Love Springs Eternal

by Sr. Mary Virginia
(USA)

Yes, that’s right, even at the age of 57. As an older nun you’d think I’d know better right? Wrong! One time, on a 30-day retreat, I met this cute little priest all of 28 years and my heart went bingo.

He was young, lots of fun and appealed to my adolescent sense of careless fun.

His level of maturity was closer to 15 than 28. He wore torn off jeans, a baseball cap turned backwards (on a retreat no less!!). He sported shoulder length raven colored hair, a stubbly chin and a thin mustache. He laughed heartily and liked to joke around. That’s what attracted me.

I am drawn to persons who like to joke and have fun..

I knew instinctively from the start that this was pure adolescent attraction…but what the heck it was fun. I was not pretending or thinking to be ministering or providing spiritual direction for this young priest.

Even though it was innocent and not a physical relationship, it didn’t take long to figure out how inappropriate the situation was for a nun and a priest.

How did it end you might ask…One fine day, the retreat ended and so did my infatuation. (Retreats aren't supposed to be fun, but that one was!)

However, love springs eternal and had I been 15 and he 16 we would surely have been dancing and laughing our hearts out at the school prom.

I learned something about myself as well. I had the good sense to know I wasn’t doing ministry or spiritual direction in this situation. This made it easier to set things straight as well as re-establishing appropriate boundaries.

Comments for Love Springs Eternal

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This rates a smile and a chuckle.
by: editor

It's pretty common to become infatuated with other people the way you did with the young priest. But, recognizing it for what it was, and not taking it seriously to the point where you would have crossed boundaries inappropriately is your strong point.

Hope you got some prayer time in at the retreat ;)

editor

In agreement
by: Sr. Virginia

You're absolutely right...This episode has given
me many laughs since!

It has also made me realize that a nun dressed in a habit is not immune from such happenings.

It is important to be aware of your real motivations and to monitor your behavior frequently. The good old "examen of conscience" is a great tool for such things.

Secondly, if you should make a mistake it is never to late to re-establish your boundaries and move on. It does no one good to keep lamenting over righted mistakes. You may even have many laughs over them as I have!

i am curious to know if anyone else out there has had similar experiences. Why not share them?


How Can You Tell?
by: A Young Nun in Denver

How can I tell if I am infatuated? What are the signs?

I am a young nun and have just begun a new teaching position. I am often in contact with the men who do maintenance around the school. I have become particularly friendly with one of them. I find myself thinking about him often...even during prayer.

Is this wrong, am I infatuated?
What do you do with these feelings of attraction?
Can I overcome these feelings?

Love springs eternal
by: Admin

If you appreciate beauty in other people and respond to an attractive personality you cannot and should not overcome these feelings.

If you cannot appreciate the beauty and attractiveness of others, you are not alive.

though you are a young nun, you would have the same issue if you were married. Ordination, profession,and marriage do not nullify a person's sexuality. But ordination, profession and marriage limit a person's sexual behavior.

So, it is not an issue of overcoming your sexual attraction to others, but managing it in conformity with the promises you have made to God and other people.

And, yes, you do sound infatuated with the man you write about. But, this is probably going to happen throughout life.

So, what is your management plan for those times you fall into infatuation?

You've already taken the first step by acknowledging it for what it is and not pretending the time you spend with him is ministry.

So, what will your next steps be?


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