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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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Jan 27th 2013 new

(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: Some of you have said that marriage is a natural vocation and that if you are not called to religious life...
(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: Some of you have said that marriage is a natural vocation and that if you are not called to religious life, you are called to marriage, so there is no need to actively discern marriage once you "ruled out" religious life. If this is true, what would you say to someone who doesn't want children? Children are part of marriage, so if a person doesn't want them, would you say they are not called to marriage?
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Hi Lisa,

I am not necessarily one who thinks marriage is the natural vocation and therefore if religious life is ruled out that means marriage -- because I think the single life without being called to the religious life is also a vocation. So I think there is discernment necessary for all. I have never doubted my vocation.

I think it is the same with children. Marriage has two purposed the procreative and the unitive decoupling the two creates something less than what it was supposed to be. However, just because spouses are called to an openness to life does not guarantee that they will be parents. Children are a gift of marriage but are not guaranteed. Likewise, openness to life is being open to the possibility of natural biological children as well as adopting children of all ages, or fostering etc.

So while a person maybe called to marriage they may not encounter their spouse. Likewise a person may be neither called to marriage nor to religious life, or they could be called to the religious life. People who believe their vocation includes children may find they are unable to bear natural biological children, but very well may be called to parent thirteen year old orphans or an infant from China or their sister's children, etc.

Biologically speaking humans are reproductive and social creatures who create reproductive pair bonds - making a pair bond (marriage) and procreating (having biological children) is within the Natural Law. In that sense it is a natural vocation.

Those who are vehemently opposed to children are not open to the gift of life in marriage and by that very conviction are unable to meet one of the requirements for a sacramental marriage -- the openness to life.

So as I see it there are three main vocations: single, married and religious -- a person may move through all three throughout their lifetime and some permutations of the three. As for children: there is the openness to life but no guarantee that a biological child will be the fruit of a marriage -- rather that openness may find its expression in biological children, step children, adopted children, fostered children, etc.

Lauren

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Jan 27th 2013 new

I meant to add that and just as I may feel called to parenthood but no biological child comes to be -- I can be called to the vocation of marriage without meeting my spouse -- and a calling to marriage does not necessarily go hand in hand with an image of my spouse to be. . .likewise, that spouse may or may not ever end up in my sphere of interaction, and it may or may not be during the early reproductive years of my life. It might be when I am ninety. . .at a certain point biologically being open to life is not possible biologically -- that doesn't mean I might or might not be brought to the care of children through some other means and this does not always mean 24/7 care of a child. . .

just my thoughts on it. . .Lauren

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Jan 28th 2013 new

Lauren, I agree with you that one can be called to be single, married or religious - not just religious or married. Married vocation should be discrened as carefully as a vocation to religious life, imo. My point was that if a person has no desire to have children, that probably means that they are not called to the married vocation, since marriage includes openness to children, and one of the ways God points us to our vocation is by placing a desire for it in our hearts.

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Jan 28th 2013 new

(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: Lauren, I agree with you that one can be called to be single, married or religious - not just relig...
(Quote) Lisa-54615 said:

Lauren, I agree with you that one can be called to be single, married or religious - not just religious or married. Married vocation should be discrened as carefully as a vocation to religious life, imo. My point was that if a person has no desire to have children, that probably means that they are not called to the married vocation, since marriage includes openness to children, and one of the ways God points us to our vocation is by placing a desire for it in our hearts.

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A few months back Pat from Chicago posted a very well-written response explaining why being single is not a vocation. She explained this far better than my brief summary below, so it would be worth your while to find her post (or maybe she will repost it here...)

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Jan 28th 2013 new

(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: Lauren, I agree with you that one can be called to be single, married or religious - not just relig...
(Quote) Lisa-54615 said:

Lauren, I agree with you that one can be called to be single, married or religious - not just religious or married. Married vocation should be discrened as carefully as a vocation to religious life, imo. My point was that if a person has no desire to have children, that probably means that they are not called to the married vocation, since marriage includes openness to children, and one of the ways God points us to our vocation is by placing a desire for it in our hearts.

