Single Life


#1

Often we forget (at least i do) that single life is also a vocation. Let us pray for this. I think the Lord may be calling me to this, but I'm only a teen, so I'll leave everything open for now.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amoung women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now an dat the hour of our death. Amen


#2

The voice of experience says: Do not bet too heavily on a future projected from the current teen-aged state.

That being said, I wish you much success with whatever vocation you choose (or that chooses you).


#3

[quote="srlucado, post:2, topic:194372"]
The voice of experience says: Do not bet too heavily on a future projected from the current teen-aged state.

That being said, I wish you much success with whatever vocation you choose (or that chooses you).

[/quote]

This voice of experience says the first voice was right.;)


#4

[quote="Flame4, post:1, topic:194372"]
Often we forget (at least i do) that single life is also a vocation. Let us pray for this. I think the Lord may be calling me to this, but I'm only a teen, so I'll leave everything open for now.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amoung women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now an dat the hour of our death. Amen

[/quote]

Strangely, there are many who do not believe the single life is actually a vocation. If you do not feel called to marriage, you should seriously look into talking with a vocation director (or two) in order to determine whether God is calling you to religious life. Consider this: if you are married, or if you are a consecrated religious in a community -- either way you have to be accountable to someone other than yourself. Just something to think about.

Gertie


#5

Actually, the catechism does not consider the single life a vocation, either.

Being single is a STATE of life, not a vocation. Being single does not make one a bad person, but singlehood is not a vocation.

BTW, I’m single.


#6

vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_30121988_christifideles-laici_en.html
Post Synodal
Apostolic Exortation
CHRISTIFIDELES LAICI
of His Holiness John Paul II

The Vocation and The Mission of The Lay Faithful
in The Church and The World

The Various Vocations in the Lay [FONT=Verdana]State[/FONT]
…………………Along the same line the Second Vatican Council states: "This lay spirituality should take its particular character from the circumstances of one's **[FONT=Verdana]state[/FONT] in life** (married and familylife, celibacy, widowhood), from one's [FONT=Verdana]state[/FONT] of health and from one's professional and social activity. All should not cease to develop earnestly the qualities and talents bestowed on them in accord with these conditions of life and should make use of the gifts which they have received from the Holy Spirit"(208)…………..
What has been said about the spiritual vocation can also be said-and to a certain degree with greater reason-of the infinite number of ways through which all members of the Church are employed as labourers in the vineyard of the Lord, building up the Mystical Body of Christ. Indeed as a person with a truly unique lifestory, each is called by name, to make a special contribution to the coming of the Kingdom of God. No talent, no matter how small, is to be hidden or left unused (cf.* Mt* 25:24-27).
In this regard the apostle Peter gives us a stern warning: "As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Pt 4:10).

From the above quotation it is clear that celibacy in the lay state (or the single state) is potentially a vocation and call from God to the single state. As with any call from God or vocation, it takes discerning and ideally with spiritual direction.

The article from CatholicOnline probably challenges our notion of what "vocation" actually means: catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=1751 Certainly pre V2 "vocation" had a very restricted meaning and was understood to mean a call from God to religious life and/or the priesthood only. Since V2 we have explored the meaning of the word "vocation" itself and expanded its intrinsic meaning beyond the once defined boundaries of religious life and/or priesthood to embrace and include marriage and the single state, widowhood.

What is vocation? The word ‘vocation’ often intimidates, frightens, or even repels if considered as just a “religious calling.” Vocation, which comes from the Latin word vocare, to call, vox, voice, is God’s unique invitation to individuals to freely respond to the way of the Gospel. This responding is a life-long process; we discover how we “are” our vocation as we journey through life led by the Spirit of the Gospel, for we do not “have” a vocation—we “are” a vocation, be it married, single, or religious. Incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ, all the baptized are called to holiness in their particular vocation. The best way to fulfill our purpose in life, after having been created out of love is to love and be loved.

Most of us probably had notions when in our teens, sooner or later, of our vocation. For many of us probably now in our more mature years, this 'teen discerning' proved to be incorrect; however, I do not think that this should discourage any teenager from discerning their potential vocation for their future - not one iota. In fact, I think we should encourage them to do so - to reflect on it and prayerfully, even seeking advice and exploring it, and in the light of a potential call from God and vocation for their future.


