Dear father Angelo,
I’m going to write a little summary of my file; I will expose a few events and then ask you some questions.
I come from a family of catholic tradition, and I’m catholic myself.
I have no recognition of any of my ancestors being a thief, an abuser or even worse, a murderer.
I’m 41 years old, I don’t have kids, I’m not married nor engaged.
I’ve been fighting for years to get a steady job and in June I managed to acquire a permanent position, thanks be to God.
I’ve always had this duality in me: on one side, the desire of being engaged/married, to have a family with many kids… on the other side the interest (which has been very strong at times) to become a priest.
On a spiritual level, it’s since I was 14 (now I’m 41) that I’ve been having a hard time in respecting the sixth and ninth commandments: I’ve essentially infringed them both, alone with masturbation, but at times it also happened with unmarried women (upon payment).
Put down by my weakness, I’ve always searched for reparatory salvation in the sacrament of Confession.
In 2005 I underwent brain surgery to extract a meningioma (a benign tumour) which was discovered by pure chance… after this operation, I had many checkups: all was looking good, until last year.
In 2019 the MRI revealed the formation of another brain tumour, this time on the right side. The surgery went well but this time the histological examination revealed a malignant tumour and moreover one of the worst and more aggressive.
The intervention went well and it was “probably” executed with due promptness: now I’m undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Great abatement and discouragement: I sent prayer requests for my healing to many sanctuaries (some of which were home to famous saints).
1) Could it be that God permitted all this to ‘punish’ me because I haven’t been able to live in purity according to the sixth and ninth commandments?
2) Or is it possible that God permitted all this because He has always called me to become a priest and I’ve always turned away due to my indecision or fear?
I don’t want to die: I want to be healed. Furthermore, I’m an only son and my parents (I love them very much) have only me.
In my prayers, I solemnly promised to God that if He grants me and my parents “a long earthly life with health of both body and mind, united to the complete healing from any disease of both body and mind” so that we can live a long life together and in health… I have promised that I would become a catholic priest.
Of course, this grace /miracle comprehends and includes my complete and total healing from this disease.
3) If God conceded this great grace/miracle and I found out I was more inclined towards married life and not towards priesthood and therefore I did not become a priest, would God punish me harshly or (even worse, as a punishment) revoke the same grace he conceded me?
I am scared and I want to heal, father Angelo.
I need your advice.
The answer from father Angelo
1- I’m sorry for what happened to you, especially for what concerns the second surgical operation. I hope that with the help of God and the intercession of Our Lady everything will go for the best, that you will be perfectly healed and that you will peacefully resume your life to place it at the service of God, whatever direction He will call you to take.
2- Now, coming to your questions, you ask me if “God permitted this to ‘punish’ me because I haven’t been able to live in purity according to the sixth and ninth commandments“.
This is a question that only somebody provided with a prophetic spirit can answer adequately, and that’s because this illness could have happened regardless of your sins.
Anyway, the Lord could have permitted this illness so that you have a possibility to remediate your sins in a way that goes beyond the sacrament of Confession. In fact, with these sins, not only you’ve hurt yourself but you have also impoverished the Church of which you’re a beloved son.
Well, if you remained strongly united to Christ, wherever once sin abounded now grace can overflow.
3- “Or is it possible that God permitted all this because He has always called me to become a priest and I’ve always turned away f due to my indecision or fear?“
No one can give an answer to this: that evil could have occurred to you anyway.
Moreover, you say that the Lord called or advised you to become a priest, but you have always turned away.
Well, to hear a call or an input does not mean that there is a real vocation.
A vocation needs discernment, and you can’t do it by yourself, even because it could happen that despite your personal desire the Church could recognize that your desire to become a priest isn’t a real calling.
4- You’re right to ask the Lord for perfect healing.
During the time of Jesus many sick people came to Him and asked for healing. And the Lord listened to their prayers.
You add: if I am perfectly healed, I will become a catholic priest.
Well, you can modify your promise like this: instead of saying ‘I will become a catholic priest’ you can promise that you will commit yourself to a real vocational discernment and that in the case of a favourable response, you will put yourself out there.
5- Lastly, you ask “If God conceded this great grace/miracle and I found out I was more inclined towards married life and not towards priesthood and therefore I did not become a priest, would God punish me harshly or (even worse, as a punishment) revoke the grace he conceded me?“
As I said before, once you will be perfectly healed the first thing you will have to do is a vocational discernment, the outcome of which won’t depend only on you.
I advise you to do this discernment with your confessor and to follow his word, eventually. It is necessary to be really faithful to the word of your confessor because when the priest is in that position he is particularly enlightened by the Lord, as Our Lord Himself assured more than once to Saint Faustina Kowalska.
If your confessor tells you: “you’re not fit for priesthood, think about matrimonial life”, this is what you will do.
If he tells you that you’re eligible for priesthood, you will immediately take that road.
But do not rely solely on your inclinations: in fact, the inclination to marital life lies in every one of us, even in those who are called to priesthood.
In the end, one responds to the Lord by taking either one or the other way.
As to the rich young man, the Lord tells us “if you want”, He does not compel anybody.
He is not ready to castigate us if we don’t choose accordingly to what appears to us as His advice.
Either way, He will always give us all the grace we need to undertake the road we choose in order to serve Him.
I gladly assure you of my prayers.
I’m sure that many visitors will read your story and will help you so that you will always feel in your life the benevolent hand of the Lord, and that you will be perfectly healed.
I wish you every good, I bless you and embrace you.