Dating a catholic guy
Monique Ocampo has a lovely Valentine’s day post on the plight of the single Catholic woman.She includes some correspondence from one of her readers which I’m going to quote here because I think it is an excellent expression of what I’ve seen on the Catholic dating scene: Every Catholic guy I know is either dating, married, or a seminarian…First, never shop when youre hungry everything will look good and youll spend too much money. Ive got the first rule down, but I havent had much success with that second rule.I seem to have a knack for picking rusty grocery carts that make clattering noises or ones with squeaky wheels that grate on your nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. You want to go in a straight line, but the cart wants to swerve to the left and take out the cat food display.But by far the worst kind of cart you could pick is the swerver. (And, much to our dismay and embarrassment, it too often succeeds!) The shopper who has chosen a swerving cart can have no peace.There are lots of guys out there, outside of the Catholic ghetto, and many of them are wonderful people. But it remains a beautiful vision, one in which imperfect people coming together in their imperfection are redeemed and made new.
The pastor telling the story saw both of them years later at a high school reunion. When I see him, I remember it all so vividly, Jenny cried. When I see her, the hurt comes back, he told his former youth pastor. When the youth minister had finished telling this story, you could have heard a pin drop. But he gave no alternative that afternoon, Evidently the pastor thought the couple's only mistake was giving in to temptation.
That’s kind of the thing about God’s plans – if you tell Him in advance what the plan is and then sit there, waiting for Him to make it happen, it doesn’t always work so well. The “some day my prince will come” approach to Catholic marriage is based on a false understanding of how God’s plans work.
The tacit assumption is that if you’re virtuous and pure and you devote yourself to God then you deserve a good spouse and a good life. If you look at the lives of the Saints you won’t often find a biography that read:“She was pure and obedient and loving, praying often for her husband even before she met him, and then she found a wonderful Catholic man.
They lived a happy life of mutual accord and raised a large brood of holy children together.”Most of the Saints either weren’t married at all, or they reportedly had terrible husbands who they eventually converted though kindness and persevering prayer.
That’s not to say that you should look for a terrible husband so that you can be a living martyr in marriage – that would be dumb – but it is safe to say that marriage is not about being rewarded with the partner that you deserve. No, they won’t give you the ready made Catholic wedding of your dreams, there will probably be some conflict about your values, and you’ll likely have to be patient in bringing them into the Church.