There is no such thing as a Single's vocation


#1

Hi there. Just wanted to let you all know that the single’s vocation does not exist according to the offical teaching of the Church.

Only married life and/or religious life/priesthood=those are the only 2 vocactions…

So I don’t know who came up with the lie that being single is a voaction, becasue it’s not. lol

Thanks…


#2

Perhaps you could give us some evidence to substantiate this claim.


#3

Interesting...because I've heard priests mention the single vocation many times and have seen it in a lot of published Catholic literature, such as CCD books.


#4

Strange. I know someone who is very much called to, and very much blessed in his vocation. It's to the single life, though he sees himself as espoused to God.

He dosn't "do" service. In the past he would go on trips and such, but not in a while. Even without grand gestures, he serves. I can tell you that he has spent many a long night on the phone with a friend teaching them about God when they need it most. His service is so quiet, so humble that you'd never know.

I have seen the single vocation and no one can convince me that it does not exist and that it is not a high, holy calling unlike anything else. It is done without the helpmate of a spouse or the support of a parish or religious community. Yet, when you see the ligitimate love and just know a tenth of who he helps and what he does you would be awed by the single vocation.

I know that I am not called to it, I am not that strong.


#5

It’s a false dilemma to present the two alternatives as “marriage” and “religious life.”

It’s true that you can’t choose as a vocation an uncommitted single life (though in some cases one might have to accept it, at least for a long time).

However… you can choose a committed single life, by vows or some other promises dedicating one’s single state to the service of God, one’s neighbors and the Church. Such a life committed to celibacy or virginity is possible outside a religious community.


#6

If i never find someone willing to marry me I will most certainly be living the rest of my days as a single person. I will live my life not as a married man or religious but a single person, living that vocation.


#7

Don't you love it when people come on and tell us 'there is no such thing as X according to the Church". . .without providing a shred of evidence from the Church itself. . .:D


#8

Taken from The Single Lay Vocation (catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=1751)::)

"The Church needs lay Catholics who can dedicate themselves to their work and the spread of the Gospel while working in the world. Single laymen and laywomen have greater flexibility and time to do a variety of tasks and to help other families. Those who are called to live the single, celibate life should be encouraged and given moral support by the representatives of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, since every one is called to holiness. “What the soul is in the body, let Christians be in the world.” (Lumen Gentium, p. 396)"


#9

[quote="Tantum_ergo, post:7, topic:240755"]
Don't you love it when people come on and tell us 'there is no such thing as X according to the Church". . .without providing a shred of evidence from the Church itself. . .:D

[/quote]

Well, perhaps he just wasn't explaining his terms well. As I mentioned, accepting an uncommitted single life that is forced upon oneself is not a vocation. This is a category that I fall into. Perhaps the OP meant to address those of us in this category who are mistakenly confusing our circumstances with our vocations.


#10

is perfectly exemplefied by this attitude

If i never find someone willing to marry me I will most certainly be living the rest of my days as a single person.

Single life, a true VOCATION rather than a Facebook status, is a calling. Single as a relationship status is truly a time of discernment. I have, even in my life, discrned that religious life is not what God is calling me to with certinity. I am now in the very, very beginning of decerining life with another person. If he didn’t exist it wouldn’t automattically be someone else, but the path would be different, and if I wasn’t dating at all I’d still be discerning what God’s will for me was. At this time I am not commited to the Single life because I am not called. Even if I didn’t have a boyfriend I wouldn’t just be single by default, I’d be preparing for the vocation I felt God was calling me to, marriage vocation OR single vocation.


#11

[quote="purplesunshine, post:10, topic:240755"]
Even if I didn't have a boyfriend I wouldn't just be single by default, I'd be preparing for the vocation I felt God was calling me to, marriage vocation OR single vocation.

[/quote]

Good point, the real danger is just doing nothing at all.


#12

According to the CCC (as opposed to personal opinions, even of clergy and publications), the only two states of life that are called “vocations” are marriage and “virginity for the kingdom”, which is clarified as “priestly ministry” and “consecrated life”. Simply being “single” is not classified as a “vocation”, and one of the reasons that I heard is that it is not permanent, i.e., one does not take vows like married people or priests/religious. If one takes a vow to singlehood, then that is most likely in the context of “consecrated life”.


