We need to judge men and women by what their motivation is to live for and their mode of existence. It can be totally egotistical, where they are only concern for themselves, to all the way of really wanting to self donate themselves to the beloved Thou (a vocation to the priesthood, religious life or the married life). Most people today are stuck in the egotistical life style group and very few are on the way of moving toward self donation to another person or to God.
Everyone is looking for someone to love them. That leaves no one who wants to love selflessly. The movies and music are about selfish love and false promises of love forever. But few have the capacity to make that love come true because they are so needy for love. If a man or woman is filled with God first, then they are more likely to be able to selflessly love the beloved Thou.
In all vocations, there is an unreal ideal of how life will be once you get there. The glamor of becoming a seminarian is taken away at the seminary where you have to live with yourself, other seminarians and the formation team. Dreaming about becoming a priest, you feel that everyone will appreciate your self sacrifice and like you. But once ordained, you are treated as just one more priest. Living with other priests in a rectory is a real sacrifice. And if you are a prophetic priest that say the truth, you will earn enemies the first few months of your priesthood. As a nun you enter a convent. Here you have to adjust to a lot of other women with their good points and bad points. It is difficult to live together.
In marriage, all begins easy. But then when both spouses relax back into their habits, friction starts to build up. Two people living together, no matter how much they love each other, is just plain difficult. You have not only married your spouse, but also their habits and their whole family as well. There can be jealousy between the mother and the daughter in law. Husbands can be jealous too.
Married men want a home, a wife and sex. But they still are boys who want to be out with the guys. This causes a great deal of friction between the wife and husband because she wants him closed up at home just for her and her family. But a man can not be encaged. He will eventually burst if he is too confined and controlled. Men are boys who have grown up out of the control and dependence of their mothers. They did not marry their wives to become their mothers. But nevertheless, because of their lack of maturity, they act like boys and need a mother. But the wife is not to lord over their husbands. I once heard a funny statement that went this way: “Upon marriage, the mother told her daughter, congratulations, you just had your first kid.”
Men need to be mature before marriage and chose a mature spouse. Woman need to be mature too and be sure they do not marry an immature spouse. Most women think they can fix their spouse after they marry them. That is not true and only leads to a divorce or a life of misery. Woman do have a good influence on men who love them. But to think you can change a womanizer or drug addict or criminal into Prince Charming is an illusion.
No matter what vocation you may chose, your happiness will depend a lot on how holy and self disciplined you are. I say this because no matter how great the spouse or religious community is, happiness depends a lot on our own moods and character. So say you choose the married life. Just by living with you spouse who loves you in a new home in no way changes who you are and the moods you go through. We are still us with our defects and virtues. It is terrible illusion to think that once I have the perfect spouse, children, job, house or religious community, I will be happy. If you are not happy before all this happens, you and your moods go with you no matter who you are with or what you have or where you live. So you need to work first on yourself and your holiness so that God can heal you and make you happy living all by yourself where you are at right now.
Never forget that perfect happiness will only be found in heaven with the perfect God and all the saints who obtained happiness through the purification of the cross while they followed Jesus on earth.
Some men and women never find their beloved Thou (spouse or religious vocation). This can be very painful. In this case they are to accept the reality and keep on loving and living, all along trusting and knowing that God will eventually bring something great out of their painful situation. It is something like the wife who never conceives a child. It is extremely painful, but when accepted, can be a source of eternal blessings for her and all those she know.
There are consecrated lay people in the church today too. They humbly donate their lives to work and prayer out in the world with very little fan fair. But people with whom they work and pray, appreciate the Catholic witness they bear. They are able to be where priests and religious cannot go or have the time to go to. Their lives consecrate the ordinary human life.
Offering up your lives to God as singles while you look into becoming a priest, religious or married, can have great spiritual benefits for ourselves and for the world. Holy priests, religious, married couples and singles make the Church and world a better place. Above all, our vocation is to be faithful to God and to offer our lives as a prayer. There is no perfect life in any vocation. They are all difficult with different blessings and crosses.
I want to encourage young men to make the sacrifice of their love of women, marriage, family and children to the follow the nobel calling of becoming a priest. But find an place where you can be a traditional priest and not be persecuted for the rest of you life. Be honest about you beliefs and fears. Above all trust God to help you overcome your fears.
I also want to encourage young women to be sacrificial in giving their lives as nuns. But be very careful to find a traditional order where you can blossom. Becoming a priest or nun is such a high calling. But whatever calling you have or have already chosen, to be effective in saving souls only comes from the faith, love and work you have as you try to serve God.
Right now, even before you choose your vocation, you can consecrate yourselve to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Why not. That does not lock you into any vocation. But it does help you be guided by Jesus and Mary to do God’s will in your life right now and live a meaningful and happy life in the future.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.