What Does “Pro-Life” Mean?

Abortion is always a hot-button topic of discussion. On both sides of the aisle, people are fast to point fingers and shout and claim “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Within all of the arguing, the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” have gotten skewed and blown out of proportion. So what exactly does it mean to be pro-life? And why does the Catholic Church only seem to care about the baby when they’re born? Hopefully, this article will challenge your preconceived notions and assumptions about what pro-life actually means!

Let’s Define

“Pro-life” is a popularized term to describe the belief that all humans have the inherent right and dignity to live a full life from conception to death. In the Catholic Church, this definition is changed to include the concepts of “natural conception” and “natural death.” The reason conception is so important to Christians is because during the process of the baby growing in their mother’s womb, the human body is preparing to receive an immortal soul. The Lord is crafting you so purposefully and perfectly during pregnancy. It is in this light that the Church holds that life begins at fertilization. God specifically you to come into being, so He put the egg and sperm together that led to you, emphasizing the purposeful nature of creation. But being pro-life goes beyond a person’s birth! People who are truly pro-life value and respect people throughout all of their walks of life. As Christians, we understand that everyone is a beloved child of God and deserves the same amount of love and respect as we think is due ourselves.

Consistency is Key

Often times, there can be misunderstandings about what the Catholic Church preaches regarding pro-life ministry. If we all agree that being truly pro-life means valuing human life from natural conception to natural death, then how do we actually practice it? At its most basic, this entails respecting each other and practicing the “golden rule.” The pro-life mentality can extend to other things as well, such as fighting for equality among races or genders, getting involved in youth ministry to teach the next generation of faithful young people, or partaking in community service that helps people experiencing homelessness. The basis of a pro-life mentality is that every person should be cherished and live a full life. Only caring about whether or not a woman has an abortion is not real pro-life. I call that thinking pro-birth. It’s important to go beyond the matter of abortion and to consistently practice valuing all human life.

Dignity of Life

For me, being pro-life boils down to upholding the dignity of human life. I try to practice this value every single day. I work to grow and learn about different cultures and backgrounds so that I can treat others better. I believe that everyone deserves to live their lives peacefully, fully embracing who they’re called to be in this world. In fact, my pro-life values have encouraged me to be passionate about human rights issues and social justice. I focus a lot on being an ally for minority groups because I believe in a basic respect and understanding for all. I’m certainly not the type of person to stand outside of Planned Parenthood waiting to talk to women and convince them to turn around. However, I can go there and silently pray for their conversion of heart. I’m honestly more concerned about what happens to babies who are born and put up for adoption or if the mother is struggling to care for the baby. I donate often to Let Them Live, which is a non-profit organization that helps women who don’t have the money or resources to carry a baby to term and care for it after birth. I share all that to reiterate that it is just as important to care about people’s lives when they’re in their 30s as when they’re still in the womb. I encourage you to think about how else you can uphold human dignity in your communities and practice truly being pro-life!

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Dating for Marriage

Everybody wants to be wanted. Today’s dating culture makes that the utmost important thing to your existence. The height of “making it” is being in a healthy, committed relationship with the person of your dreams. If you lack that at all, then you’re unwanted or unlovable. There are so many rules to dating as well. You can’t show someone you’re interested too much because then you’re desperate, but you don’t want to come off as not interested at all otherwise you’ll never find “the one.” So with all of these pressures and anxieties, what even is dating? Is there such thing as “dating for marriage?” Or do people just say that to get a self-satisfying relationship? Let’s turn to the Church to find out!

Dating is Discernment

First and foremost, dating is a form of discernment. It’s a tool to find that life partner to give yourself to wholly and freely. Just because you’re in one relationship or you go on one date doesn’t mean that person is the one you’re going to marry, so STOP STRESSING! Dating is an experience to grow together and prayerfully figure out if this is your spouse. The Catholic Church doesn’t believe in soulmates, and frankly neither do I. I don’t think there is one clear person for everyone, however I DO believe in the power of Vocation. If you are following your true Vocation, God will make everything possible for that Vocation to come true. He’s not going to call you to marriage but never allow you to meet the person you marry. Finding that person is exactly what discernment and dating for marriage means! Men, that means discerning a woman before asking her out. Ladies, that means discerning if the relationship you’re invited into is the right one for you. We all have a part to play, and it’s all just consideration and prayer. Today, there are SO many forms of dating, so how do you know if you’re doing it right?

