Monday, December 21, 2020

Single-Minded Devotion

 

"Make another comment like that, but before you do, ask yourself, 'Do I like eating hospital food'?" Rob's hand was firmly clenched around his ski pole and his face was dark red with anger. I immediately stepped in front of him and explained to the other two skiers that they should go to their rooms before someone got hurt. "No need to act like [expletive deleted]. We were trying to be helpful," they said to us. I responded, "What you suggested was highly offensive, and unless you want your vacation to end badly, just go your own way and say no more." They gave us a hard look and left.  I turned to my friend Rob (not his real name---Introibo) and said, "You need to calm down good buddy. This is what modern society has produced." Breathing less intensely, he said, "Yeah, well maybe modern society needs a good beating--starting with those two!" (All dialogue as accurate as I can remember---Introibo). 

Let me back up. Rob and I were the unlikeliest of friends. We met in law school. Neither of us were 22 years old like most of our classmates who came in right out of college. I had been a NYC science teacher for five years prior to attending, and Rob took six years to complete his Bachelor's degree. He was the only child of two legal immigrants seeking refuge from an oppressive military regime in Central America. Arriving at age ten, he knew little English. With the help of his mother and aunt homeschooling him, he spoke perfect English by age 18, and had no hint of a Spanish accent, except when he purposely spoke Spanish. He scored very high on his SAT exam, but his family had no money for college. Over the next two years he worked transporting cargo at JKF airport, laboring overtime six days a week.

Rob reapplied to college, and was accepted to his first choice. The money he saved would go a long way to keeping down loan debt. He also decided to go part-time at night so he could still work some days. He graduated six years later with less than 5k in student loans. He decided that he liked to argue and his mother said he could help many people as a lawyer. He did well on his LSAT, was accepted to the same law school as me, and we met first year in Torts class. Affable, intelligent, and possessing a zany sense of humor, we became friends and study partners. I soon discovered Rob was another Victim of Vatican II. 

There was a time when Central America was devoutly Catholic. After the Great Apostasy, the twin evils of ecumenism and religious liberty had many joining false sects. Rob's parents departed from Catholicism after Vatican II for a very liberal Protestantism. Rob went to services on Sunday, and was a convinced Socialist. He saw nothing wrong with abortion, and as long as you believe in something greater than yourself, we all go to be happy in Heaven with a "hippy version" of Jesus who "loves us as we are." No topic of conversation was off the table with us, and we disagreed about much. When it came to religion, Rob was really perplexed as to my beliefs. "I really don't understand how an intelligent guy like you goes to services in a dead language, and thinks bread and wine become God." I saw my opening. "Rob, you're not really understanding what I mean. Would you like to read some material that explains it well, so you can be informed"?

I always admired him for his intellectual tenacity and his willingness to hear out every point of view. "Ok. Sure. Bring me what you have and I'll read it." The next day, I gave him some pre-Vatican II books on the basics of the Faith, and some polemical literature from Fr DePauw. A week later he said, "I'd like to talk with you about what I read. I found it fascinating." He really understood the literature I gave him and had many questions. We continued to talk about religion and everything else as good friends for the rest of our time in law school. When we graduated, he received an offer for a great job from a firm on the West Coast of the United States. Soon after, Rob called me one day and asked if I could mail him some more books on the faith and a Missal. As he drove to work each day, he passed a Traditionalist Chapel run by an independent priest from pre-Vatican II. He remembered our conversations and decided to see what Mass was like. "It was beautiful beyond words," he said.

 I sent him a large package with material from my library, including one of my best Missals. Six months later he called to tell me that he attended the Chapel regularly, and was convinced of the truth of the One True Church! He was taking instructions from the priest and would be baptized on the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption, an event I didn't want to miss! The former pro-abortion Protestant socialist was now a Traditionalist who was fiercely pro-life, and condemned socialism/Communism. As we settled in our careers, we were now in our 30s and single. We both loved cross-country skiing, and decided to spend one week of our vacation time each year in upstate New York, enjoying the great outdoors. 

We went to the same lodge every February, since we liked the accommodations and quality of the trails. We saw a lot of the same faces. The overwhelming majority of men were in their 30s-50s, and spent most of their time drinking at the bar and trying to pick up women. Rob and I didn't drink, weren't womanizers, and would pray the Rosary together after breakfast before spending the whole day on the snowy trails. This particular trip, as we were walking back to the lodge, Rob didn't see a small patch of ice. His legs shot straight out in front of him, and I made a diving leap--catching him mere inches before his head would have smashed onto the pavement. After dinner, we were picking up some ski equipment for the next morning before going to our rooms. Rob said, "If it hadn't been for those fast reflexes of yours, today might not have concluded with a good night for me." Putting his arm around me and pulling me tight, he said, "Love ya, man!"

That's when we heard the voices behind us. "You guys come here together every February. Why do you stay in separate rooms?" The other skier chimed in, "You shouldn't be ashamed of your love. You can come out of the closet." That's when the events recounted in the opening paragraph of this post took place. Just because we were single, in our late 30s, and not picking up women, we must be sodomites. So goes the "conventional wisdom" of our society, the Vatican II sect, and sadly, among some Traditionalists. 

