Being single and useful to society

I’m still exploring vocations and am open to marriage and religious, but if both don’t turn out, I will most likely live a single life. I see some advantages to the single life over marriage - extra time and money to devote to God and others.

I have some ideas:

  1. Join a a religious community as a third order
  2. Volunteer
  3. Live a life of poverty by living off the minimum of one’s paycheck, spending the rest on others (charity, scholarships for students to attend Catholic schools, etc.)
  4. Be active in your parish
  5. Use that extra time/energy to excel in something that would benefit others (like scientists trying to find a cure, etc.)

Any other ideas?

Learn your faith really well so that you can help educate others.

  1. Answering questions on this forum
  2. Teaching CCD or RCIA classes in your parish or a neighboring one
  3. Get involved with bible studies
  4. Get involved with Pro-life work or soup kitchens

Just a few more ideas.

First, love the username! :thumbsup:

Second, if discerning, it would be a good idea to talk with a spiritual director.

I’m married, and can still do 2-5… Just know your limits, your time and balance things out.

**Volunteering **can cover a wide range of topics.

One could teach someone how to read or write, English as a second language like with Proliteracy.

Anyone could work with teaching catechism, volunteering at a hospital, nursing home, school, library, prisons, here or abroad. One could work with animals or the environment. Some cities have cleaning days for the city. One could work with certain populations…children, teens, adults, elderly. There are those who are blind or handicapped, physically or mentally or both.

There is a need for people such as extraordinarily eucharistic ministers.

There are positions which are longterm which go on for years and years. There are yet others that go for a single event, say, preparing and serving Thanksgiving dinner.

Some positions are for days, weeks, months, or years.

Volunteers are needed in your area and also abroad all over the entire world. Some offer a stipend and room and board. Some do not.

One of many sites that help match someone is:

volunteermatch.org/

Remember that the single life is not a true vocation. It should not be your end goal.

Lay single celibacy (single life) can indeed be a true vocation. You will note in the Vatican Document by Pope John Paul II (ON THE CONSECRATED LIFE AND ITS MISSION
IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE WORLD)and under the heading “Thanksgiving for The Consecrated Life” that the lay single celibate state is included.
The misunderstanding of the lay single celibate state (single life) as a potential call from God comes about through a misunderstanding of our Baptism as a formal consecration and rite to follow Jesus and His Gospel. Nowadays and increasingly on diocesan websites and other vocational websites, the single lay celibate state is indeed put forward as a potential vocation, simply because it could well be so and has always been so.

The single state can indeed be an end goal because it is actually and in reality necessarily a goal of following Jesus and His Gospel and dedicated/consecrated to this through Baptism in a life in the world “for The Kingdom”. It is a realization of the fullness of Baptism and personal commitment to it.

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_25031996_vita-consecrata_en.html

"Thanksgiving for the Consecrated Life **
… We are all aware of the treasure which the gift of the consecrated life in the variety of its charisms and institutions represents for the ecclesial community. Together let us thank God for the Religious Orders and Institutes devoted to contemplation or the works of the apostolate, for Societies of Apostolic Life, for Secular Institutes and for other groups of consecrated persons, as well as for all those individuals who, in their inmost
hearts, dedicate themselves to God by a special consecration.

Thanks for the replies! My end goal is to serve Christ, whatever state of life that happens to be, and yes I am in the process of finding a spiritual director to help with discernment, and also lots of prayer :). Cheers everyone!

By being single and in the world, I am more available to those who need me and am able to give them as much time as they need. If a friend’s got something on their mind and we end up talking well into the night, I don’t have to worry about the wife and kids I don’t have- I can be there for my friend. I will not stay in this state of life, but I am very thankful to have friends who will- they are able to selflessly and dependably be there for whoever may need them. They are in the world working secular jobs, and that won’t be changing any time soon, so that those who would never think to go to a church can still meet a very holy person who loves others without exclusivity.

As one finding himself in this lifestyle, at least temporarily, perhaps the best thing you can do is devote yourself fully to your worldly profession, understanding well that the service of God and humanity extends beyond those things that we would consider “churchy.”

But there’s another thing that no one is mentioning here. Bachelorhood becomes youth in many ways, as its flexibility is well-suited to youthful stamina. (I am taking it you are younger.) But that’s going to fade with time. Your friends will marry and go off to their destinies, and your contact with them will become rarer. Many at your parish and generally in social life will start wondering what’s wrong with you. Your work may be stimulating, but all professions have their ruts. You’ll find yourself less energetic and more lonely as time passes.

I’m dealing with this by accepting it as penance, as my share of the cross of Christ. It’s a difficult estate, to be sure, and one which, though perhaps more easily chosen in youth (or continued along by default), can lose its lustre as time passes. For this reason, I’d think that only the mature or older should consider a permanent state of lay celibacy. We all need to learn the good of penance in this lifetime, but the hardships of loneliness and isolation should be first experienced before committed to, presuming one has any choice in the matter, as you apparently do. The prospects of an ascetic lifestyle may in the end be a “push factor” into another state of life, perhaps one that one hadn’t considered in youth, and they may wind up, through their purgative properties, transforming one into a more suitable candidate for another estate.

Confirmed lay celibacy is a rather rare vocation; it’s best to be realistic about it and to work with a spiritual director before coming to a too hasty judgment.

I am truly blessed by God with the gift of being single. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in marriage and religious vocations, but not all of us are called to these wonderful vocations. I am very happy and content.

Since reverting, God has never let me feel lonely or alone. Whilst I know God is mighty and powerful, I get such a sense of friendship, love and tender care that makes me feel special and want to please Him. I know that He is God and I am a mere mortal (not special or talented in the secular world). I do not think I will (or want to) get over the awe at how much he cares for me, or the fact that He offers the same for everyone. I don’t know God’s plan for me, but I am confident that if He wants me to do something, He will let me know.

If I grow old and a bit lacking, I will forget to talk in my head and you will probably see me wandering down the road chatting away to my one and only true love - God.

I am in the lay celibate state (single life) and have been for over 30 years with private vows (spiritual director: priest religious superior).
Wherever I may find myself, those I come across are my community…and my particular mission or ‘vineyard’. I live a quite specific Gospel way of life.
Mine has been a very colourful and often quite difficult journey (I have been in monastic life twice, once in my teens, again in my early forties). Not all that long after I left monastic life the second time and both times it was my own decision to leave, I knew for sure what my vocation was (lay single celibacy) and I have never really looked back from there. Recently my director asked me to write a rule of life for myself, which I have done and he has approved it. There is another step for me ‘in the wings’ - and ‘in the wind’ - but too early just yet to speak about it until actual decisions are confirmed from higher up the ‘chain of command’.

It is very true that those in the lay celibate state of life - and especially as their vocation - are quite free to move wherever whenever most often. Wherever and whenever The Lord takes one. I have no responsibilities at home (I live alone) and do not have to ask anyone’s permission in the main. I may need to consult my director for really big decisions, but the rather ordinary everyday calls on my time are my own responsibility without needing to consult some other person. I am free to move.

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