Consecrated lay single?


#1

what are some ways of doing this? i mean consecration outside of a religious order

i only know of the order of virgins. are there other ways?


#2

You can make a life-long private vow of chastity to God. You can ask to be consecrated to Him and to consecrate your virginity if you are a virgin. God will let you know if He’s done it. If you ask Him to marry you and He says “yes” than you are mystically married to Him and He will let you know if He does say “yes,” (although I mean this in a spiritual sense, but He could potentially appear.) Such people are not encouraged to tell people about their private vows, but they can if they choose. They are still laypeople, but with real vows and or mystical consecrations and marriages so are not really “single” as single people can date and get married. Of course, if one makes a private vow of life-long chastity, and later changes their mind, they may ask a priest to dispense them from the vow. As for the other two things, I’m not so sure–at least not if the person was completely serious and sincere about what they were asking for and were mature enough to realize the seriousness of such things.

St. Catherine of Siena made a private life-long vow of chastity to God.

Then, there are consecrated lay communities with their own vows, which do not include a vow of chastity such as in a religious order, meaning you can be married and the vow of chastity is simply a vow to live as a chaste Catholic in your situation and your’re semi-consecrated–either as a single or married person. Of course, consecrated virgins too may join with no new consecration as they are already consecrated–at least that is how I understand it as why would they have another consecration?


#3

There are also secular institutes, which are a form of consecrated life that does not include communal (or hermit) life. The exact charism differs according to the institute, but it generally means taking vows as a consecrated religious, but continuing to live in the secular world (in your own appartment, for example).


#4

I made private vows to the evangelical counsels over 30 years ago now living a specific Gospel way of life. A Home Mass was approved by my Archbishop to renew and receive the vows. The application was made through our Vicar General. The Home Mass took place on the Solemnity of The Assumption 15th August 2015. I have a Rule of Life which is a quite specific Gospel way of life. The Rule was approved by my spiritual director, priest religious. I see him regularly and have done now over a lengthy period of time and this continues. Attending the Home Mass were my family and some close friends which included Carmelite nuns. About 18 attendees in all.
The problem I had in my diocese was that there were only three secular institutes with communities in our diocese - these particular institutes did not attract me - I felt no call to them. I did feel very strongly that if a joined a community in a Secular Institute, I would want to be able to attend all meetings and so institutes in other locations and states did not attract either.
I would absolutely recommend secular institutes however, along with all vocations in the consecrated state. If one has the necessary qualities for any vocation in the consecrated state, then to my mind one should discern them with spiritual direction. God most generously has gifted the qualities. Vocations in the Consecrated State are religious life, consecrated virginity, hermits under Canon 603 and secular institutes.

I would strongly advise anyone making any sort of private vow or vows to do so with spiritual direction and on an ongoing basis. This is not absolutely a necessity with a private vow or vows- just wisdom and prudence in operation. Some can think it is an easy way of life - it isn’t. Like all vocations, it has its blessings and Joys - it also has the cross and suffering. But insofar as I am concerned the Peace and Joy this life has granted me is a return one hundredfold and more on what I have given. There is no Christ without His Cross.

Pope Benedict said that spiritual direction is for all the faithful (no matter vocation including Laity) who are taking their baptism and Faith journey seriously. zenit.org/en/articles/pope-recommends-spiritual-direction-to-everyone


#5

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