Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

January 4, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

The single vocation.  It's always been so mysterious to me.  As a teenager I assumed it was a "default" vocation, something that you resigned yourself to if you weren't called to the religious life or if you never met your husband.  Now in my mid-twenties, I still stand in this grey area of not having heard the call to be a sister and still not having met a husband.   My thoughts have changed, though I am still unclear as to what this vocation really is.  

I know that I am called to be immersed in the world, to live the life of a lay woman.  As St. Josemaria Escriva says, "I am madly in love with the world."  I have visited friends in their religious communities and have prayed about the life consecrated to God, but it never felt "home" to me.   If I heed the word of St. Thomas Aquinas, I know that God works through my natural desires, and so my deep-seeded desire to care for a man and to be cared for by him, to delight in one another, is what has always felt most like "home" to me.  

And yet that vocation has not yet been fulfilled.  Or maybe it is being fulfilled, but I haven't crossed the threshold of moving beyond individual preparation to mutual growth in virtue (see complementarity blogs!).  In any event, I continue to meditate on how "the faith and the hope and the love are all in the waiting," as T.S. Eliot writes.  

But to be in this space of waiting does not actually mean to wait around or to sit idly by.  I am single, and I must be sanctifying my friends, family, and the people I work with and for and praying that I continue to be made holy on my way to heaven.  So for me right now, the single vocation is the immediate present, and though it may remain the immediate present for quite a bit, I embrace it for even in the midst of the unsettling feeling that is the mid-twenties, having the ability to care for those who are in my presence presents me with some sense of "home."  

I would love to hear other thoughts from women on what it means to be single, lay, and Catholic.  We may be unmarried, widows, or those who are in fact called to the single vocation for their whole lives.  Are you a single woman?  How is God calling you?  Do you hear what I hear? 

1 comment:

Angela Miceli said...

This is a great post. It's always a struggle. Even though I am dating someone seriously, I am still not married, not engaged to be married. So, as a single woman, I am still called to be sanctifying the world in a particular way. I think that women have a unique spirituality, a unique quality that gives them the desire to care for others. Some call it the maternal instinct, but it is something innate in all women. The problem can be compounded, because sometimes, it is difficult to discern what is heard.

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