My Lost Vocation


#1

I just posted on a thread about chastity(read it there), it made me think of an issue I have with the Church, the main*issue, I might add. I'm an adult convert-1995- and have fallen away many times over this one thing. I'm a never-married virgin with no vocation to religious life. The Church ignores my state in life. Everything is aimed at families, or discerning young folks. Almost every Catholic website is aimed at families and couples. Singles groups at parishes are for those who want to "meet someone." Many of these groups allow married people to participate, and are often run by married people! Not to mention I'm usually the only virgin in the group, as the others are all widows or divorced with kids or grandkids. For a group here who *do*value chastity, it seems that's the one thing you don't do. I admit, I have a unique situation; a mental illness, and I can't drive, but I even feel a hypocrite among my Trad friends. The idea Catholic woman is a wife and mother, and even Bl JPII put mothers on top of his list of good Catholic women. I can't leave the Church (read my new signature), but I feel so very ignored a lot of times. All I get is *"Stop whining and go volunteer somewhere." "You have more time"**, etc., while they go hope and cuddle their family. I belong to a Latin Mass community, and we don't have our own Church yet. So don't tell me to start my own group. Anyway, I'm through ranting.:bighanky:


#2

I don’t know if this state of life is of interest to you: Consecrated virgins

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consecrated_virgin

But virginity and the single state have always had an honored place in the church.


#3

I think that if you feel unhappy with what you believe to be your vocation (which, the single life IS a worthy vocation. Just not the most common or talked-of one), then it might not actually be your vocation. One is supposed to feel the utmost peace and happiness when one's vocation is realized.

And Bl John Paul II DOES address unmarried and non-religious women in his 'Letter to Women'. Specifically he states:

"Thank you, women who are daughters and women who are sisters! Into the heart of the family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity."

And also goes on to say:

"Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world's understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic."

The rest of his letter is very beautiful ( vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_29061995_women_en.html ), which all women and men should take the time to read. In the two quotes above, he iterates the purpose of all women, you included. I hope this helped at least a little bit.


#4

Hi there,

Firstly, I would begin by echoing what JadeHand said about vocation in her post;
If this is something you have been considering for some time - it may be that the Lord is calling you to something different. Be open to His will in your life.

In terms of being unhappy - the Lord's will for your life will always be something which leaves you feeling happy and fulfilled. (This is not to say there won't be challenges) But God will always bring you to true happiness if you give yourself to him.

As for what your vocation might be, there is the consecrated life or religious, the calling to be single or marriage. Each is highly honoured by the Church and recognised as different but equally valuable.

There are many groups with whom you can explore consecrated life as a layperson:
Dominicans, Opus Dei & Franciscans to name but a few.

I hope this has helped.

God Bless :signofcross:


#5

I think that each state in life has its distinct plusses and minuses. Being in a traditional parish with no children feels very awkward at times. No one thinks of inviting the childless to events like children's birthday parties, or graduations. For example, of all of the children graduating at the Homeschool Commencement at our parish, I only received one invitation, even though I am friends with most of their parents. I don't need multiple invitations, but getting the one made the ones I did not get very bold in my mind. And there are Men's organizations (Knights of Columbus, Men's Study Group), but no Women's organizations, only "Mothers" and "Homeschoolers" groups. It's hard for women with no childrent to get to meet women our age because usually the moms are hanging out with the moms. And there's not many of us non-moms out there. I didn't get married until after I was 30, so I distinctly remember those "being the only Single" blues. There's no beating around the bush about them - they stink.

But I make a concerted effort not to sit around and wonder what might have been had it been God's plan for me to be a mother. There are lots of benefits to being older and with no children. In having a discussion with my husband this weekend, I realized that pretty much all of the childless older (40-ish) women that I know are all on the Altar Flower committee with me. I guess we're the only ones with free Saturday mornings. Instead of having to buy a Minivan or Conversion Van like the huge families at church, my recent car purchase was a Hyundai Veloster with tech package. And I don't ever have to worry about Cheerios in the red leatherette seats.

You have the distinct advantage of never having to deal with the burping, flatulent, smelly orks that we married women have to deal with in the morning. You don't have to feel the frustration of coming home late and exhausted from work, only to find your husband sitting next to an unfolded hamper of towels, playing Angry Birds on his iPad. You can also spend more of your free time in prayer and adoration, which is what I would do if I had more time. Even though I have no children, there are still concessions that I have to make, where there is a choice between spending more time at church or going home to be with My Vocation. I'd love to go to the Monday night bible study and catechism classes and Wednesday night Masses at my parish, but since I already go to Thursday night Mass, I feel that to spend any more nights out would be a disservice to my husband and my home. There's only so many times I can bring home Pizza Patron instead of cooking dinner before he begins to lose patience. :blush:

I would recommend doing what I do - praying for the grace to accept all that God gives us, because it is He who has given it to us. As always, whenever I have a spiritual problem, I can always find the perfect homily on Audio Sancto. God bless those priests. Here's one of my faves: Searching for and Maintaining Peace and Holiness


#6

The OP has a point. I feel it too.

