Sunshine After the Storm

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After lunch the sun came out and so I took Bella out for a walk. She was very happy to get out and enjoy the day.

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When we got to the park, I pushed her on the swing for a goof fifteen minutes. She cried when I finally pulled her off; but cheered up as soon as we were moving again. She’s been in a much better mood this afternoon and is now taking a nap. I hope she sleeps for a long time. (2 hours, not bad.)

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5 Responses to Sunshine After the Storm

  1. onionboy May 2, 2007 at 8:14 am #

    I agree with you.

  2. HeyJules May 3, 2007 at 12:20 pm #

    As a single woman now in my 40’s who’s never married or felt “called” to family life or religious life, I totally agree with your take on this.  I am single.  I deeply believe that if God wanted me to have gotten married and to have raised a family He would have ingrained that on my heart to the degree that I would have felt incomplete without those things.  That is just not the case.  Although I would welcome marriage to a Christian man at this point in my life I do not long or hunger for it – nor do I long or hunger to be in a convent or pastorial role.  Yet, I feel God uses me every day that I commit my life to His will.  We do have a purpose (as you stated) it just doesn’t involve the cross of marriage.

  3. bearing May 3, 2007 at 8:43 am #

    I think an important distinction is that the single state, until one makes perpetual vows or becomes a consecrated virgin, is not a *vowed* state.  It’s not a *nuptial* state.  OTOH, marriage, consecrated religious life, and the priesthood all have nuptial character, that of lifetime commitment.

    I have heard it argued that no person is “called to be single” because we’re all called to give our whole self away in a nuptial vow.  I find it convincing.  I suppose we could chalk it up to fallen human nature that some people are, sadly, unable to make such a vow, however willing they might be, either because they can find no marriage partner or a religious order to take them or because of some other impairment that makes vows impossible.

  4. Melanie Bettinelli May 3, 2007 at 9:37 am #

    Erin,

    I agree that I find the argument resonates. It is convincing because it contains a kernel of the truth; but it misses a few key points.

    But there are a couple of problems with the argument. First, religious do not take vows, they make promises and can and do leave religious life. It does not have an indelible character as do the married and priestly states.

    Additionally, I have met some people who do not feel called to either of the vowed states. What are we to make of them? 

    The Church is the Bride of Christ. All baptized members of the Church, therefore, are in a nuptial state.

    The sacrament of matrimony is an image of heaven. We are all ultimately called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Those of us who celebrate the sacrament of matrimony image the inner workings of the Trinitarian God who is self-giving love, whose is a family.

    And those who take vows of consecrated virginity are signs in a different way. They become eunuchs for the Kingdom of heaven and in doing so they remind us of our higher calling, our final destiny, of heaven where there is no marriage or giving in marriage only the beatific vision.

    Neither matrimony nor consecrated virginity is a final destination. They are images, signs that point to different aspects of our final destination. And so on one hand it is correct to say that we are all ultimately called to the nuptial state. But on the other hand clearly there are people who will not experience either “image” of that final destination in this life.

    I guess I see no point in arguing whether that is God’s plan or whether His plan has been foiled by human sin. All I can say for sure is that God makes straight by crooked paths and that the Cross is the image of how he takes seeming defeat and turns it into victory.

    For me, the fact that some people never live in a vowed state only points more clearly to the deeper truth that marriage and consecrated celibacy are not our final ends, but only means to that end and images that give us some idea of what we are striving for.

    I don’t think it’s helpful to tell single people that they are incomplete or damaged goods, that they must pine over something that they have no control over. Their emptiness is an image of the emptiness that exists in every human heart that longs for heaven, our true home and our final destination where we will all live in the perfect nuptial state.

  5. Melanie Bettinelli May 4, 2007 at 8:41 am #

    Just found this on the Catholic Dads blog and thought it was very relevant to the original question at Danielle’s blog. It’s a bit of advice from St. Anthony of Padua:

    Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
    To have a deep soul relationship with another,
    To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.

    But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
    Fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone,
    With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me.
    With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.
    Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found,
    Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
    That I have planned for you.
    You will never be united to another
    Until you are united with me.

    Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
    Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
    I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you
    The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.

    Read the whole thing here.

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