As with all God given vocations, a vocation to the single life is a state of life we are called to for our entire life. A vocation to the single life is not a temporary calling. It is important to distinguish a vocation to the single life and simply being single. A vocation to the single life is not common, but is no less significant than a vocation to the married life or religious life. All are called to live their life joined to Christ through Baptism.
Accepting the vocation of the single life means choosing to serve God as a celibate member of the laity. Single persons serve the Christian family through acts of love and service in a variety of lay ministries.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website has information on the vocation of the Single Life. USCCB.
Prayer of a Single Person
from my mother's womb
you have known and loved me
more than I can ever know.
I ask for the courage to live a holy life,
that your hand guide my decisions
and that your mercy be extended
when I seek my own glory instead of yours.
I ask for the wisdom to know your will for me,
and like Our Blessed Mother,
I ask for the strength to say yes.
May I find you in every person I meet, and may my life so shine forth
your goodness and love
that each person may be led to you
through Jesus, your Son,
who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen.
Nine Ways to Live as a Single Person
1. Make time for prayer.
- Reflect on the blessings and challenges of being single and the gifts you have to offer.
- Make prayer a part of your daily life.
- Use personal prayer, the Scriptures, journaling, meditation, and the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Schedule a personal or group retreat.
- Plan a pilgrimage to a holy site. Visit area shrines and other historical religious sites.
2. Practice forgiveness.
- Learn to forgive and be forgiven.
- Examine your conscience and practice fasting and sacrifice.
- Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
3. Celebrate the Eucharist.
- Actively participate each Sunday; daily if possible.
- Register with your parish, and if you've already done so, look for ways to get more involved in the liturgy as a lector, Eucharistic minister, usher, musician, or choir member.
4. Live a just life.
- Work against abortion and attacks on life, the redefinition of marriage, discrimination, racism, and oppression.
- Treat all people with the dignity they deserve as sons and daughters of God.
- Participate in works of charity, justice, and peace.
- Look for ways to simplify your life and share what you have with others.
5. Help the poor.
- Look into local service opportunities or other ways your gifts can be used in service to others.
- Gather others together for group service projects. Practice charity by assisting those living in poverty and promote community-based solutions for injustice and poverty.
6. Be a domestic church.
- Establish personal traditions around holidays, special feast days, and other celebrations or memorials.
- Offer your home as a place for friendship and hospitality.
7. Share faith.
- Talk about God's presence in your life with other people; be an evangelizer.
- Consider getting involved with your parish RCIA program for those learning more about the Catholic faith.
- Look for opportunities to invite others to experience your faith community.
8. Join a small Christian community.
- Join a small faith group to receive support to live your faith.
- If one does not exist, form one of your own. Gather regularly for prayer, faith sharing, and community.
9. Know your faith.
- Look for opportunities for adult faith development and education.
- Visit a good bookstore or the internet for resources on faith and the Church.
- Read the Scriptures.
- Begin a study of saints who lived a single life.
(Adapted from "Nine Ways to Live Jubilee and Be a Holy Person" in A Parishioner's Guide — Preparing for the Jubilee Year 2000. Content originally provided by www.usccb.org.)