48 years old, not married and therefor celibate. Although I have children and am not a virgin as is the OP, I feel it sometimes too. There is tremendous pressure to marry.

I even had a lady stalk me in adoration. To her credit she was looking for a good Catholic man for her sister, and I guess you could do worse than looking for someone in an adoration chapel, but she was following men without wedding rings out of the chapel and approaching them in the parking lot, asking if they would like to come to a bar-b-que at her house and meet her sister.

Stalker Lady: Do you really want to stay single your whole life?

Me: Yes Maam.

Stalker Lady: Don't you sometimes get loneley?

Me: Yea, sometimes, but it makes me rely on God even more. That's part of the reason why I'm at adoration. I'm very comfortable being single and celibate.

Stalker Lady: *But do you really want to... you know... to be **celibate* your entire life?

Me: I think of it as a gift of myself to God.

Stalker Lady: But my sister is a nurse. She is a very lovely woman. Why don't you come to the bar-b-que at my house and just meet her.

**Me: **Thank you. I'm sure she is lovely, but the only women I have room for in my life right now are my daughters, my mom and my Mother Mary.

Stalker Lady: Well what about that other man in there? Do you know him? Is he married?

Me: Yes Maam, that's Ron. He has a georgeous wife and several grandchildren.

:rolleyes:

There is tremendous pressure.

-Tim


#7

[quote="TimothyH, post:6, topic:286319"]
The OP has a point. I feel it too.

48 years old, not married and therefor celibate. Although I have children and am not a virgin as is the OP, I feel it sometimes too. There is tremendous pressure to marry.

I even had a lady stalk me in adoration. To her credit she was looking for a good Catholic man for her sister, and I guess you could do worse than looking for someone in an adoration chapel, but she was following men without wedding rings out of the chapel and approaching them in the parking lot, asking if they would like to come to a bar-b-que at her house and meet her sister.

Stalker Lady: Do you really want to stay single your whole life?

Me: Yes Maam.

Stalker Lady: Don't you sometimes get loneley?

Me: Yea, sometimes, but it makes me rely on God even more. That's part of the reason why I'm at adoration. I'm very comfortable being single and celibate.

Stalker Lady: *But do you really want to... you know... to be **celibate* your entire life?

Me: I think of it as a gift of myself to God.

Stalker Lady: But my sister is a nurse. She is a very lovely woman. Why don't you come to the bar-b-que at my house and just meet her.

**Me: **Thank you. I'm sure she is lovely, but the only women I have room for in my life right now are my daughters, my mom and my Mother Mary.

Stalker Lady: Well what about that other man in there? Do you know him? Is he married?

Me: Yes Maam, that's Ron. He has a georgeous wife and several grandchildren.

:rolleyes:

There is tremendous pressure.

-Tim

[/quote]

Thanks, that sorta cheered me up a bit, especially about the "stalker lady":egyptian:


#8

Well, you do have a husband, so you’re not completelyalone, but I see your point .
I had forgot to mention that I’m 50 years old, and diagnosed with a mental disability, which also makes things hard for me. I know I can’t expect everything to be perfect; I just don’t want the Church to address my needs, too, not to take away from those families,etc. I guess this is a holdover from my younger days when I was made to feel like a failure by others for not marrying,etc.
BTW, I see you’re a Latin Rite from TX. Where from? You can always message me if you like.:wave:


#9

Thanks, everybody for your replies. I've been trying to find more traditional Catholic groups to participate in, though it's difficult because of transportation. I may look in to consecrated virgins, but I read they require you have a job and a sound mind, which I have neither. Anyhow, I really appreciate your feedback. Sometimes I wish I could just get over this and move on. Maybe I will someday.


#10

[quote="denitaA, post:9, topic:286319"]
Thanks, everybody for your replies. I've been trying to find more traditional Catholic groups to participate in, though it's difficult because of transportation. I may look in to consecrated virgins, but I read they require you have a job and a sound mind, which I have neither. Anyhow, I really appreciate your feedback. Sometimes I wish I could just get over this and move on. Maybe I will someday.

[/quote]

I've never heard of consecrated virgins requiring jobs. This is a blog by a woman who is a consecrated virgin that you may find helpful. This is another blog by a consecrated virgin who is in the diocese of Galveston-Houston so she's in the same state as you, even if not the same diocese. Also, this is a page from a diocesan vocations website that discusses the single life so you may find that helpful as well.


