Articles of the Month
Should single Catholics be worried about marriage? What can single Catholics do with their lives?
This is a great question and I'm sure many single Catholics have wrestled over this question more than once in their lives? The answer is: no. Marriage is a big step and more and more people are choosing to wait longer to get married due to finances, wanting to become stable in their career, wanting to travel, etc. The divorce rate is now, on average, about 50% of all marriages end in divorce. That is a tragedy. This is a far cry from when about 85% of the American population, during the 1950's, got married and the majority of marriages lasted. Happiness in marriage is still possible but it takes alot of work, both people should be able to compromise, each Catholic partner must remain good Catholics thoughout their marriage, be willing to also take an active role in bringing their children up in the Catholic faith and keep God, Our Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Mother as the #1 priority in their lives. Otherwise, marriages just do not seem to work.
Sometimes, it just takes time to find someone that is compatible and is also a good Catholic. When single Catholics are actively looking for potential marriage partners, it is important that they do not make the terrible mistake of foregoing their chastity while they are dating or entering into the engagement period. The temptation to live up to this over-sexualized, modern society is sometimes great but it is important that single Catholics do not relent and give into this temptation. Many non-Church-going people have admitted that they do not think about chastity while they are dating and that is a scary prospect. Single Catholics should set themselves apart as individuals who follow their faith and therefore, also regard their chastity and devotion to God as the most important aspect of their lives.
If single Catholics are worrying about getting married in order to have children, they must pray to Our Lord everyday and ask Him to send a good and faithful Catholic into their lives who also believes in all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Single Catholics can find other traditional, single Catholics at Church dances, Catholic single's groups, at single Catholic conferences, yearly Catholic conferences in their area, on pilgrimage tours, etc. Single Catholics must wait to find other good traditional Catholic friends first and perhaps these friendships will blossom into marriages. One thing that single Catholics should not do is try to find a potential marriage partner or future boyfriend/girlfriend at a single's bar or nightclub. These are the worse places to look for potential life-long wives/husbands or boyfriends/girlfriends and single Catholics should try to stay away from these types of environments. It can be assumed that most people in these places just want to "pick up and use" singles and most people that go there do not have the same moral ideals that traditional, church-going Catholics have.
On the other hand, there are other single Catholics that may have chosen the single life permanently. It may be their calling. Some single Catholics have chosen to give up the idea of getting married and having children in order to pursue a missionary life or a life dedicated to the Lord as a Catholic Consecrated virgin, www.ConsecratedVirgins.org, as a Third Order member of a religious order or to serve the Church in their own way. There were many saints who were Third Order members of religious orders who still lived in the world. One example of this was St. Catherine of Siena who was a tertiary of the Dominican Order. She is an important example of a Catholic lay person who became a saint. Another example of a single Catholic is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, www.FrassatiUSA.org, who also belonged to the Third Order of St. Dominic. Other single Catholics choose to head Catholic organizations or start their own Catholic organizations. Many single Catholics have also chosen to adopt children on their own, although this may be financially difficult and it may also be difficult for the children since they would be living in a single parent environment.
And, there are some single Catholics that choose to become priests, brothers, deacons and religious sisters. This is a very blessed and holy vocation for single Catholics who wish to permanently give their life to God and to the Church. There are many seminaries and religious orders that men and women can call to find out about to eventually become priests and sisters. For example, there are the Diocesan priests (www.TheCatholicPriestToday.com) that live in the rectories next to parishes, religious communities that priests and brothers can live in community such as the Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, etc., Deacons (www.CatholicDeacon.org) which get religious instruction from the Archdiocese and religious sister or nuns which come from a variety of orders. You can go to www.vocation.com and read more about discernment of the various vocations of life.
There are many options for single Catholics today. Single Catholics, whatever they choose to do with their lives, should always keep God, Jesus and Our Blessed Mother as the first priority in their lives no matter what they do and no matter what others may say. Their own soul should be their concern and where their soul will go after this life is over. God may have a plan for your life so don't get down on yourself if your not married right now, don't have a boyfriend/girlfriend or don't know what to do with your life. God may want you to get closer to Him first and put Him as the most important person in your life before you think about your ultimate decisions.
What should we be learning from this Lenten Season?