Articles of the Month
Should single Catholics become more involved in the Catholic Church? If yes, why?
The answer is a definite "yes!". Single Catholics everywhere, no matter where they live, no matter what they do for a living, no matter how much money they make, no matter what socio-economic class they are in, they should all take some time out of their days to give to the Catholic Church. Why you may ask? The answer to this question is simple--because Jesus wants us to. Jesus started the Catholic Church and He is the head of the Church. Think of it more as our obligation rather than a choice. We were chosen by God to be born in this world for a reason. We may not know what that "purpose" is but we certainly have a choice in what we will do in this life--whether we choose our time on earth to do good or evil. One of the best ways to spend our spare time is to do good for others whether it is for our family, for our neighbor or for our Church.
You may be saying to yourself, "Well, I don't have enough time to go down to the nearest Catholic Church and volunteer to help out there." Everyone has at least 30 minutes to an hour at least once a month to do some good for their nearest Catholic Church. Afterall, the Church can always use help with something and they will be very grateful to you for thinking of your parish. God is probably looking down on earth at the population of millions of people and asking, "Will they do something for Me instead of only thinking of themselves and their needs?" We can say yes to God and do something for Him and His House which is also our house. When we feel all alone, we must know that we are not really alone as long as we realize that God, Our Lord Jesus, Our Blessed Mother, the holy angels and the saints are there for us always and they are part of the Holy Catholic Church.
Even if you do not feel like volunteering your time for the Catholic Church, do something for the Church anyway. Jesus sacrificed for us by shedding His blood for our salvation. The least we can do for Him is to sacrifice some of our time for the benefit of the Church and others. Some examples of things you can do would be: dusting the altars in Church, passing out the Church bulletins to parishioners after Mass, helping to collect the money during Mass, answering phone calls at the Church Rectory, putting water in the water fonts at the entrances of the Church, sweeping the floors in Church, etc. Our Lord Jesus and Our Almighty Father will be very happy that you thought of Them rather than only for yourself and your family.
Another way to become involved in the Catholic Church is for single Catholics to follow the Church's laws, rituals, and traditions. All Catholics also have an obligation to make sure that all the generations that they come in contact with, whether it's their own family, friends, neighbors, fellow parishioners, or strangers, know that they are truly Catholic by showing them good examples, obeying the 10 Commandments daily, following the Catechism of the Catholic Church, going to confession, going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion weekly, saying the Rosary daily, wearing the Brown Scapular all of their lives. Catholics must make sure that they, their families and relatives have all fulfilled the Catholic Church's Holy Sacraments such as Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation in their Catholic faith because each person who receives these Sacraments have been endowed with the Holy Spirit and special graces by God.
When younger generations see that single Catholics are getting involved in the Catholic Church and following their faith, it gives the younger people a blue print to follow in their own lives. The major concern for us single Catholics is that we must realize that the way we live our lives impacts future generations and we all have an obligation to make sure that the younger people in our families, friendships, neighborhood and strangers are also getting involved in the Catholic Church as well following in the Church's laws, rituals and traditions as they should. In the Bible, it states that "Faith without works, is dead." We cannot say that we have faith in God if we do not do anything to show our faith. Jesus Himself criticized the scribes and the Pharisees because they pretended to have faith in God, but yet they did little to show it to others and did not do His will.
When we do God's work in the world, get involved in the Church, we are doing God's will and helping our fellow brothers and sisters. We should not only think of ourselves and what we need in this world. We need to also be concerned for the Catholic Church and for the souls of others. After all, we all want to make sure that every Catholic Christian person makes it to Heaven, especially the younger generation. There is no reason to settle for the agonizing depths of Purgatory or Hell for all eternity when we can easily choose God, Our Lord Jesus, Our Blessed Mother, our Catholic Church and our Catholic faith by doing His will and by helping others. We have no choice. It is either God and Our Lord Jesus or Hell.
How can single Catholics make an impact on the lives of others in the world?
Single Catholics have more of an impact on others than many people may think. Those who are practicing Catholics can make an important impact on others in many ways.
1st. Single Catholics must show others, by example, that they can live out their lives by following the Commandments of God daily, going to confession monthly, going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist every week, faithfully, despite the pressures surrounding them to live contrary to Our Heavenly Father's and Jesus' Laws. It is important that we show others that although we are single, we are still going to follow what God and Our Lord Jesus has commanded of us. In our society today, many singles are bombarded with peer pressure, societal demands, fast living, bad advice, lust for pleasure and with other situations that cause them to sink into horrific mortal sin. Single Catholics are also to live out their lives in faithful compliance with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, follow the Catechism of the Catholic Church and live out the Sacraments in their lives.
