Celibacy
#1
I'm 34. I'm going to get my marriage annulled when the diocesan office opens. But it's clear I'm not meant to be a husband. I thought I might be discerning a religious life but that didn't pan out. I'm schizophrenic, so I see no path to being a priest. So what then? I can't afford to visit a monastery to discern a third order life. Just pray the divine office and don't sin? I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with my life.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructrus ventris tui Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis nostræ. Amen. 
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#2
Salvii, some people are called to single life in the world.  That seems to be your vocation, if your marriage is annulled.  Don't let anyone tell you it's not a vocation.  It is, because God wills it for some people.  The hallmarks of this vocation are prayer, service, freedom and flexibility.  Also, relying on God's providence.  So yes, pray your divine office and avoid sin.  Practice other forms of prayer, too, like lectio divina.  Go to daily Mass.  Be open to ways to be of service to others.

Single life is my vocation.  I was denied admission to the Redemptorists, and four years later to the Benedictines, each time on the basis of psychological testing.  I am not called to marriage because I have same sex attraction.  I have a strong desire to be a monk but it is not God's will for me.  I am nevertheless called to a life of prayer.

I hope you find peace.
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#3
I have never understood the fascination with psychological testing. Even for religious orders? Why isn't seeing if someone rubs along well sufficient? Why not trust the Holy Spirit to enlighten both parties?
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#4
You don't have to be a priest or a monk to be a celibate guy who serves God. Follow the precepts of the Church and find some way to help others through your profession or volunteer work.

My ex-wife and I split over 20 years ago when I was 35. I haven't been with anyone since. I threw myself into my work and took care of my children the best I could.

Sometime I wish I would have remarried, I only returned to the Church 5 years ago, but I'm OK with where I'm at right now.
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#5
(03-06-2021, 08:51 PM)TruthWhichIsChrist Wrote: I have never understood the fascination with psychological testing. Even for religious orders? Why isn't seeing if someone rubs along well sufficient? Why not trust the Holy Spirit to enlighten both parties?

Because people can be really good at hiding issues, whether they do so deliberately or without intent; and before somebody makes a lifetime commitment, or has to live with others for the rest of their lives, it's good to make sure there are no "buried issues".

The methods used in said psychological testing, especially in more recent decades, may be questionable; but the matter in principle (testing) seems fair to me.
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#6
I think psychology is good at inventing issues, and pathologizing normalcy. The bugs in people's brains should be chased away by holy fear, participation in the sacraments, and letting the environment be the cure when approached in the right way, reminders about which should occur in homilies and spiritual guidance sessions. Psychology is about as voodoo as COVID testing. It also bothers me that this amounts to placing a secular science over the church. If someone doesn't belong in a monastery, it will show by virtue of their inability to live the charism, which would be evident, even self-evident, within the novitiate or postulancy.

Edit to add: Do you suppose they are checking to see if someone might be a closet axe-murderer or something? I suppose such an intention could be hidden well enough. But I would think that even there, someone who wants to be an axe-murderer would probably have enough faults that they would find the novitiate/postulancy off-putting and self-remove.
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#7
Great graces are available to those who live celibate lives, monks or not.
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#8
(03-07-2021, 03:51 PM)TruthWhichIsChrist Wrote: I think psychology is good at inventing issues, and pathologizing normalcy.

While I can agree in so far as there is much bad psychology out there and inefficient practitioner thereof, I believe a true, authentic practice of psychology in a Catholic sense is possible (but don't ask me where that exists because I cannot comment on that).

(03-07-2021, 03:51 PM)TruthWhichIsChrist Wrote: The bugs in people's brains should be chased away by holy fear, participation in the sacraments, and letting the environment be the cure when approached in the right way, reminders about which should occur in homilies and spiritual guidance sessions.

But even with all of that, there are several caveats:

Holy fear needs to be properly developed, lest you just be scrupulous.

The Sacraments need to be available in a strong and reverent way (i.e. traditional Roman rite)

You need to have good homilists and spiritual directors, and even Saint John of the Cross agrees that the latter is tough to find anyplace.

So, these are all fine and well ideals, but even then, they do not exclude a legitimate practice of psychology as an aid.

(03-07-2021, 03:51 PM)TruthWhichIsChrist Wrote: But I would think that even there, someone who wants to be an axe-murderer would probably have enough faults that they would find the novitiate/postulancy off-putting and self-remove.

Well, if you were to say the same thing of, say, homosexuals, it's clearly evident that they can make their way through the system, psychological testing or not.  I wouldn't necessarily put the system at a high level of self-purging for those who truly want to make it through, be they with evil intentions or not.
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#9
St. Benedict Joseph Labre, pray for us.
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