After obtaining a CPA License, I thought everything would turn out well in my favor. Having a lucrative job that pays big was my only goal back then. I was from a middle-class family, raised by pragmatic parents that gave everything I and my siblings needed plus a few wants.
I was thinking perhaps if I obtain a car and house, that would be enough to be happy. Then, I transferred from one job to another to get a paycheck that would allow me to buy these earthly goods.
Finally, I did! It made me happy not because of pride but because I gave my family things I never imagined I could.
In spite of it, I still longed for something. Something worth pursuing. Something that money cannot buy.
In 2017, the thirst for God became even stronger. My plan to serve the Church became more intense.
But, it is in 2019 that I decided I would discern religious life.
After attending different vocation seminars, I got confused and burned out to the point that I had to shut down my social media accounts to seclude myself for a while.
I needed silence.
I wanted to listen to Him in tranquility.
In this journey, I realized that maybe I was hyper-focusing on a particular vocation that I missed looking for other vocations such as single life.
Yes, you read it right!
Single life is also a vocation.
What is single life?
In our Catholic Faith, we have 4 types of vocation. Religious Life, Priesthood, Married Life, and Single Life.
Living a single life means living a saintly life focused on the love for His greater glory.
It is being available to serve the Church. To serve others.
Being single is optional.
Various circumstances contribute to our discernment affecting our vocation.
Not everyone is called to be a priest or religious. If that’s the case, perhaps, married life. But if still not, it could be single-blessedness life.
If you are a single female who is considering single life, you might want to consider Consecrated Virginity. For more details, you can check this guide.
How does single-blessedness work for the Church?
Just like being religious or married, being single is also called to holiness.
As single, we must live in chastity.
Just like priests, those who choose single life are celibate.
When we are baptized, the gifts of the Holy Spirit were bestowed upon us and we must commit to the promises we made which is to serve the Church wholeheartedly.
Being single in the Catholic Church allows us to be more present and active in several ministries. We can be more available.
And this is a good thing!
To be able to serve the Church more, loving our brothers and sisters freely.
How to live a single life?
Living this life, as compared to other vocations, does not require ordination (in the case of priests), profession (in the case of religious brothers or sisters), and Sacrament of Marriage (in the case of married couples). Nonetheless, it requires commitment. Commitment to a holy life.
As this is one of my options, I am living my life now as a single guy just like a normal single individual does.
I am working to meet my needs.
I visit my parents from time to time in our simple abode in a small city.
Going out with my friends.
And, I occasionally travel to different places in my spare time.
With all these, I am committed to following the Church’s teachings. I am living a celibate life. Attending Mass regularly. Devoting my Wednesday in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. And trying to be more active in our Parish activities.
I find this life freeing as compared to what others might think, which is boring. I actually feel I am capable of giving more of myself to the Church and to others.
Although I am still discerning, I currently enjoy this way of life. A life full of love.
Challenges of Single Life Vocation
Just like any other vocation, being single has its own challenges.
One of those is living chastely. As human beings, we are not free from sexual urges, and at times, we give in to temptation. But, this is something that can be overcome over time through prayers and self-discipline.
Another one is loneliness. This, I admit, is harder than the first one. If you are single, you tend to carry the world by yourself. You do not have a family you can call your own to be with when the time comes. And it is frightening. But, living a single life for more than 25 years, I realized that although I am alone, I can still face tomorrow confidently knowing that the family I am building is bigger than normal ones. I am extending it to my friends and relatives.
What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church say about single life?
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
CCC 1658 “We must also remember the great number of single persons who, because of the particular circumstances in which they have to live – often not of their choosing – are especially close to Jesus’ heart and therefore deserve the special affection and active solicitude of the Church, especially of pastors. Many remain without a human family often due to conditions of poverty. Some live their situation in the spirit of the Beatitudes, serving God and neighbor in exemplary fashion. The doors of homes, the ‘domestic churches,’ and of the great family which is the Church must be open to all of them. ‘No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who ‘labour and are heavy laden.”
CCC 898 “By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. . . . It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and maybe to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer”
Are there saints who lived a single life?
Yes, there are saints who live a single-blessedness life.
St. Pradixes, St. Casimir of Poland, and St. Joseph Moscati are some of the examples of notable persons who had a single life as their vocation.
If you are discerning this way of life, you can ask their intercession for clarity.
Perhaps, you are probably considering a vocation to a single life right now.
It is difficult to decide yet for we are still being honed by our own experiences leading us to our vocation. But know that, we are made to be holy. We are created to love.
As we wait for that moment to finally say yes to our calling, we must continue to serve the Lord through His Church and His people.
Until then, we are living a life in accordance with His will. And that should be our vocation.
For Catholic books on vocation discernment, check this out.