Friday, February 19, 2010

celebrating the single life...

... what a blessing it is to be alone.

Let me explain...

To be alone is not the same as experiencing loneliness. There is much joy to be had in being alone and single. When you are alone in life you can not use your personal relationships as crutches to support you through the turmoil. You either lean or Christ or you fall. In fact when things in my life are at the most tumultuous is when I feel nearest to Christ. I call on him more. I pray fervently. There are some days when I give of myself till there is nothing left. I am spent from work, then I am spent from class, then I come home and what remains is spent on my son. At night, when it's quiet and lay in my bed there is nothing left for me. No shoulder. No word of encouragement. No spouse for comfort. I can let this swallow me in sadness. Or I can pray. I can cry myself to sleep out of frustration and sheer exhaustion, or I can pour out my heart in prayer in the solitude of my room.

Even though I would no choose my current state in life and my circumstances are not ideal, I gladly except it. I still have joy. I refuse to be miserable.

When people ask me, why does God let bad things happen? I can answer, so we can experience His joy.

12 comments:

3puddytats said...

I am never lonely because I am never alone....

That has been my mantra as life-long single person...

True I have kitty cats to care for, and who greet me when I return from my day..

But I relish my free time, to ready, study, play my music, pursue my hobbies, volunteer, and PRAY!! (Plus limit my Internet time to only 1 hour a day..) I hear from so many married folks that they do not have the time to pray as they really want because their family responsibilities take up so much of their time. I know plenty of "lonely" married people..

Being married or single is both equally loved and recognized by the Church, and each vocation has its own responsibilities and rewards...
Although I do do my fair share of grumbling when there is 3 feet of snow to clear out of the driveway..where's a man when you REALLY NEED one?? I do remind myself though is that the shovelling does wonders for the waistline, and shortly I'll have Michelle Obama arms.. :)

Sara

nazareth priest said...

You speak well of dependence upon the Lord.
He truly is our only support, our shield, our refuge, our comfort, our all.
You are not alone, not at all.
Know this. Because you help so many with the sufferings and difficulties of life; offered to Jesus, they are such treasures that are given to others.
And compassion. He teaches us this in our loneliness and exile.
One day, when we are with Him forever, this will be clear.
Now, not so much.
But in faith.
Bless you.

torculus said...

"Stay close to Jesus." Those words were given to me in the midst of one of the most horrendous transitions in my life, many years ago, and I've had my fair share (my fill...) of unpleasant moments. Those words came through a rather pushy, stern woman at a parish I once attended. I heard the words then, but only in the last ten years have I come to the awareness that Jesus was showering me with His grace. The purifying fires of my mistakes have taught me that I should avoid putting obstacles to God granting me the peace He wants to give me.

Being single is not simply good, but great. I notice beautiful moments that many other people miss - the glorious cherry blossoms, sun through the clouds, a child's smile, the time to listen to someone who feels unloved or under appreciated - these are moments of grace that frequently go unnoticed, yet I have been given the opportunity to be present to Christ in His many disguises (to paraphrase Mother Teresa) and the beauty of His creation.

Life is not easy - I pray for healing most days, especially when the physical pain get's unbearable. I miss my folks. My five siblings and I rarely talk. My students are a fun bunch of characters. I have the privilege of teaching music to several very talented individuals, though the one's who most deserve my attention are the one's who are not so gifted yet love making music. I am grateful for my job - it's a vocation. I attend daily Mass on campus four days a week; we have a faithful chaplain and his homilies are challenging and orthodox. I get to serve at the same Masses; being close to the Lord on the altar is such a privilege I cannot here merely summarize.

So, what's there not to love about life? I cannot recall the last time I was lonely. I do get bored; fortunately my college students are so demanding that I rarely have the luxury to remain bored for very long.

Stay close to Jesus.

RJW said...

Amen Kat, AMEN!

Theocoid said...

St. Paul pointed out that married people (and that would mean me) are concerned with the things of this world. Since you have a child, you are not completely removed from those concerns. You are, in a way, straddling two worlds. You have concerns of both and challenges that we won't face.

