Dear friends, heartfelt apologies for my long absence. A lot has been going on, both in the world and in my own little life–the two are interconnected of course. Watching and reading the news has often gotten the better of me in the last few months. So much, so much wrong and evil and indignity in the world. However, it has helped me view my own life in a constructive way and come to some rather large decisions about how I want to live my life right now, in my current state of life, which happens to be singlehood.
1. No more mourning my singlehood. And I have been mourning, mostly because I’ve been coming to terms with the difficult truth: I may be single for the rest of my life. That’s all there is to it. And all the good-intentioned folks who say, “Oh no, there’s still time for you. Why my so-and-so didn’t marry until they were well into their forties!” can’t deny the fact that such things don’t happen for everybody. They just don’t, and the likelihood gets slimmer and slimmer every day. This is especially true the stricter one’s morals are regarding sex, marriage, and family. Which brings me to:
2. No more resenting Catholicism for my singlehood. It’s been the single biggest, baddest temptation I’ve had. “If only I weren’t Catholic, things would be so much easier, and I’d have so many more options!” It must be Satan’s favorite trick, using broken hearts to drive people from the Church. It may be one of his most successful, too, though I hope not. By God’s grace, I’ve tended to see it for what it is, and have realized how far below me it would be and how utterly miserable I would be if I gave into it. That doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with it, though. I still feel it niggling at me sometimes–in fact even this very moment. But it’s just not an option. I’m putting my foot down!
3. No more feeling powerless to change the world and create a better future. I’m so tired of it! So what if I’m just one person? So what if my way of seeing things and doing things is unpopular? History has borne witness to it time and time again: one person can make a difference. They may never see it or know about it in this lifetime, but again, so what? If I didn’t believe this, my faith as a Catholic would ring hollow. If I really gave a flying fig about being popular, there’s no way I’d be a Catholic. But I do know this: a Catholic is not a powerless person. This is because a Catholic is never just one person, but a person in communion. A person backed up by their family in heaven and on earth.
4. Vive la Revolution! Down with the stale, sterile, hedonistic, dehumanizing sexual revolution of the last century! It’s time for the bold, daring, heroic, 21st-century revolution: purity, chastity, self-giving, and self-control. I truly believe this on its own can–and will–undo many ills. It’s made a world of difference in my own life and self. I know it’s done the same for other individuals. Every wide societal change begins with individuals! I cannot over-emphasize the importance of purity. Purity purges sin and disorder and allows every other virtue to take root and flourish. It heals, makes whole, and makes new.
Basically, what it comes down to is getting over and beyond myself, rejecting falsehoods, being brave enough to be counter-cultural, being faithful to what matters most, refusing to degrade myself in order to win approval or get by more easily, and refusing to feel in any way less valuable a person just because of a particular state in life.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a renunciation of marriage. If I were to someday be blessed to meet a wonderful man who’s right and good for me and enter with him into Holy Matrimony, I would fall to my knees in gratitude! It’s just now, if that never happens–I’m still going to fall to my knees in gratitude! On good days and bad days–every day!
It’s been a bit of a tough road to make peace with all of this, but it truly has been liberating and edifying. I guess I just wanted to offer this as encouragement to anybody who’s in a similar situation. You will find peace that this world cannot give, and the most glorious freedom and joy!
PS–I want to give special thanks to my local Lay Dominican family, because I have been so inspired and encouraged by their preaching and teaching on the topic of purity in recent months. It came at just the right time in my life to really get me moving forward and taking positive steps!