Discernment Basics • Meeting 4
Celibacy, Chastity, Charity, and Cheerfulness
Discernment Basics • Meeting 4
Celibacy, Chastity, Charity, and Cheerfulness

Springboard Questions

Business items

  • Any updates on the service project or social outing?
  • Who’s been the most influential person in your life?
  • Do you have any pets? Anything unusual? (Fr. Brannen once had a monkey!)

Video

Celibacy, Chastity, Charity, and Cheerfulness (10 minutes)

  • General reactions to the video.

Readings

Read aloud: Pages 215-218 in To Save a Thousand Souls

  1. General reactions to the reading.
  2. The author speaks of a widespread “sexual abuse” because of our sexually disordered culture. How does this impact discerning celibacy?
  3. “I can never become a priest because I like girls too much.” But there are 400,000 celibate priests in the world today! What does this teach us about sexuality? About self-mastery? About the grace of God?
  4. Do you think living a celibate life could lead to joy and happiness? Why or why not?

Read aloud: Pages 234-235, section “Is it Ethically Permissible for a Man Who is Seriously Discerning Priesthood to Date?” in To Save a Thousand Souls

  1. General reactions to the reading.
  2. What is your reaction to the idea of a dating fast? Be honest!
  3. At what point in discerning priesthood do you think you would need to enter a “dating fast”?
  4. Giving up a wife and family for the mystical Bride of Christ might seem ludicrous to many people in our society. How would you explain this to them?

Read aloud: Page 244, section “The Permanent Deacon Compromise” in To Save a Thousand Souls

  1. General reactions to the reading.
  2. In your own words, why does the “Permanent Deacon Compromise” not work?

Next Meeting

Please read, “Signs of a Priestly Vocation” (Chapter 5 in To Save a Thousand Souls)

Getting Serious? Visit a Seminary

While not an “essential element” of the discernment group, one of the best things you can do if you’re seriously considering the priesthood is visit a seminary. If you want to go the extra mile, organize a trip to the nearest seminary. Often, the Vocation Office will help organize the trip and cover travel costs.