Wednesday, November 03, 2010

let me rephrase that...

... perhaps I should have been clearer when I celebrated being a loser at love. I was in no way implying that being single meant you were a loser. I was referring to myself, in that I am doing it wrong. And that is no exaggeration.

This is how I should have been doing it...

"Perhaps what single people are doing wrong is giving up. Sure, they keep praying. But is it just token prayer to God because they know they should pray, but don’t really want to anymore? Or maybe, God forbid, they have stopped praying because they feel they have prayed enough. They decide God must not want them to be married, or that it will happen in God’s time despite any further prayer.

Or perhaps they are not praying for the right things. Prayer for a spouse should include asking for all those called to marriage to have the courage to act on it, lest their free will decision to not act affect the lives of others whom they were supposed to marry and have children with. It should include visits to the Blessed Sacrament begging Jesus to help them heal from their own issues so as not to bring unhealthy issues into their relationships. Most of all, it should include asking for perseverance in prayer and an increase of faith." [excellent source]

As for me, yes I stopped praying for a spouse. I've actually quit caring. I doubt this is good. Or maybe it is. Maybe it means acceptance. But probably just apathy. I think I was desiring a spouse for all the wrong reasons. Or maybe it was all the right reasons but I was confused about the source.

Anyway, I have found the frequency of blog posting is in direct correlation to my prayer life. I haven't done either with any regularity for quite some time.

22 comments:

Old Bob said...

Dear Kat, thanks for the thoughtful reflection. When I was a kid, we used to have the Way of the Cross according to St. Alphonsus Liguori every Friday afternoon in Lent, right after school. The last sentence of the meditation on every Station was: "Grant that I may love Thee always, and then do with me what Thou wilt."

Andrea said...

Another pattern I see with Catholic singles is that there is something wrong with them and they chalk it up to God's Will. For example, everyone around them thinks that person is in bad need of a make over or is extremely socially ackward or is pursuing a person over ten years younger then them. When things don't pan out, "ah, God's will." "No. You're 42 and she's 26." (One example of many I see)

There is a blog based on a book that I've found helpful. It's not Catholic, it's evangelical: www.helpgetmarried.com

PaxetBonum said...

When the right one comes along, you'll know it.

But OTOH, sometimes no answer is the answer.

Anna A said...

Kat, the same things are in the books, advice given to evangelical singles.

I tried them all, but failed.

But then, after reading Sipe's book on Celibacy, I realized that I am called to that life, (Which is completely off of the Baptist screen).

I hope for your sake that you are accepting rather than resigning.

Rick said...

Good to know. To your readers, you've become like family. So, people worry.

Jana said...

It took me years to recognize my vocation was to be married and have a family. Once I did find the right frame of thought and I was looking at it from a Catholic perspective I tried to open myself to every opportunity I thought God could use. I attended mass regularly and worked on my spiritual life. I stopped hanging out with people who wanted me to be anything but pious and devout (they even said they wanted to "corrupt" me to my face). And I started hanging out in places I would be able to find a solid Catholic man (which happened to be on www.catholicmatch.com).

Sure enough, after about a year and some I met my husband. In the intervening time I found out what the Latin mass was like, I talked to convents and religious orders, I found the Douay Rheims bible (I grew up with NKJV as a Protestant), made rosaries for the local Catholic bookstore, listened non stop to EWTN radio, and delved into my faith.

I feel much stronger in who I am and that enabled me to be open to who God had in store for me. On the surface I never would have gone for my husband (the way his eyes and lips were was something I told myself were not attractive when I was only 17). Yet, when I found out what his faith life was like and his background as a Catholic and where he wanted to go in the future, I knew this was the man God wanted me to marry.

We shouldn't give up on God or his plans for us or our ability to live up to God's plans. We should discern what God's plans are for us with prayer and reflection and leave ourselves as wide open to that plan as we can let ourselves go while working on our spiritual life.

Denita said...

Thanks for clearing that up. I tend to personalize everything when the subject of single vs married comes up. I tend to get defensive when well meaning people say things like "There's someone out there," etc., as if there's something wrong with remaining single. Sorry if my comments are ritical like that. I still don't think you're a loser. I hope you find whatever it is you want and need in your life, including a husband.

The Crescat said...

eh. I just kind of don't care anymore. I am blessed with a wonderful son, so I have more than most single people. I think praying for more is like getting presents at Christmas and then asking "is this it?". A tad ungrateful.

newguy40 said...

Well...

In many if not most circumstances it's right to preface our our prayers with "Your Will God and not Mine. Help to follow Your Will in XXXX. If this is what you want, Lord, then it's what I want."

On the other hand, I am a believer if following what Jesus said. "Ask and you will recieve. Knock and the door will be opened."
Ask for what you want. If it is for your ultimate benefit, your prayer will be answered. It may not be the way you wanted or expected at the time. But, it will be answered.

Julie said...

Have you seen this blog? http://seraphicsinglescummings.blogspot.com/ Seriously, it changed my life.

Julie said...

Shoot, I just realized my last comment sounded a lot like spam. It's not spam. The blog is fantastic and the best and most Catholic view on singleness and dating I have ever ever come across. The post that's up today is marvelous. Go, go read.

The Crescat said...

Julie... really? That website just made me feel worse.

Julie said...

