How Do Single Catholics Say Yes to Love?


This week, I found myself at a bit of a sticking point in my work on my new book,“The Grace of Yes.” In one of the chapters, I am looking at the concept of saying, “Yes” to love in our lives. I want to include all kinds of love, including the choice a single, celibate person makes to express love in his or her life.

But I’m at a bit of a loss. Just as when I wrote about step-parenting in The Handbook for Catholic MomsI need a consult. I was a single person more than a quarter of a century ago and much has changed in our world since then. And like many single people I know, I was single by circumstance, not by choice.

I believe at that time my heart was set on finding a vocation to the married life. Blessedly, I married my soulmate at a young age and our love has blossomed.

But I often ask myself, “What if?” Had I not fallen in love with Greg, how would my life have been different? Would I have chosen a religious vocation? Would I have worked somewhere as a missionary? Would I have been happy with a life dedicated to serving others and living on my own? I don’t know…

But back to our single friends. I have many of them, and when I look at their lifestyles from the outside, it seems to me that they are people who are living lives filled to the brim with love. Let’s exempt for a moment folks who have chosen a religious vocation to the priesthood or religious life—they will be covered in another part of this chapter. Let’s talk simply about unmarried folks.

How do those of you who are single say, “Yes!” to love?

It would be my contention that singles affirm their love for themselves and for God through their choice to live a faithful single life. Additionally, many of the single folks I know are in a better position to serve those in their communities since they are free of familial encumbrances—although this may not be universally true as many are single parents, care for family members, or have responsibilities with elderly loved ones. The singles I know have solid friendships and a passion for making the world around them a better place.

Am I off base here? Edify me about your yes—the challenges you face and the joys “yes to love” brings to your life as a single.

I would love to hear from you either in the comments below or privately to



  1. Anita-471998 November 13, 2013 Reply

    Like Julie-631165 above mentions, I too have said Yes to love by deciding to play a spiritual role in the lives of my niece and godchild(who is also my nephew), I also do my bit with the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy thereby living my Yes. Dating is my big Yes too although I wish it was more fun than over bearing…:)
    Saying a prayer for all of you who have shared your thoughts..:))

  2. Elena-1001912 November 12, 2013 Reply

    Thank you, ladies, for your touching reflections. May God bless you with your heart’s desire!

    I share love as a single in a lot of ways. I give and receive love at my lovely parish, St. John’s at Creighton University. Some truly lovely people have reached out and loved me in both joy and sorrow. I do what I can to be a friend to them and to serve the Christian community in practical ways.

    I am so very lucky to once again live in the same city as several family members- parents, single sister, and two nephews. I have several aunts and uncles and cousins nearby whom I really enjoy. Lately, I have been sharing the joy of cooking and cake decorating classes with my nephews.

    I am a gratefully recovering 12 stepper. I don’t know where I would be today without my fellow addicts. I am so grateful for our meetings, our clubhouse, and our shared spiritual program of recovery.

    I was blessed with a Christian education at a Sacred Heart school. Today, I’m grateful to be part of the Sacred Heart family as an alumna and as an Associate of the Religious of the Sacred Heart. We pray together, study together, reach out together, and talk and eat gouter (lovingly made desserts). I so love these holy religious and their Associates!

    I’ve said “Yes” to love by undertaking dating relationships and recently, discerning marriage with one special someone. Though it didn’t work out, I believe that love is never a mistake. I don’t regret our love and journey of engagement.

    I say “yes” to God, my one true Love today. I know that my home is with Him in Heaven. He will show me the best way to lead souls to Him and get back home to Him. I love to receive Him in the intimacy of the Eucharist, unburden my heart to Him in the confessional and keep company with Him throughout the day. I can’t wait to live with Him forever in the resurrection.

  3. Carol-483674 November 11, 2013 Reply

    I am 55 and been hoping for marraige for a long time. I had opportunities over the years but it never seemed “right” as hard as I or others tried to make it so. I truly live a very busy, full, chaste, Catholic single life. And God has put many people in my life who need my help or attention. I try to be there for all those folks. I also have some wonderful girlfriends. In fact if I ever did get married, I might have to “rearrange” a lot of things. Lately, I’ve been praying for God to help me accept my singleness in a deeper way. I have met many people on CM but the marraige I still hope and pray for has not come. Even so, I find myself still so vulnerable in this area. There have been glimmers of hope but then many disappointments. Sometimes I think I get over those disappointments much faster that in the past. Other times I think maybe it would be less painfull to become a lapsed Catholic Matcher. Tonight is one of those nights…waiting for the phone call. Please say a little prayer for me in retrospect. Thanks and God Bless!

  4. Chad-988613 November 11, 2013 Reply

    Some Biblical references of love include: 1 John 4:7; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Mark 12:28-31; John 14:21-24; John 15:9-17. Catechism references on love include: 1822-29; 2264; 2331.

    Prayerfully considering the above references it seems that love is -a gift from God! It is a gift whereby we sacrificially put charity & truth into action for God, ourselves, & others.

    It seems that ‘instructing the ignorant’ and ‘defending the faith’ are two of the ways I say yes to love. For example I’ll point out that this article lost me at three places. For one love was never defined (thus my above paragraphs). Secondly the author lost me when she mentioned she married her ‘soul mate’. Hmmm… why have I never seen ‘soul mate’ discussed by Christ (or anyone in scripture) or the Catechism? Oh yeah -now I remember -‘soul mate’ is not in scripture or the Catechism, because it is not a Christian concept (its eastern mysticism). Lastly the author lost me when she used the phrase ‘familial encumbrances.’ Encumbrances are defined as burdens. Though I’m sure she will probably deny she was referring to children here –she implicitly was. Thankfully, we know what God has to say about children (Psalm 127:3-5).

    Last but not least -to all the Veterans past and present –God bless you & thank you!

  5. Julie-631165 November 11, 2013 Reply

    I believe as a single person I have said yes to love by taking on a Spiritual role in the lives of my nieces, godchildren and young adults that the Lord as put in my life to pray for, minister to and mentor. Praise God!

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