Articles of the Month
How can Single Catholics deal with loneliness?
This is not new for many people who are single. You don't have to be single to feel lonely. Many married and widowed people can feel just as alone as single people. Sometimes people may feel alone when their immediate family, relatives or friends are not around them, during the holidays or when their dear ones have died. Catholics especially should realize that they are never really alone although it may seem that way many times. Jesus himself told his apostles, "I am with you always, even until the end of time." People need to realize that Jesus always keeps His word and He means what He says. When they are alone during the day or night, they can simply tell Our Almighty Father, Our Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Mother to stay with them throughout the day. Singles can consecrate their day to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary in the morning so that everything they offer to them will not only help singles to come closer to Jesus and Mary and help them gain merits in Heaven but they can also help others who may need their good works.
Single Catholics, as well as other Catholics, need to also remember that they are each born with a guardian angel who stays with them throughout their lives. Even though we may not see or hear our guardian angels, nevertheless, they are with us by command from God. They are also our witnesses. Therefore, they see us when we do something wrong or evil and they are with us when we do good things as well. People cannot hide from their guardian angels. People should not totally ignore their guardian angels because they are not only their lifelong companions, but they also protect and guard them and help their prayers reach God. They also pray for us every day.
People also have their Blessed Mother who, when they ask Her intercession, can help them reach new heights in holiness, especially through the recitation of the Holy Rosary which she gave to them many centuries ago. She is truly Our Mother because She loves us like no one else does. She wants the best for us and She wants us to be with Her in Heaven whenever God calls us from this earth. Single Catholics can start their day by asking Our Blessed Mother to watch over them, to bring them closer to Her Son and to take them to Heaven when they die. It is especially important for people to remember that they have a Heavenly Mother when they lose their earthly mother, when singles feel all alone in the world and no one is by their side. Mary prays for people constantly even when people forget to ask Her to. Jesus Himself gave Our Blessed Mother to us during His crucifixion when He told St. John "Behold your mother" and when Jesus told Mary, "Woman, behold your son."
Single Catholics can also volunteer for many Catholic organizations whenever they feel lonely or have time on their hands such as in the Legion of Mary, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Knights of Columbus, and
other local parish ministries. They can also become members of Third Order religious communities such as in the Franciscans, Dominicans, Benedictines, and Carmelites. Single Catholics can search for these religious orders and ministries over the internet these days because it is so much easier to do so. Singles can also involve themselves into their Catholic faith by starting organizations on their own such as in an out-reach ministry, and/or a single Catholic ministry in their local Catholic Church. Since many single Catholics have time on their hands, there are many things that they can do to occupy their time rather than trying to perhaps wallow in self-pity at the thought of having alone time.
So, there are many things that Single Catholics can do in their lives to lessen the feeling of loneliness that may come from time to time. It is important to remember that when these feelings of loneliness creep up, single people should be careful not look for love or companionship in all the wrong places because that is very easy to do. Many people are vulnerable and may try to fill their lives by hanging around the wrong crowd or bad influences. They may live to regret their wrong choices that were made when they felt lonely. People need to remind themselves that that "dark night of the soul" will not last forever. They cannot only think of themselves during this time. They need to focus on helping others and deepening their relationship with God during those trying times. Being alone with only God is what He may be asking for singles to do for a time. He may be allowing individuals to have this "alone time" so that they can grow closer to Him.
A Time to Honor Our Lord, the Holy Family and Our Blessed Mother and Prepare for the Advent Season!
The Christmas season is not only about having a Christmas tree, shopping and gifts. This month of Advent reminds us that we will be celebrating the birth of Our Lord Jesus, as well as honoring the Holy Family and the Blessed Virgin Mary. As single Catholics, we are called to share in the celebration with the angels in Heaven. With the birth of Jesus we are assured of His presence in the world and in our lives. Do we ever thank Jesus for His presence in our lives and for what He has done for us or do we just take it all for granted?
Christmas is also about family unity and family holiness as was demonstrated by the Holy Family on that blessed day over two thousand years ago. The shepherds and wise men came to honor and praise Our Lord Jesus and we ought to do the same. Jesus stated that He came into the world that we might have life and have it more abundantly. We can say "thank you" to Our Lord by saying, "I love You Jesus. Thank You for everything You have done for me. Thank You for Your presence in my life. Stay with me on my journey in this life. Never let me be separated from You. Please take me to Heaven when my life on earth is over. Amen."
