Parish Prayer Day for Marriage and Family Life Thursday 20th August
One of the things that the virus has not affected is the Continuous Prayer for Marriage and Family Life. This depends only on the willingness and commitment of each of us to spend our hour each month in praying for one another under the headings of Marriage and of Family Life. The focus for August, is the Vocation of Single People. Some Thoughts: We generally think about vocation in terms of priesthood and religious life – and sometimes in terms of marriage. Very seldom do we consider the vocation of the single person. For us as Christians there is only one vocation, and this comes through Baptism. The vocation of each of us is to be a disciple of Christ. This is then expressed and lived differently because of the different circumstances and commitments of our lives.
A little of what has been written about the Single Vocation
The Apostolic exhortation Christifideles laici confirms that the unmarried state of lay life is a courageous response of vocational action and a magnificent opportunity for apostolic expenditure, especially in the times, conditions, and circumstances of the post-modern era. The single lay person carries out his or her apostolate by virtue of his or her special vocational status, growing in intimate union with the Divine Spouse, Our Lord. God the Father placed before them the temporal means of His own sanctification: human labour. Human labour serves men and women as both a natural and supernatural means to sustain and maintain themselves, contributing to God’s plan of salvation. “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10).
The vocation to the Single Life may be lived out either from choice or from circumstance. Some people choose to remain single because they believe this is how they can best serve God and his people. They do not feel called to join a consecrated community or the priesthood. They may be a lay missionary – teacher or doctor – who can more easily respond to need, wherever it is perceived, if they are not tied by an intimate relationship or family responsibilities. But equally they may be a carpenter, office worker, scientist, dentist, train driver, who has a fulfilling personal relationship with Jesus which they feel able to live out more fully if they are not tied by other relationships.
Other people are single because of the situation they find themselves in. This may be a temporary or permanent situation. For example, a young person who is still discerning his or her vocation – whether to marriage or the religious life – is still called to live their life for God while they are single. A person who feels called to marriage but has not yet found their future spouse can be living the single vocation at this time. A person who has been widowed or divorced and thus is no longer living the vocation to marriage may now live out the vocation to single life.