What kind of woman does fall in love with a priest? We have met countless examples. It’s very difficult to find a common character or trait. Yet in most cases none of them wanted to get involved. This is contrary to what some conservatives claim, that they are devils in disguise or looking for priests. There are a lot of circumstances where one leads to another and finally the woman realises that she is falling, head over heals, in love with her friend-priest. In most cases the woman is shocked, and it takes a long time to understand what’s really going on…..the priest in most cases is the one who denies any feeling at all. He is most likely to live in denial. But let’s give space to a real woman to write about what happened to her heart. It comes straight from the heart. This author could become a famous writer because she writes sincerely, and remembers some tiny details in her relationship with her priest and succeeds in putting all her feelings in writing………She is Jacqueline (name changed to protect privacy).
I am in love with a priest. And I want to say up front that we have never admitted feelings for one another, let alone done anything physical. I would never be open to anything “clandestine” and certainly nothing physical before marriage.
 I first saw him two years ago when I attended mass at the parish he’s currently assigned at, and at the time didn’t like him at all. He was all frown and rubbed me the wrong way in his homily.  He spotted me as he was walking back from the altar, looked again, and this thought went through my mind: “This man will fall in love with you.” The thought shocked me, because it was like it wasn’t a part of my thought process – more of an insert out of nowhere.  I thought, “Oh well, he rubs me the wrong way, and he’s already ordained a priest…..so that’s unfortunate.” But at that time I didn’t give it much thought.
Gradually, I started volunteering through the parish, and he happened to be involved with several of the groups. His actions and behaviors towards me quickly confirmed three things: 1) He was really attracted to me, 2) The attraction scared the heck out of him, and 3) He wanted to get closer but didn’t dare or know quite how. Once again, for six months I thought not too much of it – although I came to see what a good heart he has and was no longer annoyed by him. There was one instance where he tried to reach out, but I could sense his feelings and pulled away, cutting off the conversation to a quick hello and goodbye. I was afraid of giving him in any way the wrong impression, or God forbid – “tempting” him.
Then, one day, I was at a daily mass he was celebrating, and I could tell my feelings for him had grown. It scared me. I didn’t dare to look at him hardly during mass, and murmured the Saint Michael prayer under my breath whenever I caught my thoughts heading that direction. Basically, I stuffed everything down and tried to ignore it. I would treat him politely, but without the openness or affection I showed for everyone else around us. I was terrified any little hint would give away my feelings to him – or to others. Then, a couple months later, yet again at another daily mass he was celebrating, I finally admitted to myself, “You are in love with this man.” I admitted defeat, and went home and cried.
I debated for a good while not going back to that parish to volunteer – even though I’d helped build up a community and had many good new friends. And he – the priest, had grown by leaps and bounds.  I resolved to stay and not to “run away” or “hide”.  It made me smile to myself, every time I came around, and since I’d been around, he lit up. Instead of running away from everyone after the events, he’d started to stay and chat. He started to change. He was more mature, and he was HAPPY. Then he would catch himself, as if all of a sudden realizing how far his emotions had taken him, and backtrack. He would send me messages like, “great to talk to you tonight”, and would enjoy getting to know me, but then become agitated and have to physically leave my presence. One night, he and I were walking and talking – and it became more and more apparent just how similar we are – how much we mirror each other. When he thought I wasn’t looking, he looked up to the sky, and mouthed silently and in frustration, to God it seemed, “Why?”
It hurts – it hurts like you wouldn’t believe. I can see how much he loves and cares for me, though he might not realize how obvious it is, but he thinks he’s stuck where he’s at – despite the cracks that keep forming in the current lens of his life. He’s a very good and dedicated man – and when he was ordained – and ordained young, I doubt he knew these feelings were possible. I see him fight them now, tooth and nail. And in all this – despite the turbulence of his feelings – he as NO idea that they’re reciprocated. I’ve purposely kept them as hidden as possible to protect the both of us. When I show the slightest bit of affection, I can see the love on his face – it’s so obvious to me – and I worry others will notice his reactions as well. Being in a more conservative diocese – people are suspicious, and unfortunately more merciless.
So for now, I continue to volunteer – and to pray. But in the long run, I don’t really know what I should think, or do. I ask God, as he did, “Why?!” I know I shouldn’t feel guilty for my feelings, but I do. I know how other Catholics here would react – and especially how they treat him if they had any suspicions. And what’s more – despite the fact that he’s not at peace nor content with the state he’s currently in – how could he overcome the impossible obstacles in the way? His large and extremely conservative family, all of his brother priests and parishioners who love and respect him? And why would he risk any of it – when he still has no idea how I feel about him? But how can I approach him with that? I can’t. It wouldn’t be right I don’t think – and could be unintentionally a “lure”.  I feel trapped and I don’t want to live in any kind of naive and vain hope that he’d be willing to risk everything if he knew how I felt.
Why Rev. does love have to be this “shameful” in the Catholic world? Since when were priests not human beings? When did the women who fall in love with them turn into the Devil incarnate? How can we heal a Church full of people who don’t know their thinking is sick at it’s roots?
Thank you once again for your time. I hope this will help other women and priests in similar situations realize they’re not alone.
Thanks Jacqueline. We wish all our readers that they’ll experience the birth of Jesus Christ in their hearts. The ones who fell in love will surely know the meaning of love, hence they’re going to give birth to a special and unique relationship with God. We pray for the priests in order to accept the gift of love not as a sin, but rather as the biggest catalyst in their spiritual life in order to live fully their priesthood vocation!
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