How's This for A Life?

Work very hard in your place of work, at which you make a good salary. Keep up very good health and live with minimal worldly possessions. You are single. All excess money you donate to provide food for starving children in Sudan. Is that a valid way to live out a life?

Define “excess money”. If you are single and remain so the rest of your life, you better send a good chunk o’ dough into a good retirement fund and long-term health insurance. :slight_smile:

If it your choice to live like that, why wouldn’t it be valid?

I don’t see why that wouldn’t be valid. Donating is an obligation, whether you give treasure, talent, or time. Not to mention, it’s just a lovely thing to do. Some people are called to be single, no shame there!


I suppose the question I am asking is is that vocational?

it is a valid way to live for someone whom God has called to live in that way. It is also valid if you make sure your donation actually goes to feed starving children in the Sudan, and is not diverted by the warring sides in that sad country.

No not a vocation, its a single man who has a good job, lives minimally and gives a lot to the needy.

Its an honorable life.

The call to live a single live can be a vocational call.

There are not just two states of life, married and holy orders.

As someone said, please do save for your retirement.

I think it is a wonderful way to live. :slight_smile:

There are certainly more than two states of life, but I think only marriage or priesthood/religious life are vocations.

There’s nothing wrong with single life, if you’re not called to priesthood/religious life and never meet someone to marry, but I don’t think it rises to the level of a vocation.

In others words, people never marry for many valid reasons, but that doesn’t mean God calls people specifically never to marry (unless they are priests/religious or take other professed vows.)

God Bless

The Various Vocations in the Lay State

  1. The Church’s rich variety is manifested still further from within each state of life. Thus within the lay state diverse “vocations” are given, that is, there are different paths in the spiritual life and the apostolate which are taken by individual members of the lay faithful. In the field of a “commonly shared” lay vocation “special” lay vocations flourish. In this area we can also recall the spiritual experience of the flourishing of diverse forms of secular institutes that have developed recently in the Church. These offer the lay faithful, and even priests, the possibility of professing the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience through vows or promises, while fully maintaining one’s lay** or clerical state(204). In this regard the Synod Fathers have commented, “The Holy Spirit stirs up other forms of self-giving to which people who remain fully in the lay state devote themselves”(205).

ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965



  1. The Church was founded for the purpose of spreading the kingdom of Christ throughout the earth for the glory of God the Father, to enable all men to share in His saving redemption,(1) and that through them the whole world might enter into a relationship with Christ. All activity of the Mystical Body directed to the attainment of this goal is called the apostolate, which the Church carries on in various ways through all her members. For the Christian vocation by its very nature is also a vocation to the apostolate. No part of the structure of a living body is merely passive but has a share in the functions as well as life of the body: so, too, in the body of Christ, which is the Church, “the whole body . . . in keeping with the proper activity of each part, derives its increase from its own internal development” (Eph. 4:16).

[size=4]VITA CONSECRATA [/size]

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.

6. And while this perfect chastity is the subject of one of the three vows which constitute the religious state,[9] and is also required by the Latin Church of clerics in major orders[10] and demanded from members of Secular Institutes,[11] Quote:

it also flourishes among many who are lay people in the full sense: men and women who are not constituted in a public state of perfection and yet by private promise or vow completely abstain from marriage and sexual pleasures, in order to serve their neighbor more freely and to be united with God more easily and more closely.

  1. To all of these beloved sons and daughters who in any way have consecrated their bodies and souls to God, We address Ourselves, and exhort them earnestly to strengthen their holy resolution and be faithful to it.

Also from Sacra Virginitas:

5. Innumerable is the multitude of those who from the beginning of the Church until our time have offered their chastity to God. Quote:

Some have preserved their virginity unspoiled, others after the death of their spouse, have consecrated to God their remaining years in the unmarried state, and still others, after repenting their sins, have chosen to lead a life of perfect chastity; all of them at one in this common oblation, that is, for love of God to abstain for the rest of their lives from sexual pleasure.

May then what the Fathers of the Church preached about the glory and merit of virginity be an invitation, a help, and a source of strength to those who have made the sacrifice to persevere with constancy, and not take back or claim for themselves even the smallest part of the holocaust they have laid on the altar of God.

Vocation is taken from the Latin “vocare” and means simply “to call”. A vocation is a call from God to a specific mission or work in life. The call to the single celibate lay state is always most wisely and prudently discerned with spiritual direction and on an ongoing basis.
Can God call a person to live in the single celibate lay state for the sake of The Kingdom in some way - yes, He can although it is probably not the most common of vocations. And in calling them in this way, God is bestowing a “vocation” on that person. God has CALLED them - as He may call a person to religious life or to the priesthood or marriage. It is a call or vocation and experienced as such with the generally accepted three basic signs of a vocation.

*]Attraction to the life
*]Ability to lead the life
*]Acceptance into the life
[/LIST]Acceptance into the life for the single celibate lay state is through a spiritual director if one is wise and prudent - seeking assurance and guidance in the discernment journey. The ability to lead the life is affirmed in the same way. A vocation from God for one’s life is a serious matter to be treated accordingly.

Perhaps one day, The Church will have some kind of formal consecration for the single celibate lay state just as religious life began without such a formal consecration that now exists. At this point, however, a person called to live in the single celibate lay state can make a vow or vows during Mass with the agreement of the celebrant - including to the evangelical counsels and these are known as private vows. However, vows are not essential to the single celibate lay state. It can be in every way a completely hidden way of life between God and the person, although most wisely only ever undertaken with spiritual direction.

Private vows are covered under Canon Law.

Our baptism is a vocation. Our baptism is a call to live The Gospel and to follow Christ as a practising Catholic. To give our lives to God in some way - it may be through marriage, religious life and/or the priesthood - or it may be in the single celibate lay state.
At this point in time secular institutes of consecrated life are formally consecrated by The Church single celibate persons in the lay state who often live independantly (not in community) and are in the workforce - they are bound by The Church formally under poverty chastity and obedience. Not every single celibate lay person, however, receives a call or vocation to a secular institute - nor is it necessary to live single, celibate and in the lay state.

What is a vocation?

Vocation, of course, does not refer exclusively to religious life or priesthood: these, however, are so unusual that frequently in Catholic circles they alone are called “vocations.”

The word vocation means “a calling”; it is extremely important to keep this in mind. We are called by the providential arrangement of circumstances, by the realities of life, by our own limitations and potential, by the historical moment, and by our own emotional, intellectual and psychological needs. If one follows the teachings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church in this regard, one comes to accept that a vocation is found in the providential arrangement of significant aspects of life and also by the grace which we receive to make the best of these situations.

The loss of awareness of this providential aspect of vocation is one of the things that leads to an immense insecurity in modern life. When people forget the divine and providential element in their lives, they try desperately to find a course through life like a man on a raft with neither rudder nor map.

It has been a consistent belief of Christians that the Lord gives each of us something to do, some work to perform that makes us an essential link in the chain of life. Parents pass on life to their children and, by good examples, instruction, encouragement and membership in the Church contribute to their growth in the life of grace.

Single people, including priests and religious, pass on life in a psychological and spiritual way by being a help to those around them. This passing on of life and grace is the ultimate vocation of the Christian. Cardinal Newman sums it up well when he says: “I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. God has not created me for nothing. I shall do good; I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth, in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments.”

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