Consecrated Virginity: Called to the Single Life? Part I
Consecrated Virginity: Called to the Single Life? Part I
May 14th, 2012 by vocations

Today’s guest post comes, once again, from the desk of Ms. Dawn Hausmann who is the Vocation Coordinator in the Diocese of Lansing, MIentering and about to enter  formation to one day, by the grace of God, take vows to become a consecrated virgin. This is the third post in this series. Read more about Dawn’s vocational discernment here and get the introduction to consecrated virginity here

This particular post, which will most likely raise some questions in your mind, is part of a two part article. The second half will be posted tomorrow.

What is the difference between remaining single and becoming a Consecrated Virgin or Consecrated man or woman in the church?  Why not just be single?

Well, there truly is a difference.

The “single state” is an anticipatory state, awaiting a fulfillment, waiting to be given away totally and irrevocably to God in love either through a spouse, in the marriage vocation or directly to God, through a commitment to celibacy or virginity for the Kingdom.  One doesn’t permanently commit to the single state.  There’s always an option to enter marriage or consecrated life without it being sinful to do so.

God doesn’t “call us” to be single as such, however, due to the reality of not living in a perfect world, some of us, even many of us, may remain single in this world.  Some may live as singles because of not encountering the spouse we have been waiting for, others because of family emergencies, life situations, a disability, etc. that may prevent us from entering and committing to a permanent vocation.  This doesn’t mean that we are called by God to be single permanently, as an actual calling.  It can be quite the cross that we are given to bear in this world.  Of course the question of “why would I be designed for a vocation that I was not able to live in this life?” may come to mind.  Unfortunately, the answer to that question will most likely remain a mystery (like so many other questions of “why this” or “why that”).  Although this is so, it is important to realize that no matter what chapter of the journey of life we are in, we are all called to live lives of love and holiness, from the grace of our Baptism, to the best of our ability, as sons and daughters of God.  That being said, we must get back to the task at hand and answer the question of “Why is single life not a permanent calling from God in light of His revelation of the truth of vocation?”

What would it mean theologically if we were to say that single life is a vocation?  Well, first off we must see what God reveals to us in the light of the callings to marriage and consecrated life to see where we are going with this.  What do these two vocations reveal to us about God, our calling, our destiny, and the meaning of life?  Wouldn’t the “Single State” lead us to believe that we can be self-fulfilled or self-sufficient somehow?  The truth is that fulfillment in ourselves is not possible.  Our destiny is union and communion with God and one another.  We see this by looking to God who is Trinity, Love itself, and community.

To be continued…

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