#13

There is even biblical evidence as said by Jesus himself as to the single life vocation. Read:

Matthew 19:12

“Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made that way by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone who can, accept this statement.”
(Catholic Reference Bible)

Are you disputing Jesus?


#14

What Jesus was referring to there is the “virginity for the kingdom” (see CCC 922, 1579, and 1618-1620), which the Church clarifies as priestly ministry or consecrated life (CCC 2233).


#15

I went to a Jesuit Catholic Schooll and they have always taught there are 3 vocations:

  1. Religious
  2. Married Life
  3. Single Blessedness

There are really some people who are called to lead a life as a single person. That is their vocation. My aunt is one of them and she is very happy with her life. She helps the Church a lot and donates to the Franciscan Order.


#16

There is such a thing as chaste celibate single life The priest who took me through my instructions said as much and he was very orthodox in his thinking. He said that it was as much a vocation as marriage or the religious life especially if that was the life that God had called you to.


#17

Thread on this topic from '08.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=216246

Personally, I’m pretty convinced that God has called me to lead a single life.

-Tim-


#18

[quote="Norseman82, post:12, topic:240755"]
According to the CCC (as opposed to personal opinions, even of clergy and publications), the only two states of life that are called "vocations" are marriage and "virginity for the kingdom", which is clarified as "priestly ministry" and "consecrated life". Simply being "single" is not classified as a "vocation", and one of the reasons that I heard is that it is not permanent, i.e., one does not take vows like married people or priests/religious. If one takes a vow to singlehood, then that is most likely in the context of "consecrated life".

[/quote]

Well put. If one feels truly called to be permanently single, one should at least seek consecrated celibacy. All vocations require preparation and action to live out.


#19

I don’t believe there is such a thing myself. I certainly didn’t choose it. In my opinion a vocation is something you choose not something that just happens to you. I feel a strong calling for volunteerism and community service work which I do participate in…that would be my idea of a vocation. I’m happy as a single person and I’ve pretty much given up on marriage but it wasn’t my choice. My personal opinion is that the Single Vocation idea was brought up by folks who wanted to make themselves feel more accepted and comfortable in the single state and possibly adopted by the church as a lazy way to avoid dealing with increasing demise of marriage among singles. The church for the most part ignores singles. :rolleyes:


#20

This conversation needs to be focused better. There is no question that a person can live single all his life and be actively following God’s will. There is no question that a person might determine that they are NOT called to marriage, and NOT called to the life of a priest/brother/nun/sister.

The question here is really: What is the definition of VOCATION? Is a vocation something that is defined as :
a) an intentional permanent state in which you spend your life?
b) an irreversible state in life that can only be changed by death?
c) a state that requires canonically approved vows to be said?
d) a state in life that is changeable?
e) something that EVERY person seeking the will of God has?
f) whatever path God is calling you to in your life?

I don’t know the answer to this, and would certainly need the church documents to spell this one out to me. I do believe that vocation is not about “what you do” but “who you are.” Which means that a person who says that it is their vocation to teach poor children is actually using the word in a different sense than what we are speaking of.

Arguments FOR a single vocation:
INTELLECTUAL
-God calls everyone to different types of life. Perhaps he calls some people specifically to the single life.
-A single person is no less important to God’s Kingdom than a married or religious person.
PERSONAL
-It goes against what I have always been taught to say that some people DON’T have a vocation (at least in this sense of the word). It just seems off.

Arguments AGAINST there being single vocation:
INTELLECTUAL
-A person who declares himself to have that vocation could change his mind at any time without any sort of permission or canonical process. What does it say about the vocation if the person ends up “switching vocations” down the line?
-There isn’t a formal moment in which a person enter into the single vocation, but there is a particular moment for the others. There is an exact point of no return, before which you can say that the vocation is in your future, and after which you say that it is your present.
PERSONAL
-Not having a “Vocation” in this sense of the word does not make one a lesser Christian. It may require me to unlearn my ways of thinking. Perhaps I need a new word other than vocation to fill in the blank: “Everyone has a ___. They just have to listen to God and find it.”

As I review these ideas, it seems that the argument for a formal vocation is much weaker than the arguments against. Then again, the definition is important, and I am not confident that my answers are correct.


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