Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I need your advice!

Recently I have been thinking about my direction in life. I've felt called to youth ministry since high school and I still do, however, I also feel called to marriage and I want to be able to support a family. I'm in a pickle.

I know I want to do youth ministry. Youth ministers don't make much money.
I know I want to have a family and I want my wife to be able to stay at home when we have kids. I need money to support them.

I've recently felt called to do some sort of public speaking about Theology of the Body. Maybe I could do youth ministry at a parish and then do speaking engagements for some extra income. Maybe I should look for a diocesan level job for a little more money.

Basically, I want to serve the Catholic church. I want to support a family and I want to do youth ministry.

Any advice?


  1. For goodness sake, grow up! Love someone!

    Follow the two great commandments, be serious at least a little bit. Your youth ministry will be unbelievably destructive unless you love first, then think about what to do.

    "You" have nothing to do with being "called".

    No, ministry will call you, in a clearly active way, if that is what God requires of you.

    If you let the true calling call you, rather than trying to force it, you will have no doubt and there will be no conflict between family and ministry.

    If you have a true calling to both marriage and family and what you call "ministry", expect to be poor, and expect to be strong enough that your children never ever know you are poor. They will have winter boots, you will walk to church with holes in your soles, and a bigger hole in soul.

    If you think ministry is something other than that, you aren't even thinking about ministry, you are suffering the sin of pride.

    Serving your family often means withdrawing from the Catholic Church "stuff", and focusing on raising Catholics. Be a father. Be a priest. You cannot be both.

    If you are seriously investigating what to do with your life, read Familiaris Consortio, in a serious way, then read the Wldstein version of the Theology of the Body, then read Familiaris Consortio again, after re-reading again the first three paragraphs of the Theology of the Body.

    Then stop studying religion for a long long while.

    Instead pray a rosary on the way to work, and on the way back, but pay attention to each and every word.

    Do that until you've prayed 50,000 Hail Mary's. If you've done it right you won't even be aware of the last 25,000 ... you have to do it to understand.

    After all that, ask yourself if you love her.

    Or skip all the intermediate stuff, love a woman, and then cope with the consequences ... love imposes lots.

    Some years later you're just as likely to find that someone comes to you and invites you to do youth ministry ... because by then you won't want to, it won't be heroic, you won't have time, and you'll do really well at it.

    AND besides all that as my wife just said: "What on earth is the matter with this guy? "Youth ministry" is a JOB. Priest or husband is a VOCATION. Get a grip!"

  2. Dad,

    Are you in some sort of ministry?

    I am well aware that youth ministry is not about the money. My dilemma is that of being able to support a family, not about being prideful.

    How can being called have nothing to do with "you"? "You" are the person that is being called. You are the subject, the very center of the action. How can that have nothing to do with it? I can see how the "you" could have nothing to do with making a decision in regards to being called. Rather, the subject is called and must recognize in order to fulfill the call. I do not see how the subject could have nothing to do with the action.

    As for youth ministry being "unbelievably destructive" without love, I agree. I do not think that you have to be in love with a woman before you can do effective ministry. Is that what you mean? I'm not quite clear.

    Through discernment, I have found that I am called to the married life, not the priesthood.

    In regards to "After all that, ask yourself if you love her.", who? Mary or my future spouse? I am a 22 year old male who is about to graduate college. I am not in a relationship because I haven't found the right girl yet.

    In regards to "skip all the intermediate stuff, love a woman, and then cope with the consequences... love imposes lots.", what do you mean specifically? What is the "intermediate stuff?"

    In regards to "by then you won't want to, it won't be heroic, you won't have time, and you'll do really well at it", I am not doing ministry because I think it is heroic, although a life lived for Christ is heroic, my soul purpose is to serve Christ, through love, in the area of youth ministry. How could a person who has no time, doesn't want to do something, and is tired do better than someone who is well prepared, anticipates, discerns, studies, hears the call, and follows it?

    Finally, in regards to your last statement about what your wife said, why the hostility? I am simply trying to plan ahead and I asked for a little help. "what on earth is the matter with this guy?" sounds a lot like I had just done some terrible things that warrants such a reaction. I was just asking for advice.

    Please pardon me if I am too curt or it seems that I am trying to retaliate but I was taken off guard by what I understand to be a complete stranger treating me like an idiot in my search for a good Christian life.