[quote="Norseman82, post:10, topic:288310"]
"Vocation" comes from the Latin "vocare" - to call. It is a "calling", and implies "permanence". Note that once one is married, one cannot (at least in the Latin Rite) get ordained, and nowhere may an ordained man get married; one is "locked in" by their vows, which constitute an impediment to other vocations. Without some form of vow, a single person is not "locked in" and has no impediment to later getting married or ordained or becoming a religious/consecrated. Instead, what you are describing is a "state of life". One can live out life in Christ while single while still trying to find a good Catholic spouse, but that does not mean he/she is called to be single forever.
A privately vowed person can commute, under Canon Law, for a greater good but not a lesser; hence after making a private vow to celibate chastity a person may enter religious life since it is a greater good but if they leave religious life, they then return to the privately vowed state, unless they ask for a dispensation from their private vow. Canon Law states those priests or bishops that can dispense from private vows. Just as a religious can be asked to be dispensed from their perpetual vows. Of course, it is a more complex process if one is perpetually professed, but dispensation is still possible.
Just as a priest can be liaicised and it is a complex process, but still possible.
A lay person that makes a private vow to celibate chastity for life can have the very same permanent state and life intention as a man being ordained, or a religious making her final profession. All rules and regulations in The Church and elsewhere are for human beings and in The Church explain for us the Will of God in life in certain matters, while The Lord knows the heart, the disposition of the heart and in all things.
It can be overlooked in discussions on vocation that our baptism is a vocation and a call to holiness and sanctity without any further call or vocation which flows from baptism and dictates the way of life in which the person is to fulfill their baptism and achieve holiness. Some may not experience such a particular way of life dictate/call - other than their baptismal call to The Gospel and discipleship of Jesus within The Catholic Church and remain free within those terms. :
- Our invitation goes out specially to those lay people who seek God with greater earnestness and intensity, and strive after Christian perfection while living in the midst of their fellow men. By their devoted and warm friendship they can be of great assistance to the Church's ministers since it is the laity, occupied with temporal affairs while at the same time aiming at a more generous and perfect conformity to their baptismal vocation, who are in a position, in many cases, to enlighten and encourage the priest.