Single Life

"You cannot imagine at all how much you interest God; he is interested in you as if there were no one else on earth".   - Julien Green (1900-1998, French writer)

"To embrace the single life as a lay person in a lifelong commitment is sometimes called apostolic celibacy. Unlike other vocations there is not a formal confirmation process, but it is a real vocation and is of increasing significance in the life of the Church".

If none of the other vocations are confirmed in your life, you can choose to remain open to these options or to embrace single life as your vocation. Some think that the call to this vocation can arise when someone is unable to marry or commit to the religious life, believing that the fact it didnt work out is a sign from God that they are called to the single life. 

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 neighbours and the Church. The Catechism does not directly speak about this, but it touches on it, when it speaks about those who are without a family by circumstances beyond their control, and who serve God and their neighbour, "No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who 'labor and are heavy laden'" (CCC #1658). 

For someone who is called to this vocation they may become more involved in the life of the local church community and service to their local community. There are also communities which support those who have commited to lead the single life. Some who are called to this vocation live in community and others on their own.

Unlike married and religious vocations, the single vocation does not have a special sacrament or yearly celebration. While the church acknowleges and is certainly concerned for the single vocation, rarely does the Catholic single vocation receive the attention, support and celebration that the other vocational paths receive. Even many Catholic Single groups and websites exist to help singles discern a religious vocation and/or to meet their future spouse, rather than celebrating and supporting the single vocation as a viable life choice. Others such as celebrate and support the Catholic who has chosen the single vocation as the best and most joyful and fulfilling way to know and love God in the Catholic Church. |

Prayer of single people 

Heavenly Father, after much prayer and reflection it is my belief that I can best serve you in the single state. Let me be true to my vocation to this life and never do anthing to sully it. As I freely give up the benefits of married life, I am aware that I also give up its difficulties and receive in turn the benefits of the single state. Enable me to appreciate the freedom at my disposal–from cares and concerns of spouses and children, from a highly structured life-style, and from the legitimate demands of family members.

Help me to make good use of the added time I have available. Inspire me to give of myself to others, to be an example to my married friends and a comfort to my single friends. May I ever realize that whether single or married our one concern should be to serve you each day and to serve others for your sake. Grant that I may be so attached to you that I may never feel lonely in my chosen state.

Source: The New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book 1993