Lawful and Unlawful Dating

The Catholic Church has this concept of “lawful” versus “unlawful” dating. It all has to do with whether there is a possibility of marriage. Obvious unlawful dating examples include dating someone who’s already married or in a committed relationship, cheating on your partner with someone else, and engaging in a relationship with a minor. But the other part of unlawful dating includes the actual courtship process. Spending time with someone of the opposite gender outside of a date for extended periods of time, with frequent meetups, is considered unlawful dating. You’ve already decided that this person is just a friend, so marriage clearly isn’t an end goal. Setting circumstances that are date-esc aren’t fair to you or the other person. By pursuing someone in this way, you’re PURSUING them! Even if you never said it was a date, there is still a natural part of ourselves that sense continued company-keeping as a date. So your best friend can’t hang out with you anymore? The Church’s hard and fast answer would be no. In my experience and opinion, I’d say it depends on the circumstances. If your best friend is like a brother to you, then I would argue it’s ok to spend time with them as long as the line has been made clear that you are NOT. DATING. This means being emotionally chaste in your relationships! Emotional chastity is a buzz word thrown around young adult circles, but it’s basically a discipline of the mind. You don’t over exaggerate your encounters and conversations to yourself and you don’t let yourself fantasize about the person. All this to say, that you want to guard your heart regardless of if you’re keeping the company of a potential partner. So what is considered “lawful” dating? The Church holds that any form of continued company-keeping where both people are open to marriage is lawful. With emotional chastity in mind, there is a purpose to grow closer together while discerning the Vocation of marriage. So is there a timeline for lawful dating?

Too Soon or Too Late?

Simple answer: yes and no! The Church does believe that dating too young can be unlawful dating. In my childhood, people started dating as early as 10 years old. I’m willing to bet people who dated at this age didn’t fully understand why they wanted a boyfriend or girlfriend. This type of dating can be seen as puppy love, but is it really a good thing to promote? Remember, lawful dating is when both people are open to marriage and discerning the Vocation of marriage. At 10 years old, I’m not sure if our minds were focused on marriage. This type of dating is unlawful simply because kids aren’t ready to discern their Vocation yet. There is also an unlawful type of dating that seems “waiting too long.” The Church determines that a couple who are living together and/or starting a family outside of wedlock is unlawful dating. Marriage has to be an available option for the relationship to be lawful. So, if there is a couple who don’t want to get married for whatever societal opinions they have, they’re technically prolonging their marriage, which is unlawful. The Church fully supports making steps towards your Vocation by proposing, and wants you and your partner to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony. Prolonging marriage in a committed relationship is seen as wasting time when you could be pursuing marriage.

Prayer and Reflection

We’ve talked a lot about discerning and thinking and considering a person or a relationship. None of that is possible without prayer and reflection. Pray for the person of interest, or for Vocation in general. If you’re in a committed relationship, pray for and WITH each other! Talk about the faith with each other and about your relationship. Share your hopes and fears for marriage and dating. It’s also super crucial to reflect on past experiences. Your gut is a great compass! Trust your instincts if you meet someone who you become wary of. Maybe you need to proceed with caution or open your mind more. Talk with your friends and family and unpack your relationship. Externally processing is a very helpful tool to thinking through discernment. Vocation is nothing without God, so turn to Him above all else! He is here for YOU and all of your worries! Spending time with Him in the Sacrament is so important and life giving and gives Him the opportunity to meet you in the midst of your discernment.

Call to Action

Dating for marriage is nothing without ACTION! Again, dating is a trial period, so TRY! Men, ask that girl out! She’s bee on your mind and heart for a while now, and you can’t quite let her go. GO PERSUE HER! Ladies, SAY YES! If a man asks you out, it probably took a LOT of nerve for him to actually get the words out. He’s (hopefully) put a great deal of prayer and consideration into asking you out. He’s putting his heart on the line here asking you to let him spend time (and probably money) on you! So go get your free meal or movie or coffee! You many just end up with a boyfriend after a while! BUT SAY YES TO THE DATE! It’s just one date. If it doesn’t pan out, then be honest with yourself and him, and let it go. That’s ok! It’s all part of the trial period! It’s all part of discernment!