Bless you.

Lee Gilbert said...

Crescat,

I was very glad to read this, since it tells me who you really are. Many aspects of this blog seem intended as a kind of camouflage. So you are not really the hard-drinking, hard talking cynic you portray yourself as. Nevertheless, keep it up, as it will undoubtedly scare away the frail and weak-hearted!

Whenever I discover loneliness in my heart, it is almost always due to a failure of charity on my part. By my anger or judgement or coldness I have thwarted the flow of love into my heart from God who is love. So though I am happily married, I have realized after many years that marriage is not really necessary to my happiness. Loving God and loving my neighbor is.

What difficulties we have to go through to hit bedrock reality, but when we hit it, a solid foundation is in place for the future, a wonderful future.

kired said...

Once a priest told me "your life is to give it away".
So true

Kathy from Kansas said...

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom, Kat. I sleep alone every night, too, since my beloved husband went Home to Father two years ago. Now I'm a single mom of two teenaged boys. Thank you for reminding me that we have a choice whether to give in to sadness or to truly turn it all over to the Lord and LET HIM give us joy.

Lee Gilbert's comment reminds me of some words of wisdom from an old acquaintance. I was single for many years before meeting my sweetheart (we married pretty late compared to most folks!), and I went through a time where I despaired of ever finding a mate. After I'd poured out my heart to a happily married friend of mine, she told me, "Marriage doesn't mean you're never lonely any more. It just means you have someone to share the loneliness WITH."

Which I take to refer to the God-shaped hole in our heart that not even our spouse can fill.

Diamantina da Brescia said...

I am 43 years old. When I was 20, I decided not to have children because I did not think that I would be a good mother with my severe depression and a history of substance abuse in my family (father, brother, father's sister, paternal grandfather). Since I consider artificial birth control and premarital sex immoral, this limited my dating pool considerably. The men in whom I was interested were not interested in me, and I was not interested in the men who were interested in me.

In my 30s I looked into religious life, but soon found out that my depression -- even when treated more or less successfully with medication -- would disqualify me for just about every religious community in the United States. So I am single more or less by default, at least for the time being. (I might become a consecrated virgin living in the world someday, God willing.)

My life has its frustrations. Being on SSI and living (and sharing a bedroom) with my mother restricts my routine. However, I refuse to look at the negatives. Being without paid employment means that I have plenty of time to devote to the Church. I am active in my parish as a catechist, lector and EMHC. I am a Lay Carmelite and serve in the Legion of Mary as a curia secretary.

It is true that I would like to pray more at home (my mother is a non-churchgoing Methodist who rebuffs my invitations to go to Mass with me, and I feel self-conscious and hypocritical praying or reading Scripture in her presence), but I go to Mass early or stay late to say prayers and do spiritual reading that I might not otherwise do. My life is not what I expected it to be when I was in high school (when I was a girl, I expected that by my 40s, I'd be a successful novelist, widely-travelled, happily married with one or two children, and possibly attending Mass each Sunday), but I am content and thank God for it.

The Crescat said...

Lee, I have been hiding for a very long time... which would explain why my relationships have all been train wrecks.

margaret said...

I would run screaming from a man in my bed, well no, I would stop and put the cats in their carriers and then run screaming but I think that you probably are in two worlds and I hope with all my heart that one day you can come down in the one that‘s best fo you.

Diamantina, I will pray you get to become a consecrated virgin. We don’t have them in (officially) in my tradition and I think it is a wonderful thing.

Dominic Mary said...

Diamantina;

perhaps one sadness of the modern world is that Religious Life is now hedged about by tests, and psychiatrists, and all sorts of other things which effectively ensure that only the 'normal' get in.

One of the finest religious I know is a Dominican Lay Brother, blind from birth, who has now been in Solemn Vows for over 60 years : but who would not even be considered today.

What we lose is far more than what we gain by such 'safeguards' : this is Religious Life we are talking about, after all; not 'religious life'.