Can Permanent Single Life be an option


#1

To All:

Would like to bring up a subject which have seen different advice
stated by various Catholic religious figures. I was listening to
Sister Rosalind Moss (she heads Daughters of Mary, Mother of
Her Hope) a while back on EWTN. And I listened closely as she
thought we had really only 2 vocations in life . And that was the
was the religious life or married life. She made a point of it-so am
pretty sure heard Sister correctly. I do not necessarily disagree-
as respect Sister Rosalind a lot.

But take the example below- am a male in my 50’s who lives in
Reno, Nevada. I am a life long Catholic who tries (but many times
fails) in trying to lead my life through Christ the best that can with
the talents given me. I have never been blessed by marriage but
am very happy and do not feel left out that have never been mar-
ried. In fact have been very blessed in my life.

In situations like myself-does the church expect that I try to marry?
Or shouldn’t I keep on the way that my life has gone this far? Trying
o serve and love to the best of my ability through Christ’s love.

Would be open to marriage or the religious life i f called-but that it is
possible that have not been called for either. Since am 54 years old-
just don’t expect to wake up some day soon and say should be have
been married.

I guess the question is basically. If you are a faithful Catholic and
have not had a chance to be married/or a calling to the religious life. And
you are fulfilled with the single life-in serving Christ in the church. Is it
possible that Christ has called you to be single for your entire life.
Have heard contrary advice on this matter.

Would appreciate the readers take on this.

Timothy From Reno


#2

Just like “I guess I’m not called to be a priest, gotta get married” is not a vocational call, so is the extention of not being called to be a priest or be married.

The holy single life is a CALLING. Most people are called to be single for a short time only. Many of my friends are single. I’d say I know atleast 50 single people, most in various stages of singlehood. I’m not close to alot of them, and I don’t know thier spiritual interworkings, but out of all those people only ONE I believe is truly called to the holy single life.

He is completely in love with God, much like a religious brother or a priest, but does not feel the call to community life. His first and foremost goal is to live with God. However, his “freedom” of not being in a community allows him to bring great healing to a hurting world. He can talk on the phone for hours or go out until midnight. He can pray closley with people without fear of scandal. Now, he dosn’t see himself as a light to the world or anything…but from the outside, I can see it. The good he does is remarkable.

I wouldn’t challenge his vocation in any way, shape or form. At the same time, I think it’s incredibly rare. Like maybe one in 100,000 people. Certinally not the 70/20 split of single vs married or religious that we see today. Many of those people are simply growing in God until they find their perminate vocation.

Now, God does look favoribly upon obediance, purity and acceptace. Perhaps through no fault of your own you “missed” your original calling, perhaps the woman or women God picked out for you chose not to follow His Will. Maybe those suitable people were killed by abortion. (This is a horrifically scary thought for someone my age) Maybe the order that you were ment to join went defunct, or maybe they made bad decisions towards obedience and are now in schism and God wanted to prevent you from that tragedy.

So, you, by default, are living the single life, when that may or may not have been what God intended. Thing is that you must CONSTANTLY give your life to God.

I’m not great at it, but I’m learning, especally at the point I’m at right now. Giving it ALL to God makes all the difference. I am confident in where I am and what I’m doing when it comes to my vocation.


#3

It sounds to me like you're living your vocation just fine, as you said, you're open. You're not responsible for external circumstances!


#4

Single for the the Lord is definitely a vocation in the world and to the church. It comes from St. Paul and he writes of it with regards to men in 1 Corinthians 7:32-33.


#5

[quote="Timothy_Crown, post:1, topic:231528"]

I guess the question is basically. If you are a faithful Catholic and
have not had a chance to be married/or a calling to the religious life. And
you are fulfilled with the single life-in serving Christ in the church. Is it
possible that Christ has called you to be single for your entire life.
Have heard contrary advice on this matter.

Would appreciate the readers take on this.

Timothy From Reno

[/quote]

I am Catholic, and I have no calling to the religious live at allwhatsover. And I have not had the calling to be married yet, if I ever will and I am 41. I am single and enjoy the freedom and independence. I have no idea what God has in store for me in the future, but I believe He's had a very big hand in journey through life. I'd be open to being married in the future, but right now God is calling me to be single, maybe being married in the future, and definitely not part of a religious order.


#6

The single life is a calling. In fact I know women and a man who are consecrated singles, meaning they take vows of singleness as serve as lay people not in a religious order. This allows them to be able to do way more since they do not have a family.


#7

[quote="jackiem, post:6, topic:231528"]
The single life is a calling. In fact I know women and a man who are consecrated singles, meaning they take vows of singleness as serve as lay people not in a religious order. This allows them to be able to do way more since they do not have a family.

[/quote]

This is the first (within a few weeks, and on this forum) that I am hearing about taking vows of singleness and servicing as a lay person. I've never heard of that before.... I'm just single. I don't know any consecrated singles...


#8

My brother is 58 and never been married. He hasn’t dated anyone for years and years and is happy being a companion and occasional caregiver for our mother ( 85 years old).

I believe this was probably his calling in life. He is mostly happy living single, and only occasionally worries about being alone once our mom leaves this earth.

I do believe the Lord wiill look after him and I try to tell him not to wrry about the future.


#9

I know many Catholic mature adults who are living a single vocation… .and yes, it can be a vocation, just as can the priesthood or marriage. It has its challenges, as does any vocation, but if you are happy and don’t feel that anything is missing - more power to you for being true to yourself!

PS - I even know some older married couples who felt called to chastity later in their life.


#10

To all the posters:

Want to thankyou for the insight and comments concerning my
initial post about single life as a possible vocation.

Respectfully
Timothy From Reno


#11

Sure, there are consecrated singles and not just that they have never been married. Our bible study moderator was once married and is now a consecrated single (meaning she has vowed to serve the church through evangelization, in her case, although there are other means). Being single is definitely a vocation, in fact you might want to read the following from Holy Scripture:

1 Cor 7: 7-8 and 25-31, 32-35.

That may change your perspective.

Before I got married, I wondered about it myself, being a devout Catholic and having religious in the family (priests and nuns). But I was so at peace being single. But God had other plans and now am married. If I hadn’ t gotten married, I think I would still be very happy and at peace with the decision. Count your blessings :slight_smile:


#12

If you’re permanently single, think of it as being a free agent for God’s team. You are free to do things (hopefully good things:rolleyes:) that others cannot because of their commitments.


#13

I don’t really have a “perspective”…I just didn’t know about consecrated single life. It’s totally fine with me if someone wants to be a consecrated single for life. I’m glad that’s available for them if that’s what they want. That’s just not for me. I’m happily single and enjoy my independence and freedom. The thought of getting married one days seems okay to me, if the right person comes along. But I am not actively looking either.


#14

[quote="Nec5, post:12, topic:231528"]
If you're permanently single, think of it as being a free agent for God's team. You are free to do things (hopefully good things:rolleyes:) that others cannot because of their commitments.

[/quote]

Single people have their commitments too ;)


closed #15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.