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Pray the Sad Away

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or suicide, know that you are not alone. Call the hotlines below for help.
  1. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988
  2. National Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787

Mental health is an increasingly common issue among young people. Since I was first diagnosed with moderate-severe depression, the state of your mental health has become a MUCH more popular conversation between friends, music/art, and social media. Everyone seems to be struggling with something, and that is SUPER REAL! With the increase in mental health conversations, people of faith have been more inclined to pray for people suffering with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and more. There has been a very polarized reaction from people receiving those prayers. Alongside those reactions, the Catholic Church isn’t super loud-spoken about their stance on mental health. Many feel alienated from the Church by the attempts to pray for them and the teaching that “God made humanity in His image and likeness.” So let’s talk about it: what does the Catholic Church actually hold on mental health? Why is it worth it to pray for people struggling with mental health?

In His Image

The Lord created man in His image and likeness. What does that mean exactly? He made us so perfectly according to His plan that he recognizes a bit of Himself in each of us. In the same way that we are called to be Christ-like, we are reflections and physical proof of God’s love for us. No matter the struggle or the imperfections we see in our lives, God knows us and calls us good and beloved anyway. Simply, God created us because He loves us. He doesn’t want us to suffer in this life. We were made for far more beautiful things than to suffer. This is a realization I had to learn to combat my mental illness. But it begs the question, if God loves us so much and made us so perfectly according to His plan, then why give us mental illness at all?

No Cross Too Heavy

The Catholic Church believes that God is not a puppeteer. He doesn’t interfere in our everyday lives to keep us on the straight and narrow. He also knows how our lives will turn out, so He knows that throughout our challenges, we will be ok! This certainly isn’t comforting, I know I wrestled with this for a while in my early faith life. God created us as physical human beings residing in a tangible world. Because of this, and because of man’s fall in the Garden of Eden, we experience death and illness and pain. God may have had a set plan for us in the beginning of time, but He also takes into account how this world will affect our lives and hearts. So, His plan shifts a little. We will still end up where we need to be, but God has taken into account the imperfections and temptations the devil throws our way. That gets pretty meta to understand, I know, so let’s uncomplicated it. The Lord knows how we’re going to suffer, and He’s prepared for it. Because of this, He doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle! You may be telling yourself that it’s unfair that you have to suffer with a certain thing, I sure did! A LOT! The reason we have suffering in this world, other than the product of original sin, is because we have salvation waiting for us. There will come a time where we will be able to put the heaviest cross down and finally stand up without the weight. There is a beauty in suffering as well. The challenges we go through in our lives help us become stronger and more aligned with who we’re meant to be. So when it comes to dealing with mental health, why do some people turn to prayer? Does the Catholic Church “believe” in mental health? Can you really pray the sad away?

What’s in a Prayer?

Let me first start by saying that there is no one quick and easy fix to mental illness. Each person’s case is unique, and what might work for one person may be the last thing another person needs. The Catholic Church actually has a really beautiful sentiment pertaining to mental health. The stance starts out with a quote from Pope John Paul II which says, “It is good that you exist.” The Church upholds the belief that every human life has an inherent dignity, no matter what afflictions or imperfections a person may have. Just as we are our brother’s keeper, we are called to stand by the sick in any capacity. We’re called to nurture each other and care for each other. There is no imperfection or affliction that can deny someone love and respect. So yes, the Catholic Church supports people with mental illness, and in fact encourages they be supported and cared for. The Church sees and understands the importance of having a healthy mind just as much as a healthy body. Our faith actually calls us to be advocates for mental health, to help each other when needed, and not to abandon anyone, especially in their suffering. Jesus lived among the sick and ministered to people who were seen as unclean. He is a perfect example of how we as Catholics should love our neighbor and take care of each other. But the Church’s past few popes (Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis) have expressed a need that aligns with Jesuit vow of service, caring for the whole person. Just as we are called to support each other in physical, tangible ways, we are also to care for them spiritually. This is where prayer comes into play. It’s important to pray for the sick, because we alone can’t work miracles. We have been given the gift of medicine and technology, but mental illness attacks the soul just as much as the mind and body. By praying for each other, we are aiding in spiritual healing. It also helps encourage the afflicted to pray and turn to God in moments of suffering. Again, God doesn’t want us to suffer! In fact, He took ALL human suffering and sin on His back and sacrificed Himself so that we might know peace and salvation! God wants us to turn to Him in times of need. He loves us so completely and perfectly that He wants to sit with us in the suffering and heal us. He is all powerful, but He is also gentle and patient. The only way He will meet us in our suffering is with an invitation. He won’t force His love on us. Instead He waits for us to turn to Him with arms wide open ready to receive us. This is what the power of prayer can do for those suffering with mental illness, and how worth the suffering it is!

