[quote=ElizabethAnne]It is my understanding that one vocation is not “better” than another. God calls us each to different things, but we are all equal in His eyes. Those called to religious life are not “better” than anyone else. They are doing God’s work, and they should be respected and praised for that, but so should a married couple that is raising little souls in the Catholic faith.
Also, some posters seem to use chastity and abstinence interchangably. Married couples are not called to practice abstinence, but they certainly still practice chastity!
This explains it pretty good:
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON CONSECRATED VIRGINITY
24. It is first and foremost for the foregoing reasons that, according to the teaching of the Church, holy virginity surpasses marriage in excellence. Our Divine Redeemer had already given it to His disciples as a counsel for a more perfect life. St. Paul, after having said that the father who gives his daughter in marriage “does well,” adds immediately “and he that gives her not, does better.” Several times in the course of his comparison between marriage and virginity the Apostle reveals his mind, and especially in these words: “for I would that all men were even as myself. . . But I say to the unmarried and to widows: it is good for them if they so continue, even as I.” **Virginity is preferable to marriage then, as We have said, above all else because it has a higher aim: that is to say, it is a very efficacious means for devoting oneself wholly to the service of God, while the heart of married persons will remain more or less “divided.” **
to read the whole thing you can go to the vatican website:
Vatican- Sacra Virginitas