#7

[quote="Rascalking, post:3, topic:194372"]
This voice of experience says the first voice was right.;)

[/quote]

+1


#8

I think, Flame4, that you are very wise in considering the direction in which God may be calling you and your future vocation in life if this is where you are at just now. Displaying wisdom too in praying about it and leaving it open for now. It will be a journey and may prove to be in the single state, or it may not and I think you are showing much wisdom as a teenager in understanding this.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

May Our Lady pray for you - and may God bless you and keep you close as your discerning continues.

TS


#9

Here is a very comprehensive list of books and articles on vocation generally, including to the single state. pathsoflove.com/vocation.html


#10

[quote="Lepanto, post:5, topic:194372"]
Actually, the catechism does not consider the single life a vocation, either.

Being single is a STATE of life, not a vocation. Being single does not make one a bad person, but singlehood is not a vocation.

BTW, I'm single.

[/quote]

I agree with you totally, Lepanto-being single is NOT a vocation, just a state of life.

And sometimes, that state of life is a PERMANENT ONE! :(

And I'm single, too....I think that our state is always 'undervalued and overlooked', especially when we pass a certain age; say, 35? The older one is, and if he/she doesn't get married or go into the priesthood/religious life, then they are looked upon as being 'an oddball', or having 'a commitment phobia'.

And the funny thing is [and I'm not being flippant or irreverent, I want to make this very, VERY clear], Our Lord Himself was a SINGLE MAN! Of course we know He never married [despite the twaddle that Dan Brown so infamously wrote not very long ago], and He wasn't a priest in the 'family sense' [He was of the royal tribe of Judah, being descended from King David, and not of the priestly tribe of Levi].

Go figure....:shrug:...


#11

I think there may be a difference between single life as a time of preparation and waiting for a vocation to marriage the priesthood or consecrated life and single life intentionally lived for the sake of the kingdom. Not everyone is called to marriage or the religious life or priesthood- and it is not just that God does not have a particular calling upon their life. We are all called to make a sincere gift of ourself- and thus to find ourselves in this self-giving- and for some people they truly are called to do this in the single state. Thus it seems that this would be their vocation.


#12

Oh ok, I thought single life was a vocation:blush: I learned it was when I was small. Thanks for correcting me:thumbsup:


#13

[quote="elizabeth_anne, post:11, topic:194372"]
I think there may be a difference between single life as a time of preparation and waiting for a vocation to marriage the priesthood or consecrated life and single life intentionally lived for the sake of the kingdom. Not everyone is called to marriage or the religious life or priesthood- and it is not just that God does not have a particular calling upon their life. We are all called to make a sincere gift of ourself- and thus to find ourselves in this self-giving- and for some people they truly are called to do this in the single state. Thus it seems that this would be their vocation.

[/quote]

Yes i feel what God is calling me to is single life forever, not just until I get married or anything, but like I said, I will leave it open and continue to pary


#14

Well I want ti be a lawyer, so I would be accountable
to society, to crimminals and victims. As a young women, I feel I am responsible in insisting all women be treated with respect by my actions (ex. dressing modest.) As a Canadian I am responsible for caring for my country and my community. As a Catholic, I am accountable before God. We are all required to live the gospel, but in different ways. :thumbsup:


#15

The single life is difficult to pigeon-hole. The traditional understanding would not call it a vocation.

Throughout one’s life they may find themselves in the single state more than one time.

I do think single people (in general) are often over-looked in the Church. I make it a point to reach out to single people in our parish because of this. I preach occasionally about the single life, and try to highlight groups in our parish that cater to single people.

Single doesn’t mean “left-over” or uncalled.

God has a plan for each of us – when we follow what He wants of us our lives make the most sense, and we find ourselves most content.

God bless all who seek Him,


#16

Agreed… to a certain extent.

As a single mom and teacher (with a good income), I am accountable to the state to care for my son. I am also accountable to my students, their families, my principal and other administrators. I understand general accountability.

However, I also know that I can do pretty much whatever I want with my free time and my extra money. I can go to mass or adoration, or not. I can engage in personal prayer and spiritual reading, or not. I can be involved in corporal works of mercy, or not. I can remodel my kitchen and bathrooms, or give to the poor, or both, or neither.

The point is, as a single person, it’s all about me and my choices – and a six-year-old is not going to hold me accountable for anything. As a member of a religious community, or as a wife (and I’ve experienced both ways of life), there’s always someone who’s “got your back,” helping with discerment regarding use of time and resources, and keeping an eye out for “slacking” in spiritual matters. As a single woman, I have taken care to create a circle of friends to help me with accountability – but let’s face it, it’s way easier to hide my true self from friends than from a husband or other members of a religious community.