My Experience

I want to leave today’s post with my own experience in this topic. I was one of those people who made my depression my entire identity. I absolutely hated when people told me, “I’m praying for you,” because I didn’t understand the importance of it. I think I told people to keep their prayers and that I didn’t want them. I was convinced that the Church denied anything about mental health because it wasn’t clean or glamorous. This was a time in my life when I despised the Catholic faith, well before my conversion. I didn’t experience the power of prayer till my junior year of high school on a retreat called Kairos. What helped me understand the power of prayer was understanding God’s love more. I realized how incredible it was that He died for my sake, and loves me so perfectly that He chose to put me on this earth and bless me with the life I have. This initial experience is why I find serenity in prayer. This might sound a little crazy, but I truly believe that mental illness is the devil’s most powerful tool to use against us. When I have my worst depressive episodes, I fully turn away from God. I despise myself and everything I am. I don’t want to do anything or be with anyone. This self-loathing and isolation is exactly what the devil wants from us. His whole mission is to take us from the Lord. Mental illness is the perfect tool for that because it first attacks the mind, but that trickles down into the body, our passions, our relationships, and our spirituality. I’ve wondered why I feel so much better after I’ve prayed, and it’s because prayer is the easiest form of warding off the devil’s hold on us! Thehe Lord has taught us a way out of this despair, and that’s through prayer. He taught us how to speak with Him and be in communion with Him here on earth. He basically gave us a retreat into His love and mercy, and He will never turn us away.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or suicide, know that you are not alone. Call the hotlines below for help.
  1. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988
  2. National Mental Health Hotline: 866-903-3787


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What is Discernment?

Vocation. Our purpose in life. It’s a heavy topic, but there is no right way to go about figuring it out. So how do you actually “discern” what your purpose in life is? How do you listen to what God is telling you without making something up in your head? What seems like an impossible task is actually really simple to approach! So let’s dive in!

Definition at Its Simplest

Discernment is the process you go through to figure out your personal callings throughout your life and your natural/supernatural Vocation. Basically, it’s a state of prayerfully considering your different passions in life and deciding what path God is calling you to. I really want to stress the PRAYERFUL consideration. Our “calling” or “purpose” can be a super daunting thing to figure out. As young adults, we have a lot of pressure eon us to know what we want to do in life as early as high school so that we can choose the right college to get the right job to make money. There is also a pressure from the workforce that we need to have years of industry experience before we can apply to entry level positions. That means that we need to figure out what we’re passionate about and FAST! Discernment helps quiet all of the noise and pressure from the world and focus on what sets your heart on fire and what God has made you for. It reorients your mind and prayer on what you’re telling yourself and what you hear God tell you.

Listening to God

So for God to talk to you the sky needs to split open and a chorus of angels will sing to you and the heavens will come to earth, right? It doesn’t need to be that fantastic! Our desires and thoughts at their root are good! God puts desires in our hearts because He wants us to have passions and wants us to care about the things we do. A really common way that God speaks to us about our vocations is through our thoughts and feelings! I’ve found that the best way to purely listen to your feelings in prayer is through taking inventory of your thoughts and feelings. In my own discernment journey, I got some advice from a vocational director and Jesuit priest. He told me to take the time to pray for vocations in general, list out the consolations and desolations of what I’m considering, and list out the pros and cons of my choices.

Pray for Vocations

Praying for vocations is easy, or os I thought. All you have to do is pray for people considering religious life, or people who have already started their careers, or people who are deciding between career paths, or people deciding if they’d make a good spouse and parent. What I didn’t understand is that you need to include yourself in your prayer. Suddenly your prayer of “Lord I pray that Your Will be apparent to [person],” becomes “Lord I pray Your Will be apparent to me.” That’s so much more surreal! You realize that you’re not only praying for other people to surrender their desires and expectations and follow God’s plan for them, you’re praying for the same to happen to you! Surrender is SUCH a hard thing to fully enter into. You have to put aside all of your expectations and the things that you want right now for yourself and give it all to God. However, that means we give up all the control we think we have in over our life. Personally, I like thinking I’m in control over my destiny or calling or whatever you want to call it. However, discernment forces you to humble yourself. The Lord in His infinite wisdom knows what’s best for us and what will satisfy us on this earth, even mores that we know right now. If there’s something we don’t have that we want, God isn’t trying to deny us happiness or punish us. He’s saying, “I know you want this right now, but just wait and see what I have in store for you!” By praying for our vocations and vocations of others, we’re opening ourselves up to His will and that special thing He has in store for us.

