying to stick with his “plan”. She wants to pursue him in a relationship.
My question…do I butt out or do I intervene? If I’m to intervene, how do I do this?

Peace to all…
 
Hi! In what way to you want to intervene? To attempt to talk them out of a potential relationship? To suggest that they attempt to form a relationship?
 
Thank you, Todd…

I don’t know that I want to intervene. Should I feel a responsibility to “protect” his discernment? I realize how I must look like a “buttinski” and should leave these two to deal with this between them.
Some have questioned the woman for pursuing a man she knows is contemplating priesthood. However, since he is not yet in the Seminary does this really matter?
I know that the man is really torn with this and, up until a few months ago, felt as though he was on the path to priesthood and now is very undecided.
Is this the work of the Holy Spirit showing him another vocation? HELP!
 
It seems to me that if the man considering the priesthood asked for you advice, that it would be prudent to give him your opinion. If there is some doubt in his mind as to what commitment he wants to make, he obviously needs to take the time to “discern”, as you put it. I don’t believe that the woman in is at fault for seeking his availability. It’s up to him to make the decision regarding that himself. Once he’s made his decision, then she should respect it. It doesn’t sound to me like he’s reached that point according to what you’ve already written.

Also, I guess how you intervene (if you do) would depend on your relationship to both of them. If they’re both good friends of yours, but you feel that one may be a bad match for the other, than I don’t see anything wrong with voicing it. But if you’re more of an acquaintance to them than a good friend, it may be better to keep to yourself. Like you said, you really don’t want to venture where you’re not wanted. Good luck to you!
 
I’m not one for match making; but you could always have them meet in a group setting. Like at a bible study or CYO function. Or simple getting about 5 or 6 of you together and going out to dinner.
 
I’m of the opinion that this woman making him question his vocation is a good thing. Better to question it now than in 10 years. If he’s serious about his vocation he will indeed be a priest. If he’s not serious about it then he should not be a priest at all.
 
I agree. The period before making such a life altering decision should be used to consider all of one’s options. It’s no different than dating before marriage. How can one form an opinion about something without experiencing it firsthand (within the confines of a healthy, pure relationship, of course).
 
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wbira:
Hello all…

I would like to hear some opinions and (name removed by moderator)ut on the following…

I have a woman friend who finds that she is very attracted to a man in our parish who is very active in many lay-ministries. She is rather new to the Church, having recently completed RCIA, and has been told that this particular man is discerning a possible religious vocation.
I also know this man and know that he finds her very attractive but is trying to stick with his “plan”. She wants to pursue him in a relationship.
My question…do I butt out or do I intervene? If I’m to intervene, how do I do this?

Peace to all…
It appears that they have both confided in you and what I suggest is a lot of prayer and having them talk to each other instead of you. If you get stuck trying to help or work both sides it could cause problems. Good luck with this and glad I do not have this one to deal with.:rolleyes:
 
I have three good friends of mine entering into the seminary this summer. Two are going to Connecticut to join the Legion of Christ and one is going to Conception, MO to become a local priest here in the OKC Archdiocese. All of them speak of having “the call to the priesthood”.

Some of us are called to the priesthood, some of us aren’t. If your friend is truely ‘called’ to the priesthood, then meeting your female friend should have no impact on his decision. Perhaps his ‘calling’ is to start a nice, big, Catholic family with that lady. Who knows. I say let them meet and leave it in God’s hands.
 
I had a very nice talk once with the parents of a young seminarian. The dad’s comments were: “He played sports, he dated, he made mistakes, and then one day he woke up and decided to become a priest.”

Perhaps God sent this young woman for a purpose. Your friend might have a vocation to the priesthood, then again it might be the Sacrament of Marriage. Look at the parents of St Therese of Lixiuex! Both wanted a celibate life in the priesthood and sisterhood, they ended up married and the parents of a very holy family and Doctor of the Church! 👍
 
Treat a call to the Priesthood as if it were a vocation to Marriage.

Right now, that man in your parish is actively ‘dating’ someone else, namely the Bride of Christ. There is a courtship going here. They have regular ‘dates’ and hopefully, nice long intimate conversations.

That man is trying to discern if he is to ‘marry’ Christ himself.

Now, imagine that man is actively dating your very best friend.
Would you want to set him up with another person? That is what you are, in effect, talking about here.

Sure, the relationship might not work out. It might end up that a ‘marriage’ isn’t in the best interest of either party. Then you would be more than free to set this man up with his fellow parishioner.

Until then…give a little respect to the Lady that man is dating now 😉
 
I won’t claim to know all about discernement, but having passed through a prenovitiate and a novitiate and now being in an Oblate scholasticate here in South Africa, the only advice I can give to you is to “let them try out their relationship”. Discernment aims at discovering what God is calling them to do. If God is calling him to be a priest he will be one. If not, it simply means that God had other plans. Afterall, may be God is calling their son to be a priest.
 
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