Single Catholics have to be careful that they do not produce scandal in their lives which will directly affect the younger generation in their families, in their community and in society. The way singles live their lives can have an adverse affect on their children, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters and the younger population of people in society. For example, if a single person or any other person, has children or teenagers in their family and they decide to live with a person without being married, this can produce a scandal which can directly harm the life of the younger generation in their family by showing them that it is okay to live with a person without being married. Jesus Himself states in the Bible that those who cause the younger generation to drift away from God by showing them a bad example or by causing them to sin also, that person who caused the scandal would be punished with Hell for their offenses.
What secular singles and non-practicing Catholics don't realize is that there is hope for a better and a more holy way of life. Jesus is always ready with open arms to welcome back those people who have been away from Him and away from His Church but it is better that those people change their ways as soon as possible because we "neither know the day nor the hour" when we will be called from this life. Now that God is giving us all the time and the chance to change, we should all take full advantage of that opportunity. It is also very good for other singles to see practicing single Catholics following in their faith because it gives non-practicing singles the encouragement they need to try and change their lives for the better. They may begin to think, "Well, my life is not going so well and I'm going against God. If that single Catholic can be a good Catholic and still be single, I can also follow my faith as well. I will change my life from now on." When this happens, practicing single Catholics can feel happy that their good life examples have made a positive impact on the single population as a whole.
2nd. Single Catholics can also make an impact on our society by helping those who are less fortunate than we are. There are a number of ways that single Catholics can get involved in helping less fortunate people in our world. They can become involved by literally helping the poor with their own hands by helping at soup kitchens, giving food to the poor person near the freeway or on the corner, giving away clothes to the poor, giving food baskets to poor families in their city, at their nearest food pantry. They can also donate money to Catholic or non-Catholic organizations that feed the poor.
When single Catholics and all Catholics become involved in helping the poor, they are helping Our Lord Himself. It is part of the Corporal Works of Mercy and when we show others mercy, Jesus, in turn, will show us mercy when we need it most and at the end of our lives. Jesus loves the poor and He has even spoken about it in the Scriptures. The poor, He states, are closer to the Kingdom of God than anyone else. Those, likewise, who give up their wealth for the Kingdom of God, will share in His Heavenly Kingdom as well. If Catholics are not willing to give up some of their money in order to help others, Our Heavenly Father will not be willing to help us as well. The Bible mentions about the rich man who refused to give anything to the poor man who was begging for food. Finally, when the rich man died, he was sent to Hell and the poor man went to Heaven. We have to be very careful the way we treat the poor because they are at the heart of Our Heavenly Father and of Christ.
3rd. Single Catholics can also make an impact on others by becoming active evangelizers and missionaries of the Catholic faith. We, as Catholics, are not supposed to sit on the sidelines and quietly practice our faith. As it states in the Bible, "Faith without works is dead." It is important that we live out our faith by openly and actively evangelizing to others, that we come in contact with, about our Catholic faith. We can do this by talking to the children and teenagers in our families and friendships or around the world about God, Jesus, Our Blessed Mother, the saints, the angels and our Catholic faith and what it teaches. We cannot simply say to ourselves, "It's their lives and I can't interfere by talking about the Catholic faith."
It is our responsibility to make sure that all of the kids and people we come across, in our lives, know about God and Our Lord Jesus, about Their Commandments and about the dangers and punishments of mortal sin. It is our responsibility to make sure that they receive all of their Catholic Sacraments such as Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. If the parents of children in our families and friendships are non-practicing Catholics, then we must take it upon ourselves to make sure that we, as practicing Catholics, take those children and teenagers to their Catechism classes and make sure that they receive all of their Sacraments (of course, with the permission of their parents first). Many single Catholics tend to stay quiet when they are around nieces and nephews or around the children of friends, when it comes to saying anything about their Catholic faith but this shouldn't be so. All Catholics will have to take an account of their life to God when they die and He will remind them of their Catholic obligations to the younger generations. Let us not be forgetful or lax when it comes to teaching the children that are in our lives about God and about the Catholic faith.
4th. Single Catholics can make an impact on others around them by joining Catholic organizations which can directly help to change the laws of our country and at the same time will follow God's holy Commandments. For example, single Catholics can join a March for Life Catholic organization which is working towards overturning the abortion law in this country so that millions of unborn will be protected against the ravages of brutal killings. Catholics everywhere can participate in organizations that are helping to keep religious liberty in the U.S. Single Catholics can start their own religious organizations which can help the poor, disabled and others in our world.
Single Catholics can do such great good in our world. We can have such good influence in the lives of others if we would only take the time to do so. Our Lord says, "Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied; Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy; Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God", etc... We are reminded time and again that if we live for God, Our Lord Jesus, for His people and for His Church, we will be saved on our last day. We cannot sit around and hope that the next person will help others. It is our job to help others. Let us be brave and go out on a limb for others. God will reward us. We can be sure of that.