Crescat... really? Lol, I guess everyone's different. I find her perspective SO freeing. It's not that different from what you're saying here, about letting go, being grateful, working on the relationships you have at hand, leaving things to God, trusting in His will, recognizing that what you want might not be what you need.

Yes, when I first read that bit about "not everyone who wants to get married gets married", it hit me pretty hard. But really what her idea of being "seraphic" is about is, focus on God. Having a man is not the only thing is life. Be the best child of God that you can be, and if He has a man for you, you will meet him.

Maybe that's not what everyone gets out of it, and certainly there is room for disagreement with her rather strict ideas about women not actively looking. But once I thought past the "oh, I'm not that type, I can't be like that" reaction, I started to realize that it wasn't about acting in one way only -- it's precisely about being yourself, being what God has made you to be. For years I could be moved to tears (at certain times) by the thought that maybe I would always be alone. Every time a guy didn't work out I'd be crushed. Reading Seraphic made me think, "yeah, so what? I can still become a saint as a single woman in the world, and what else could I want?" (I feel that I have to add that I'm not claiming to be perfect, it's just that this perspective has really lifted me out of a funk.)

Anyway, sorry for the long comment. If her blog doesn't help, then so be it, and I hope you find your peace. I couldn't resist sharing something that I'd found so helpful, though. Best wishes :)

Seraphic said...

Thanks, Julie, for the shout-out. I just toddled over to see if Crescat was THE Crescat, and she is which is awesome, although, Crescat, I'm sorry my blog made you feel worse.

That particular post was the first post I'e ever written. At the time, I had absolutely no idea I'd be married three years later, and I was trying to gird myself with brutal truth.

Since then I've discovered that most people (in the USA anyway) get married at least once. So now my focus is on people waiting to marry (and to be) the right person, so that they don't end up divorced or just plain abandoned.

If it's any consolation, Hilary White of LifeSiteNews wrote on her blog that reading my blog right then felt like having her intestines scooped out with a sharpened ice-cream scoop. Maybe I should work on my tone a little, or something...

The Crescat said...

Hilary has such a charming way with words. :-)

Seraphic, I agree with most of what you write. I believe woman should not be making the effort, as it becomes aggressive and unattractive for the male.

I think the problem is most men no longer behave in the conventional way they used to. The rules you write would apply to any man, any GENTLEman, 50+ years ago but the men are a completely different breed now.

In the modern dating world women have to deal with stunted and undeveloped adulthood from their male counterparts.

I hate to dump on men because I love them so and prefer their company over women.

I think that is what depressed me most about your writings. I wish it could be that simple and proper and dignified. But it's not. It's neurotic and confusing.

Seraphic said...

I agree that many young men have lost their way. To a certain extent, this is not their fault: many of them had no father at home, many of them were inadequately protected from pornography, and many of them have had girls throwing themselves at them (desperate, perhaps, to feel the love they did not get from their own absent fathers), in a way previous generations of men only dreamed of. Add various blatantly anti-male policies (e.g. drugging boys with Ritalin), and what we have are men who don't seem to know how to be men. They have been royally ripped off.

Fortunately, many (if not most) of them improve and grow up as they age . I do my best to encourage female readers to hold out for those men who have actually become adults, to give the men who have not a miss and to refrain from continuing The Great Spoiling themselves.

I know dating can be neurotic and confusing; I have had 11 break-ups, including a divorce/annulment. But I honestly believe that if we demand this of ourselves and of the men we choose to spend time, it CAN be simple, proper and dignified.

If you read my book (if lacking in cash, flip through a copy at the Paulines') you might be less depressed, for in some ways it is the tale of how I got myself out of the neurotic and confusing merry-go-round that relationships can be.

Incidentally, why do you prefer men's company to women's?

The Crescat said...

I'm sorry, Seraphic. I should read your book so I can make better informed comments. I don't want you or anyone else reading this to think I disagree with you. I found your blog very insightful and spot on.

Honestly, I am not in a place to discuss it because ... well, I've sort of given up. It really isn't worth the hassle or the heart ache.
Which I think is the jist of what you & Julie are saying.

You asked why I prefer the company of men... they are just easier to talk to, for me anyway. I don't know... I really don't care about gossip and shopping and talking about boys and feelings.

Anna A said...

Kat,

It's nice to see that I am not the only woman to feel that way about it being easier to be with men than with women. I've felt that way since junior high. And I still haven't figured out which came first, the ease with guys or the love of chemistry (which is very male )

Seraphic said...

Crescat, thank you! Giving up, by which I mean "let go and let God" (very AA), strikes me as a very good policy, as long as the Single person continues to take care of him- or herself with good friendships, interesting work, nutritious food, enough rest, and spiritual counsel.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

I've given up. But it has made me feel like someone has novocained my soul.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

...and I don't like women either. As a rule, I've found them to be petty, small-minded, tyrannical, parochial and self-centred, irrational, emotion-driven, and silly.

The only women I've ever liked have been other women who don't like women. It was what might have finally put me off religious life. The idea of being locked up with a bunch of females for the rest of my life. It makes me shudder.

Men are interesting, fun, and rational. You can trust that a man, (unless he has been feminised by liberalism) will be capable of following the logic of a conversation.

If I were a pagan, I might agree with the ancient Greeks who said that women were just a kind of deformation of men. That men are real people, and women just a kind of unfortunate aberration.

The feminisation of the Church and politics has nearly destroyed the world.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

"That website just made me feel worse."

Me too. A lot worse.