Please know that I am not intending my question to come off in any way as rude or offensive. Is religious life considered more special than marriage, in the general public? If so, why?
Well, I think in this culture, religious life is frowned upon. :shrug:
Anyways, let’s look at it like this: God loves everyone equally, and there is no person who is greater than another. We are all part of the Church and have a specific role to play in it.
As to your question, “more special” may not be a good term to use. It leads one into thinking that a vocation to religious life is “better” than a vocation to marriage.
Each person has a specific role in the Church. Some people are called to marriage and others are called to religious life. I don’t think one is “better” than the other. Both are responding to God’s Call and serving Him in the way He desires us to.
OTOH, people who enter the religious life are usually giving up or sacrificing more than those who enter the married state.
It is not that the *people *involved are “better,” but that the states are different. WRT the people, there are holy married people and, sadly, not-so-holy religious.
Each of us is called to do God’s will; some He calls to make a greater sacrifice. But what we attain depends not on our state in life but in our sanctity.
This was part of the sermon I heard yesterday at Mass. Briefly, if I understood and recall correctly, it’s not a question of whether one vocation is holier than another, but whether we are following our own vocation and living the kind of holiness we’re called to. Something related I just thought of: the Blessed Mother was a wife, not a nun.
I’m not sure that’s an accurate statement. As a married father of two children, I often look at the life of a cloistered monk with great envy! Lol.
Seriously, though, each vocation has its own sacrifices. I don’t think you can measure the two to see which one sacrifices more or less. It really depends on the person doing the sacrificing. One person might feel that giving up the chance to have kids is a huge deal, while another might not find it much of a sacrifice at all.
I personally feel that being married and raising kids requires enormous sacrifice. It’s worth it and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but I’ve given up almost everything that made me “me” in the process of becoming the best husband and father I can be. Not that I’m that great at either, but I try, hehe.