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:
-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.
-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:
-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.
-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.