Consolation and Desolation

An important thing to weigh is the gains and sacrifices of each vocation. What are the aspects of each vocation that are rewarding and fulfilling to you? When people think about consolations, it’s easy to get wrapped up in what you’re excited for or what you’re hoping for. Consolation isn’t excitement so much as it is peace. You can be excited to get married, but does marriage give you peace? You can be excited to be a rich lawyer in New York, but does that lifestyle offer you emotional stability? Excitement is definitely a good thing, and if you’re excited about something, that shows you have a passion for it! However, vocations aren’t about what gets you hyped. Vocations are a way for us to outwardly serve our various communities and glorify the Lord by our lives. Excitement takes on more of a self-serving mindset, where as peace and serenity relate to a sense of belonging.

Desolations work in the same way. Desolations aren’t necessarily about what you’re not looking forward to. They’re actually what you would be missing out on if you chose a certain path. A desolation of marriage might be not being able to sleep around and date other people. A desolation for that fancy lawyer job might be not getting to live in the country with a green, open yard like the one you grew up with. Consolations and desolations force you to be honest about what you care about and weigh the differences between options. Do you really care about racking up a body count? Do you really value a spacious yard for your home? Prayerfully considering your consolations and desolations helps narrow your focus of what you value in a vocation!

Pros and Cons

We’ve all made a pros and cons list. You split the paper down the middle and write the good things on one side and the bad things on the other side. So how do these differ from consolations and desolations? Remember, consolations are what aspects provide you with peace and desolations are the things you’d be missing out on should you choose a certain vocation. They take inventory of your feelings and reactions to actions. Pros and cons are more practical and physical. A pro of marriage might be never having to come home to an empty house. A con might be that you have to financially support more than just yourself. A pro to that lawyer job might be a six-figure income, but a con could be having to live in an apartment building in the city with loud surroundings and a high rent. Because we are physical beings in a tangible world, we can’t discount the physical nature of our vocations. What is actually practical for your lifestyle? Do you generally see yourself able to deal with the cons of your decision? It’s not fair for us to choose a path that we actually feel miserable in. God didn’t create us to suffer, even for the sake of glorifying Him. He loves us so much that He created us to experience life and make the most of it. Sure there are heard times, but life isn’t ONLY suffering. That wouldn’t be fair to us, and God sees that. So deciding what pros outweigh the cons for you is vital to choosing a vocation.

Available, Necessary, and Mindful

There is one last aspect of discernment that I think is super crucial, but often ignored. Firstly, is the vocation you’re choosing even an option for you? Do you have the necessary education/experience/skills to pursue your vocation? Is it possible for you to get hired as a lawyer in New York? Are you setting yourself up for marriage appropriately? Next, consider the necessity of your vocation. Does the community you’re living in really need a lawyer? Does the community you’re living in really need another couple? These questions sound harsh, but don’t be afraid! The answer is almost always yes, especially when it comes to natural/supernatural vocations! Assuming you’ve prayerfully considered the consolations, desolations, pros, and cons of a certain vocation, chances are that you’ve seen a need for the thing you want to offer the community. We learn from our experiences, and if you’ve experienced a lack in legal representation in your community and have the drive and passion to pursue law, then it completely makes sense for you to follow this path! There are no tricks or compromises. I promise that the Lord is working with you, not against you. If you’ve put in the work and thought and prayer, He will lead you on the right path! Lastly, it’s imperative that your decision is made mindfully and prayerfully. Are you making this decision to serve God and give back to the community? Are you thinking not only of yourself but of how your work will glorify God? Are keeping in mind and staying open to God’s direction and willing to let go of the control you think you have over your life? I pray that the answer to these questions is yes, because that is the root of vocation and why it’s so important. Vocation is humbling and can be difficult, but how beautiful is it to offer all you do and are to the Lord!


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Married ASAP!

Anyone have their MRS degree yet? How about a sparkly golden band on their ring finger? Engagement and marriage is a beautiful, exciting time in the lives of people called to a natural Vocation! On the other hand, it can seem like a race to the finish line. I personally feel like I’m “behind” in the whole dating game. I love seeing my friends getting engaged or married, but it just reminds me that I’m nowhere near that altar and white dress. Here’s the thing, IT’S OK! Is it important to get married ASAP? Is there a right timeline to get married?