#11

[quote="denitaA, post:1, topic:286319"]
I just posted on a thread about chastity(read it there), it made me think of an issue I have with the Church, the main*issue, I might add. I'm an adult convert-1995- and have fallen away many times over this one thing. I'm a never-married virgin with no vocation to religious life. The Church ignores my state in life. Everything is aimed at families, or discerning young folks. Almost every Catholic website is aimed at families and couples. Singles groups at parishes are for those who want to "meet someone." Many of these groups allow married people to participate, and are often run by married people! Not to mention I'm usually the only virgin in the group, as the others are all widows or divorced with kids or grandkids. For a group here who *do*value chastity, it seems that's the one thing you don't do. I admit, I have a unique situation; a mental illness, and I can't drive, but I even feel a hypocrite among my Trad friends. The idea Catholic woman is a wife and mother, and even Bl JPII put mothers on top of his list of good Catholic women. I can't leave the Church (read my new signature), but I feel so very ignored a lot of times. All I get is *"Stop whining and go volunteer somewhere." "You have more time"**, etc., while they go hope and cuddle their family. I belong to a Latin Mass community, and we don't have our own Church yet. So don't tell me to start my own group. Anyway, I'm through ranting.:bighanky:

[/quote]

I feel your pain. You are right in that most of the programs at parishes are geared toward families, not singles. It can be hard to go to Church alone. It can be difficult to sustain friendships with parents who are focused on their children. It is my hope and prayer that there will be things out there for singles to participate in.

Please don't get the impression that the ideal Catholic woman is a wife and mother. The ideal Catholic woman is the one who is following her vocation. The Church prizes virginity over marriage, but also esteems marriage. The single woman is called to holiness just as everyone else is, and it can be more difficult or easier depending on her own individual circumstances to attain holiness. It is hard to be ignored. Hard to feel left out. Hard to know that you might not be able to get married or enter an institute of consecrated life. However, this may be your apostolate. Your way of attaining to a very deep relationship with Christ and of helping the entire world. It is a sacrifice and hardship to do things alone. A married couple might be able to divide tasks. It is funny how they think singles have a lot more time to volunteer and things. Sometimes that's true and sometimes not... That all being said, you are of immense value to Christ, to the Church, and to the world at large!


#12

I think your unhappiness is deeper than the words you are using but that is what you have accessed to describe it.

I am single in my mid 40's and yeh am Anglican but as for own friendships my age range or something the church I go to is a dead loss. Everyone being older and a few younger ones. But since I been going along time now, with my parents who are there I am a part of the community and its upto me what I join in with. And yeh I have privately moaned to the priest, there is nothing to keep me there. He doesn't need to answer me in return because I know deeper down that okay yes by having own friends in a place makes things more worthwhile, it is also what we make of it personally that helps us stay there or be a part of it.

You don't like the answer to start your own group up etc but if you want change to happen, how you going to make the change happen. People don't just sit back and chunter if they really want change. We got to work at it and work at it in a way that we haven't bitten off more than we can chew - great folly of my own the priest is beginning to recognise of me.:blush:

If you want the Church to recognise us singley's then what you going to do to persuade the Church that you as a section of the population are going to be included so that other singleys come along, join in and not feel excluded. You haven't a lost vocation at all. A vocation that may be you don't want to acknowledge and do. Yeh, fine, have a chunter but its more than a chunter if you keep leaving over it. Talk to your priest and get his support on this campaign of change. Highlight to him the area. Priests need things spelling out to them sometimes. We think something is obvious and they haven't seen the issue until someone does speak to them.

dont be just another arm chair chuntery. Use your lost vocation to make it into a vocation of highlighting this to the Church and make them sit up and take singleys more sincerly other than everyone is important anyway. You can help make the change if its that important to you


#13

You know, speaking as a non-single but single-like, I do believe many priests are actually aware of the issue. I have had conversations with them. The problem is that it can be hard to start a group. Priests are stretched thin. volunteers can be far and few between. Singles groups are often seen as dating pools. I think it's important for families to "adopt" singles and vice versa. Yes, it is hard being an individual in a family oriented parish... but it can be done. I remember being the only non-parent volunteering at a white elephant sale for my parish. All the others were there because they were required by the parochial school to sign up for X hours (probably unstated condition of kid's schooling). The Legion of Mary is a good group where marital status is not emphasized. One parish I know has successfully divied up the women and each group has a budget and project to do for the Church with montly social.


#14

[quote="SerraSemper, post:13, topic:286319"]
One parish I know has successfully divied up the women and each group has a budget and project to do for the Church with montly social.

[/quote]

Okay, realized that this wasn't clear. The pastor divided all the women of the parish into groups. These groups were like an altar society group. They had goals and socials. They mixed women of different ages, social standing, etc. Apparently this reallybuilt up a community spirit and it has gotten a lot accomplished at the parish.


#15

Consecrated virgins aren’t required to have a job per se. They must be able to support themselves to live independently from the diocese. With regards to having a sound mind, it depends on how they define that. It’s believed the majority of people have some sort of mental illness whether they know it or not. You don’t go into what your mental illness is, but I wouldn’t self- disqualify yourself. This is something you need to look into further with either a vocations director ( though most won’t be much help as many have never heard of consecrated virgins) or a knowledgeable spiritual director.


#16

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