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Posted December 6, 2012

Book: Catholic Update guide to Vocations
Editor: Mary Carroll Kendzia
Franciscan Media, Cincinnati, OH. 2012. pp. 54

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

All Christians have a vocation, or calling from God, to share in the redemption and eternal life Jesus came to bring. But how can we know, specifically what God wants of us? The Catholic Update Guide to Vocations will show you how to discern the right path for your life and embrace it with confidence.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The Single Life

In her book Party of One: Living Single with Faith, Purpose, and Passion, Beth M. Knobbe challenges several myths about the single life and proposes that single life can rightly be called a vocation. Although she speaks directly to those who have never been married, she offers encouragement to the widowed, divorced, and separated as well.

She explains that we live in a couples' world. But it is not God's plan for everyone to marry or for everyone to have children. We can each be a complete person on our own. Through her own reflections, she realized that it's OK to have your own identity, your own friends, your own personal thoughts and feelings. The key to a fulfilling single life is to believe that you can be a complete person on your own. While growing up, I heard a lot about vocations, always presented as a call to married life, religious life, or single life. The single life, however, was never given much credence, and the idea of choosing to be single was usually presented as a last resort.

Discovering one's vocation is more than deciding whether to get married, join the seminary, or enter a religious community. Finding your vocation in life answers the questions, "Who will be your friends?" and, "How do you want to be with them?" I want to be with people in such a way that I can share my passion for God and live a life of service to others. This is something I have known for a very long time. It is my true calling in life; it is who I am. The more I reflected on this, the more I realized that the best way to live out this call is as a committed single person.

My choice to be single for the moment is not a choice to avoid relationships. In some ways, I'm actually choosing to be in deeper relationships with others. As single people, we often look for love and affection from people of the opposite sex. When I stopped looking for dating relationships, I developed closer relationships with my girlfriends, and I was free to enter into greater friendships with my guy friends. I had a wonderful and ever deepening relationship with God through prayer and found greater fulfillment through involvement with my church.

Not everyone is called to a life of intentional singleness. I suspect many who find themselves single wish their circumstances were different. Singles sometimes struggle with loneliness, anxiety, fear, pressure from family, and self-worth. Likewise, we are inclined to believe that the grass is greener on the other side of the relationship fence. Singles may think that married people have it all together, or that married couples miss the carefree spirit of their single years. Marriage isn't easy; single life isn't easy either.

Table of Contents:

Primary vocations, secondary vocations

The single life


Holy Orders

Religious life