Is it considered abnormal to remain single?
Dear Fr Anthony,
As a single Catholic person is there only two choices of our state In life; convent or married? Is it considered abnormal or accursed to remain single? Can the sinsle life be consecrated to God? Frankly I realize the challenge this has posed for me, all of my life.
The single life can be lived in various ways: in the hope of marriage, as a preparation for marriage, or as a state of life in itself. When a believing person concludes that the single life is their path, and there are many different ways and circumstances that might lead to that conclusion, he or she will ask themselves what is the meaning of their situation, what does God want them to do now? For some, the circumstance might become a round-about way of discovering a call to consecrated life, whether it be as a religious or in a lay movement, a totally private consecration or entering the "order of virgins" (cf. consecratedvirgins.org). For others, it is simply an acceptance of a situation that was not theirs by choice, and consecration does not enter into it.
No matter what happens to us in life, our faith will always tell us that God will want us to turn it to the good, which will mean growing in our love for him that we reflect in the way we deal with our neighbor. For some, the single state is the opportunity principally to give themselves more to prayer. Others will use their freedom from other commitments to dedicate their time to service and volunteer work, or to their career as service. It is all a question of coming ever closer to Christ in the Eucharist and, with the help of a spiritual director, listening to what he puts in our heart in order to do it.