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Hi Lisa,

Yes, I think having no desire for children might be a clue. And, all vocations should be discerned even a single non-religious life.

Lauren

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Jan 28th 2013 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: A few months back Pat from Chicago posted a very well-written response explaining why bei...
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

A few months back Pat from Chicago posted a very well-written response explaining why being single is not a vocation. She explained this far better than my brief summary below, so it would be worth your while to find her post (or maybe she will repost it here...)

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Jerry,

I'd like to read this if it could be reposted or pointed out where it is. I would respecfully disagree, but I would like to see the reasoning expressed as to excluding the single life as a vocation. And, I know a number of others who would as well. As an option I have never not heard it given during discussions of vocations nor specifically excluded from such discussions. When we met as children in Catholic schools for vocation week it was always an option. When we discussed vocations with the teens I worked with as DRE it was always an option. And, I have several friends who have chosen to live the single life because they felt it their calling, but not to the religious life. I also distinctly remember it being a discussion my parents had with me and my siblings when we were younger. Lauren

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Jan 28th 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Jerry, I'd like to read this if it could be reposted or pointed out where it...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Jerry,

I'd like to read this if it could be reposted or pointed out where it is. I would respecfully disagree, but I would like to see the reasoning expressed as to excluding the single life as a vocation. And, I know a number of others who would as well. As an option I have never not heard it given during discussions of vocations nor specifically excluded from such discussions. When we met as children in Catholic schools for vocation week it was always an option. When we discussed vocations with the teens I worked with as DRE it was always an option. And, I have several friends who have chosen to live the single life because they felt it their calling, but not to the religious life. I also distinctly remember it being a discussion my parents had with me and my siblings when we were younger. Lauren

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Here is a link to the post:

www.catholicmatch.com

If you use threaded view, the link will take you directly to her post; if you use flat view, it will be somewhere on the page.

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Jan 28th 2013 new

(Quote) Jerry-74383 said: Here is a link to the post: www.catholicmatch.com.
(Quote) Jerry-74383 said:

Here is a link to the post:

www.catholicmatch.com

If you use threaded view, the link will take you directly to her post; if you use flat view, it will be somewhere on the page.

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Thanks Jerry, took me to the post, so I must be using threaded view. Now I am going to do a little research :-). Lauren

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Jan 28th 2013 new

(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: Some of you have said that marriage is a natural vocation and that if you are not called to religious life...
(Quote) Lisa-54615 said: Some of you have said that marriage is a natural vocation and that if you are not called to religious life, you are called to marriage, so there is no need to actively discern marriage once you "ruled out" religious life. If this is true, what would you say to someone who doesn't want children? Children are part of marriage, so if a person doesn't want them, would you say they are not called to marriage?
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It's my opinion that if the person doesn't want children, they are not called to marry. If I were to marry someone in their 50's like me, it's unlikely that I would have children even though I would be open to it...Abraham was 90 I think..

There are some religious that have also married, even in the Catholic religion. For example there is a priest in Greenville at my parish that is a convert from the Anglican faith that is currently married and I think has had children.

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Jan 28th 2013 new

(Quote) Jessica-897416 said: When and how did you come to realize that you were called to the Sacrament of Matrimony?
(Quote) Jessica-897416 said:

When and how did you come to realize that you were called to the Sacrament of Matrimony?

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Hi Jessica from down the road about 38 miles! I really like your question; it has caused me to think a great deal, to get really personal with myself. I'll write something, read it, then erase it because I'm not going to put out that information on the Internet (wise decision).

Here is my edited version. I love the security of marriage. I love the commitment that it requires, how although marriage may bring out the worst in people because we learn how to push the buttons of those we are intimate with, it also brings out the absolute best. I love how marriage offers financial security when people manage their finances well. I love the idea that marriage can offer secure, longlasting attachment. I love how marriage can produce children, and how one kiddo can have Daddy's eyes and Mommy's mouth. Then the next can have another trait. I believe that we can become the Holy Family.

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