Gertie


#17

Quoting: Gertabelle

As a single mom and teacher (with a good income), I am accountable to the state to care for my son. I am also accountable to my students, their families, my principal and other administrators. I understand general accountability.

However, I also know that I can do pretty much whatever I want with my free time and my extra money. I can go to mass or adoration, or not. I can engage in personal prayer and spiritual reading, or not. I can be involved in corporal works of mercy, or not. I can remodel my kitchen and bathrooms, or give to the poor, or both, or neither.

Hi Gertie - we are also accountable to God for all the above and for the choices we make connected to them - all is gifted to in stewardship. Because there is no human authority perhaps guiding to make good choices in stewardship, one remains accountable before God in stewardship. There is a certain freedom perhaps but not outside of accountability for choices. Sometimes those called to the single state do have set times for prayer and their income is self proportioned including for donations to charitable works. All luxuries (as purchases) may be excluded. One can set up a rule of life for oneself usually approved by spiritual direction, even make private vows received at Mass if one wishes, while they remain private vows and not public vows as defined by The Church.

The point is, as a single person, it's all about me and my choices -- and a six-year-old is not going to hold me accountable for anything. As a member of a religious community, or as a wife (and I've experienced both ways of life), there's always someone who's "got your back," helping with discerment regarding use of time and resources, and keeping an eye out for "slacking" in spiritual matters. As a single woman, I have taken care to create a circle of friends to help me with accountability -- but let's face it, it's way easier to hide my true self from friends than from a husband or other members of a religious community.

Don't leave God out of the equasion. Sometimes it is not easy to hide one's true self from friends either, that is if one should want to do so. If God wants your true self revealed, then revealed it is even if for some reason one is striving to hide it. A religious community (and I have also experienced it 'bothways') can be a great support in the spiritual life, but not necessarily. Sometimes a religious community may be a great trial in misunderstanding. All is within God's Divine Providence.

There is a difference between being single by default as it were, choosing the single state and becoming aware of a call from God and a vocation to the single state, I think. And as with any call or vocation it involves discernment and a journey of discernment and, if wise, also spiritual direction and on an ongoing basis. Very often that spiritual direction can provide that spiritual support and guidance that a religious community and a religious superior can sometimes also provide. There are too for single people the potential call to a Third Order or a Secular Institute including vows certainly to my knowledge with Secular Institutes and also some Third Orders (either promises or vows I have heard).
One thing I have found is that freedom of choice and movement in the single state that enables me to respond at times and ways that perhaps in religious life I would not be able to do so. This is not so much to compare one call with the other, both are different calls each to a totally different way of life - and with God is the prerogative where He calls, whom He calls, and the why of it all, often mysterious. He also in His Providence provides formation in one way or another - for He always provides for His works and the prime work of His for each individual is His call to personal holiness no matter one's particular vocation or state in life.
Certainly CHRISTIFIDELES LAICI which I quoted in a previous post does outline that there is a vocation to the single state in potential - although it is termed as the celibate lay state and of course the single state is the celibate state. See my post here: forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=6514352&postcount=6

TS


#18

Everyone has been single at some time in their lives. Did everyone consider being single a vocation? I think it’s possible to consider it a vocation, or not, just as some people consider marriage a vocation or not. Ask our grandmothers is they considered marriage a vocation . . . I shudder to think of the look on my Polish Babcia’s face if I dared asked her that. She thought vocations were nuns and priests only.

When I was single, I considered it a vocation to a greater extent than did my peers. I was very involved in volunteer work and my friends and family would comment that I’m not going to find Mr. Right that way. My response was that I was trying to help people, not flirt.

I am grateful for all the time I spent on volunteer work while I was single because now I have neither the time nor the energy to do any of it. God used me best when I had youth and health to offer to Him. It was indeed a temporary vocation, and I consider it such.


#19

I think it’s funny when married people or people in serious relationships talk/act like getting a spouse/significant other is as simple as ordering one from a catalog.

Person in a relationship: “So are you married?”

Me: “Nope. Not me.”

Them: “Why not?” (as if I have 100% control over it)

Me: “I’ve never met anyone I’ve wanted to marry.”

Them: “Well, you’re dating someone, right?”

Me: “Nope. I don’t know anyone I want to date.”

Then they look at me as if I’m some kind of different species or something.


#20

Yeah, married people tend to forget in a hurry how much of a pain dating can be.


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