The Mystery of Love for the Single
"The Mystery of Love for the Single" is the title of a book by Fr. Dominic J. Unger, O.F.M. Cap.
The sub-title is "A Guide for Those Who Follow The Single Vocation in the World." First published in the year 1958. Republished by TAN BOOKS in 2005.
Being a rather new Catholic, I had not been aware that the VOCATION of being single did not mean one had to be a Priest or other Religious. So this book was an eye-opener. It draws heavily on Pope XII's encylical "On Holy Virginity".
Of course, life as a single in a world obsessed with sex (and maybe also marriage) is not going to be easy. Think of such derogatory terms like "old maid" and "spinster".
This books covers all the rewards, problems, and requirements for such a life, including the use of a Private Vow. Fr. Dominic suggests that this lifetime vow be done between the ages of 25-40. Before the age of 25, he suggests taking a vow for a year at a time.
Why? Well, this book was written in 1958, and nowhere can be found the dreaded "M" word. (masturbation) The Good Father dances around the topic of Chastity and Purity without actually mentioning the concept of solo sex.
Several chapters are devoted to sound advice on the practical aspects of this lifestyle, including dangers to be avoided. Anyone single, under age 40, and wondering about a consecration to Christ should read this book.
There is more. Fr. Dominic talks also to those who are widowed (of either sex), or for one reason or another are seperated from their spouse but not in a situation of annulment. He gives suggestions and advice on living the rest of your life in single chastity.
And, finally, Fr. Dominic talked to me. I had wondered what impulse had made me buy this book, even though I am age 63, a eunuch, and have lived a very sinful life as far as sexuality is concerned. It is to be found on page 107. It is way too long to repeat here, but you can read it if you buy the book. As far as I am concerned, these are my Marching Orders as a repentent sinner, to live the rest of my life in chastity and atonement.
Highly recommended reading, even if you are not single. If nothing else, you will understand the struggles of those who choose this vocation, and you can even lend this book to friends who might be discerning this vocation.