During the month of December, we also honor Our Blessed Mother for Her Immaculate Conception. She was conceived without original sin and lived an exemplary and holy life all of Her life. Even though we are fallible human beings, we should try to imitate Our Blessed Mother's holiness, humility, Her love for others, for Our Heavenly Father and for Her Son, Our Lord. Our Lady is a model for us in this life. We should also try to bring others to the realization that belief in Jesus is very important and in the sacraments of the Catholic Church and that they should prepare their souls for the next life. We should consecrate our lives and our family, not only to the Sacred Heart of Jesus but also to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and ask Her and Our Lord Jesus to protect us from all harm and evil. We should also be wholly committed to the daily recitation of the Rosary and committed to wearing the scapular always throughout our life. In this way, we not only pay homage to Our Blessed Mother, but we also show Her that we belong to Her so that she may intercede for us to God and Our Lord Jesus and bring us to the joys of paradise.
How do we live out the Advent Season and prepare for the New Year?
During this Advent season, we must prepare to make straight our path and follow God. In order to do so, there are a few things that we need to remember. The first thing is that single Catholics, for that matter, all Catholics should remember is to go to Church during the year and during all days of obligation. It takes effort to go to Church because it requires a sacrifice. Single Catholics need to stop gambling with their souls and need to start going to Church every week! It is one of the Ten Commandments and it is our Catholic duty. All Catholics should obtain a Catholic calendar which states all of the Holy Days of Obligation for the year. Many single Catholics tend to dismiss Sundays and do what they want to do for that day instead of worrying about their souls. It should be very easy to go after mass to the mall, watch that ball game later, avoid that Saturday night on the town drinking with the buddies or girlfriends in order to attend Church on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.
People should also observe all days of fasting and abstinence, especially every Friday which was the day that Our Lord died for us and during the Lenten season. These fasting days and days of abstinence can also be found on Catholic calendars which can be obtained from your local parish or Catholic bookstore. Catholics also need to start going to confession more often, more than just once a year, preferably once a month. A person would never go to work without taking a bath or shower and it should be the same with their soul. One should never receive Holy Communion with a dirty soul. So, on Saturday, make sure you take the time to go to confession so that you will be able to attend Church and receive Holy Communion every week. It is good to give our soul a bath at least once a month!
We should also change our bad habits during the Advent season, in order to prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus and for the coming year. If Catholics have any bad habits like smoking, drugs, committing sexual exploits with others, or any other bad habits that can do damage to one's soul, Advent is the perfect season to get rid of those habits. Single Catholics are not suppose to be engaging in habits that can lead to eternal damnation, especially sex before marriage because it not only is a desecration of the temple of the Holy Spirit within us but a desecration of our souls and a serious mortal sin. It is one of the 7 Capital sins of lust which God warns will have serious ramifications of eternal damnation forever if one is to suddenly die with this mortal sin on their soul. Single Catholics need to have respect for their bodies, their souls and others (which they are also contributing to the desecration of the other person's body and soul as well) which God looks at very seriously. For this reason alone, it is adviseable that one never engage in this serious Capital sin at all.
It is also the obligation of Catholics to keep themselves informed of Catholic news. EWTN, the global Catholic network, is a good Catholic resource to find out what is going on in the Catholic Church. Go to www.ewtn.com and you can watch their live TV programming on your computer. EWTN is also available on most TV cable networks. If Single Catholics can afford it, they should also subscribe to Catholic newspapers like the National Catholic Register (www.ncregister.com) which discusses news from around the country and world-wide. They can also subscribe to their local Catholic newspaper which contain news and events that are happening within local parishes.
All Catholics should also start saying the Rosary every day and wear the scapular as Our Blessed Mother has repeatedly asked for all people to do. Go to www.rosescapular.net for the Our Lady of Fatima Brown Scapular for $6.98. The Rosary and scapular are inseparable. Please go to www.protectyoursoulcatholicministry.com and read the section on the Rosary and the scapular. Our Lady has made promises to take individuals to Heaven if they recite the Rosary and wear the scapular every day of their life. Please advise others to also do the same and do these things that Our Lady has pleaded for people to do.
We should go into the New Year with a clean soul, a lively spirit and a faith-filled life with God as our true joy! Catholics need to make straight their path that leads to God and Advent is a wonderful time to do just that. May God bless you all during this Christmas season and may He bless you in the coming year!