The Pressure is Real

Part of the problem of rushing to the altar comes from pressure from our peers and family. Mothers are anxiously waiting to grandmothers, and our society puts value in whether or not you’re single. For some reason, we have this notion that being single makes you a loser or failing at life. Maybe it’s because the long-established notion of the “dream life” includes a large house with a fenced in lawn for you and your spouse to raise your perfect son and daughter with a golden retriever running around. Maybe your family has told you that life is about going to school so you can get a good job, become successful, meet your spouse, get married, have children, and that’s it. Or maybe the pressure comes from your peers and friends. It’s easy to compare yourself to your friends, especially when they have something you want. We put our worth in whether or not other people find us attractive and compare our “score” of interested partners with other people’s. I’ll be the first to say that I’ve compared people I know to myself and ask myself why I’M single and they’re engaged or in a long term relationship or whatever the case may be. Relationships are very coveted in our society. So when we finally DO have one, we don’t want to let it go because that’s our ticket to the finish line. Many people think that once you get married, then you’re done, you’ve made it. But really it’s just the beginning!

Start or End?

In the Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Matrimony is sacred and extremely important. Matrimony is the Vocation that feeds creation and faith development for future generations. During the sacrament, the two people die to each other and are united as one body rooted in Christ. With something so fantastic, it makes sense why it’s so coveted. Especially in Christian circles, there’s a huge amount of pressure to be married with kids by age 25, but is that hard and fast? Marriage means that you and your spouse are committed to growing toward God together. I’ve wondered how marriage can be the right Vocation because you’re not serving the Lord in the same way people in religious life are, but it’s JUST AS VALID! Being married is the physical example of God’s love for us on earth. By getting married, a couple honors and demonstrates the very love that led to our salvation, the love Christ demonstrated when He died for us. Getting married also demonstrates to other couples how to fulfill your Vocation of marriage. You are choosing to enter into this spousal relationship just as Christ and the Church did. It’s super important that you take the time you need to figure out how to prepare yourself for this commitment and with whom.

Mr/Mrs. Right

Our dating culture has two extremes. One the one hand, people fully embrace hook-up culture and are single well into adulthood. On the other hand, people get married right after college and have kids before they’re 30. I’m not judging either extreme, but one is slow and one is fast. So for people dating for marriage, where’s the timeline?? Here’s the thing, IT DEPENDS ON YOU! I’ve heard people say things like “dating for two years is too long!” or “they’ve only been together for 6 months, that’s too quick!” Discernment doesn’t come with a road map or a checklist. It’s extremely subjective to you and your life. This is why I think it’s so important to TAKE THE TIME YOU NEED! I could sit here and tell you that in one year, you and your partner need to be engaged if not already married, but I’d be lying. Nobody knows how long you and your partner need to grow and be able to say “I do.” Once you get to the altar, that is a HUGE commitment. You are not only agreeing to be examples of God’s love among the world, you are agreeing to be someone’s partner FOREVER in the journey to get to heaven. That’s why it is so crucial to take time to actively discern your relationship. Work and grow together before the altar and prepare yourself for the commitment to come. There is no hard and fast timeline, really there isn’t. You and your partner are unique to everyone else around you. It’s super easier said than done, but do what you can to be present in YOUR relationship. Don’t listen to other people’s pressure about when you’re going to get married and have kids. Not staying present in your own relationship can lead to comparisons and unnecessary stress which isn’t fait to you or your spouse. If you need a year to fully know that this is the person you are going to die to yourself for, then take that year! If you’ve been dating for 8 months and don’t have a doubt in your mind, then that’s ok too. I can’t make that judgement for you, and neither should anyone else, except maybe a spiritual director or mentor.

Quantity vs. Quality

Instead of focusing on how long to date for, focus more on what you’re doing during that season of dating. Are you calling each other higher in the faith? Are you guarding each other’s hearts by practicing chastity and restraint? Are you having the tough conversations needed to become stronger and fall deeper in love? Are you giving each other the support needed to be the best person you can be? Are you praying together? These are all super important things to consider when you’re in the season of dating. These “areas” we’ll call them help prepare you and your relationship for the evolution into engagement and marriage that comes with a natural Vocation. And no one knows how long it’s going to take until you’re in it, going through the season yourself. So all that to be said, I see you in the stress of finding a partner, of getting married, and know that you are SO valid for having that stress. But in a way, that stress is good because it shows how much you value your relationship or your Vocation! That care and passion will be/is greatly appreciated by your partner! You’re already starting on the road to the altar, and it’s ok to take whatever time you need. I’m not saying too stretch things out more than you need to, but give yourselves the grace to do your relationship your way! After all, it’s the two of you and God in the relationship, so do what YOU need! The rest of the world can catch up or wait.


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