Is being single a cross to bear?

I’m sure this topic has been covered many, many times before. But, since I’m new here, I figure I can get away with it. :wink:

I’ve been struggling with my vocation to marriage and motherhood lately. I’ve discerned this for my life, and with each passing year, I feel it’s less and less of an option. I live a mostly full and happy life, and yet I yearn for sacramental companionship and children of my own. There are times when I literally ache for this.

I listened to a CAL podcast recently on singleness, and the guest speaker talked about how being single isn’t a Vocation (capital V) but rather a kind of cross those of us called to the married life bear. I was left feeling distraught and hopeful.

Those of you who are single and 30+ or those of you who married later in life - what are your thoughts on this?

Thanks, all.

If we are doing what God wants us to do as a single person, I can’t see how that’s a cross to be borne. I was 35 when I married and I only married because I met the right person, not out of lonliness. I was prepared to remain single for I too had a full life being on my own. There are many ways we can share God’s love with others besides having a husband and children, although that’s the usual thing for most people, and perfectly fine, of course. If God has someone for you he’ll come along at the right time. If entering a convent isn’t your vocation but being single for God is, you might want to look into being a consecrated virgin. But, if you believe marriage is what God wants and you feel you need to be proactive about it, try Catholic matching services or getting involved in activities that will introduce you to suitable mates. But whatever you do, remain faithful in prayer and in loving God and others and you’ll have the life God wants for you.

I don’t think that being single is a vocation in and of itself, though a celibate life may be a part of one’s greater vocation. (ex. religious, caregiver, artist, missionary, etc) If sounds like you need to determine what your true vocation is, and then decide if celibacy is part of that vocation or not.

For me being single and divorced has been a cross to bear. It is getting harder and harder.

I married when I was 50! By that time, I was looking for
someone to grow old with!! Pray to the Lord for PEACE
about your situ. and leave it in His capable hands, and in
the meantime commit to friends, both male AND female
and care for them (and their children) like they are FAMILY!

Thank you all for your responses. I do feel called to marriage, and in the meantime I remain celibate. I’m committing to friends both old and new (I’ve just recently moved to a new city for work), and will check out the Catholic dating sites :slight_smile:

@CatholicHockey7 I went to the link and tried
to make a comment but to do that, I have to
apply for membership, so I filled out
a copious set of personal questions only to realize
that it is a DATE site!!!:eek::eek::eek:

sorry, thought it would at least let you read the article without all that.

I think most people want, and need to be in relationship with a spouse. The human social world revolves around couples, and families. However, those who choose to be single, whether they are common folks or religious have an opportunity to look deeper, and to think deeper than married couples because singles have more alone time, and fewer distractions. But that is only good if the time is used constructively. As a long time single person, I can tell you it is wonderful to have the freedom to structure days, nights, and weekends the way I choose. But this blessing must be controlled with structure. Call it time management. Without structure, you can drift and waste time in meaningless pursuits. One of the great lessons I learned from reading about religious orders is the concept of Grand Silence. Many orders observe Grand Silence for an hour at night before bedtime. I have incorporated that into single life. It is wonderful.

It works because I am so busy with work life that I’m constantly on the go. Constantly! So learning the tricks and practices to spend dedicated time in spiritual pursuits makes life so worthwhile, and rewarding. I don’t consider being single a cross to bear. But that is a personal thing. Many people need and want companionship at all times. They must partner up, or join organizations. Dedicated time is the key.

OH DEAR lol :smiley:

I LOVE THIS. Thank you!

Yes, it is a lonely life sometimes. But, so is married life… at times. Any married person who would tell you otherwise would be a liar. I was married for 19 years to the most terrific wife anyone could want. But then, God took her into eternal life.

I thought that I might have a vocation to the priesthood…but the dioceses don’t want older vocations anymore. So, the “single life” is what I’m dealt. Am I happy with it? Yes…and no.

The way I see it, the most important thing is to please God – Who created me and Who I will hopefully one day spend eternity with. And, from my perspective, if God wants me to be single – even if it means I won’t ever have another romantic friendship with a woman – “Why would I want what God DOESN’T want?”

If I find someone with whom the sparks fly and romance is in the air (for both of us) then I’ll do some serious praying for God’s guidance…and try to follow that guidance when He gives it to me. But, for now, the single life is what I’ve been dealt…and what I accept because it’s His will for me.

There’s a well known maxim that is altogether true and called for at times like this: “If you don’t know where God wants you to be…then…where you are…is where He wants you to be.”

God bless you! :slight_smile:

In a word, OP NO. and only if you make it so… spoken aged well over 70 and in human terms an " unclaimed treasure." Ungrateful it seems to God to give less than all to your present place in life. NB also often He will not take you forward if you are not accepting fully where you are now as His will for your life. Give all where you are!

Sometimes single is a cross. God doesn’t ask for a sacrifice of physical stuff, but of our hearts. What greater sacrifice could you give?

I’m not just talking from a distance here, though, because I have been there and done that, and I’m still doing it. In his mercy, God put me in the path of someone who was in every way perfect for me (not perfect, just perfect for me), and asked me to give him up after I was already head over heels in love. I know the ache you’re talking about, but if you make that ache a gift then every tear becomes easier to accept. It helps me to offer it for my godson or siblings. If you have a loved one in need that may make it somewhat easier.

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit.
A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.”

Being single is a cross to bear, indeed. So is being married, being a religious, or being a priest. Bearing our crosses is inevitable in this world. I’d venture that there aren’t too many people (if any) who have received a call to be celibate and non-ecclesiastical, but there are loads of them who are there now through no fault of their own, just bearing their daily crosses, making their daily offerings, and doing their best in whatever endeavours they apply themselves to.

I wouldn’t say it is a cross to bear in and of itself, but I would say there are elements to singleness and all the vocations that are crosses to bear. It was hard for a while, mostly because of loneliness, but now that I’ve come back to the Church I just let the Holy Spirit lead me.

For the most part, no.

The single life is undoubtedly a cross to bear. I know this because I am 42, single and have been single most of my life.

It breaks down like this: The priest knows what he has to do, be a shepherd for his flock. The religious person know he has to live his life in loyalty to his order. The married person knows he or she has to be a good husband/father or wife/mother.

The single person lives in a Bermuda Triangle of vocations, never completely sure who/where they are, where they are going, who/where they are in God’s eyes. What God wants them to do.

I am in agreement with a prior comment that they best thing you can do is make sure you have structure a “to do list” of things to do, goals and agendas to stay on the move. A rolling stone gathers no moss. I would also pray to Jesus daily to have Him help you navigate through the fog of the single life. You have to make Jesus the center of your life because you’ll need His love to help you get through it. Blessed Mother too.

Being single does have it’s share of perks with freedoms. You get to do what you want whenever you want. Eat whatever you want. Sleep whenever you want. E.g. Run the thermostat at whatever temperature you want, etc. Just make sure you use those freedoms wisely.

I have been in the single lay state for 30 years or so with private vows. The single life is not of necessity a cross to bear - while suffering of some degree and length is intrinsic to all human life and journeys. If the single life is problematic consistently to the single person, it is most often a personal problem somewhere to be addressed and worked through. Spiritual direction!

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