Not married and not a nun

I had a conversation with somebody today.
He said something about in the Bible are shown only two ways: Married life, or closer followship (spiritual life).
And that everybody should make that basic decision… go to somebody who can help find the will of God, that will then be infallible.

Have any of you ever heard of this?

What if I think it is good right now to be single and leave it open for me what will happen. Would that mean I resist the will of God?
I don’t see it this way.
But now I am a bit confused.

I think he said something about a “Jesus society” or something like that, that has initiated such discenrments?


Kathrin, I’ll leave it to someone else to answer more completely, but I believe I was trained that being single and not part of a religious order is just fine. All lay people, in other words, are not necessarily called to marry.

I agree with the first poster…it is not a either or situation. Some people do get married later in life also & some people marry and become widowed and are called to religious life…some never do either.[SIGN][/SIGN]

Natalie Smith, over at, is also of the opinion that single life is not a vocation. When I tell people that, they tend to disagree with her.

I’m not well educated in what JPII says in the Theology of the Body, but it seems like I once heard something about how a chaste single life reinforces the virtues of married life; that is, because I choose to remain single and chaste, I thereby am pointing to the fact that my sexuality should be utilized only in marriage.

I, too, am single, and I will ultimately choose between marriage and/or religious life, provided I’m financially able to do either. I’m in no rush to do either. :slight_smile: My decision is rooted simply in the fact that I need a spouse or group of brothers who has the grace to constantly effect my continual conversion – which is something I can’t do on my own.

St Catherine of Sciena was neither married or religious.

God calls people to all three vocations, yes the single life is a vocation. It can be a vocation of service to the Church in the world.

The problem only arises when people are called to religious life or marriage and they don’t want to follow God’s will so they remain single. God loves each one of us so dearly and our vocation is an extrodionary gift from God, no one should be afraid of it.

We have several saints, blesseds and mystics who were neither married, nor ordained, nor religious. Let’s remember that one can be a religious man and not be ordained. I’m not ordained.

Catherine of Siena

Rose of Lima

Martin de Porres

Angela of Foligno

Kateri Tekawitha

Rose of Viterbo

Frances of the Five Wounds

And the list goes on of men and women who consecrated their virginity outside of the religious life. Members of Secular Orders are not canonically consecrated men and women. They are included under the title of religious in the liturgical calendar, because they belong to a religious order. But they themselves are not consecrated religious. A consecrated religious is a canonical state and an ordained man we all understand.



Thank you all for the replies. :slight_smile: Kathrin

One of the priests at my parish told me that being single (not being married, or a priest or religious) is a valid calling in life. I’m single and feel no call either to being married or becoming a priest or religious, but sometimes I do feel like I’m in limbo. I think it’s one thing if you find someone to spend your life with and marry, or to give that up in order to serve God by becoming a priest or a religious (monk or nun). But being single sometimes seems to be a “default” position sometimes, neither here nor there.

I do not know how old you are, but I am single (23 years) and not planning on becoming a nun ( despite the fears of my non-religious parents :D). The time for you to marry may not have yet come. So let God do things on his own terms.

I remember that the priests and nuns who taught us – that shows how old I am – mentioned three states, or vocations, in life: religious, single and married. I have heard nothing that counters that.

I do know a couple women who, while not “consecrated virgins” in the sense of a ceremony, etc., have consecrated themselves to God and vowed to remain single. However, I don’t think you need to do that if you are to remain single. As a poster above said, who knows when/if God will introduce “the right person” into your life. Even if you do marry, you are to love God more than your spouse and your children – that was a tough one for me to swallow. Yet, I love my wife more by loving God more than her.

God bless,

I’ve heard a few people who (my opinion here) infer the Bible just a hair to literally. The reason I say that: I’ve heard priests say that you have three options:

  1. Marriage
  2. Religious Life
  3. Single Life

God calls people to serve in all three of these ways…no one is more important than the other. They each serve their purpose. For example, a married couple has an obligation to each other and their family, so they will have less time and funds to help people suffering from poverty. Sure, they can, and often do, help in some ways, but it would be pretty hard for a couple with young children to (for example) pack up a suitcase and join the peace corps to help starving people in Africa. Likewise, it would be difficult for a priest to leave his family (his parish) to do the same thing. But, somebody who is single, might be able to do this. Again, that is just one example; there are many more. The point is that whichever path you are on, God can use you in some way. We must just listen and follow wherever he takes us to go.

Bold is mine

You left out Holy Orders (deacons, priests and bishops). Holy Orders is distinct from religious life. They are not the same call.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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