The single vocation is the least understood and appreciated of the four vocations God gives to humanity. Having been a single man by choice until my 40s, I am more than familiar with the stereotypes and discrimination against the calling of the single life. If you are not married (or a nun, priest, brother, monk) by your late 20s or early 30s, there "must be something wrong with you." This post will look into the vocation of the single life by examining three aspects:

  • Church teaching that the single life is a true vocation that comes from God
  • The benefits and trials of the single vocation
  • The single person's place in the Church and the World

Called By God To Be Single

It has always been taught that there are four vocations given to humanity by God. The word "vocation" comes from the Latin "vocare" meaning "to call or summon." Each of us is summoned by God to sanctify both ourselves and the world in one of four callings: the priesthood (for men only); the religious life (nuns, brothers, monks);the married life; and the single life. Some theologians place the priesthood under the same heading as "the religious life," while others list it separately. In my opinion, I agree with the separate designation for the priesthood. 

The single vocation is truly "the forgotten vocation." Rather than seeing singleness as a gift and calling from God, erroneous opinions abound. Many look upon the single person as somehow "deficient" or "wanting." They were "unmarriageable" or "rejects who couldn't get in a seminary/convent." The secular world sees unmarried women as "closet lesbians" or "old maids" who "couldn't get a husband." Single men are "closet homosexuals" or "have problems." Only men who sleep around like heathens can wear "proudly" the badge of "swinging single." All of these ideas are deficient, inaccurate, and disparaging. They show a crass ignorance. 

To remain single in the world and live a life of perfect chastity is to act as an "ambassador of Christ" representing Him and doing all for His greater glory. This is both lawful and meritorious; it is a life most pleasing to God. The single life of necessity entails perfect chastity because the use of sex is exclusively for the married. However, unlike the other vocations, the single life is the only one that does not entail taking a solemn promise or vow. Priests and religious must take binding vows to remain celibate, and married people take marriage vows (the married have rights over each other's bodies for life, but they are also chaste according to their state in life. Sex must be open to procreation and they must remain faithful to each other, together raising all children in the True Church). In this sense, the single person has a better chance to save his/her soul, not having formally committed themselves to special duties and responsibilities. ... And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more. (St. Luke 12:48; Emphasis mine). 

St. Paul, under Divine Inspiration, writes in the seventh chapter of First Corinthians telling us marriage is not to be preferred over remaining single:

For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I...But I would have you to be without solicitude. He that is without a wife, is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God. But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your profit: not to cast a snare upon you; but for that which is decent, and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment...But more blessed shall she be, if she so remain, according to my counsel; and I think that I also have the spirit of God.   

 (1 Corinthians 7:7-8; 32-35; 40; Emphasis mine). 

The Council of Trent infallibly declared the life of perfect chastity, when chosen for God, to be superior to the married life. The 10th Canon on the Sacrament of  Marriage declares:

CANON X.-If any one saith, that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy, than to be united in matrimony; let him be anathema.

The Council was directing this Canon to those in consecrated religious life, but the principle remains clear: those who choose to remain in virginity or celibacy for the sake of God have a higher calling than the married. This is made clear by the teaching of St. Paul in First Corinthians. Hence, those who disparage the single because they aren't married get it backwards; the single state is the more perfect and better life than the married. 

In his most erudite and beautiful encyclical Sacra Virginitas promulgated on March 25, 1954, Pope Pius XII had this to teach about single life consecrated to God:

And while this perfect chastity is the subject of one of the three vows which constitute the religious state, and is also required by the Latin Church of clerics in major orders and demanded from members of Secular Institutes, it also flourishes among many who are lay people in the full sense: men and women who are not constituted in a public state of perfection and yet by private promise or vow completely abstain from marriage and sexual pleasures, in order to serve their neighbor more freely and to be united with God more easily and more closely. (para. #6; Emphasis mine). 

Single people may take a private promise to abstain from marriage without binding themselves under the pain of sin. The promise can be conditional so if the person changed his mind to marry, there would be no sin. Furthermore, if such a single person sinned against chastity after making such a promise, there would be no concomitant sin against religion. I would strongly recommend not to make a private vow of perpetual and perfect chastity, because to be released from such an unconditional vow made by someone over the age of 18 requires a dispensation from the Holy See according to Canon 1309 of the 1917 Code. In a state of sedevacante, what does one do? I will not venture an answer, only advise against it and urge using the simple promise not binding under sin. 

Joys and Sorrows of the Single

The Holy Father sums up in Sacra Virginitas the true purpose of living in perfect chastity:

 This then is the primary purpose, this the central idea of Christian virginity: to aim only at the divine, to turn thereto the whole mind and soul; to want to please God in everything, to think of Him continually, to consecrate body and soul completely to Him. (para. #15). 

The single person:

  • Can spend more time in prayer and meditation of the things of God
  • Can place himself/herself at the service of others and bring them to Christ
  • Is an amazing witness to the beauty of Christian ideals by putting the Kingdom of God before all else, having no earthly duties to family
  • Has less pressure to work overtime and earn more
  • Can develop more interests/talents and deep friendships that are like family
  • Can be more health conscious and take better care of their bodily condition
  • Becomes highly self-sufficient
  • Can change careers/jobs with much greater ease and retire earlier
I would be less than truthful if I omitted the downside of the single life. In reading the list of hardships, remember that all people in all vocations have crosses to bear. The challenges of the single life include:

  • The older the person gets, more of their friends will be married, and they will have less time to enjoy their company. Going out with their family often makes the single person feel like a "third wheel"--but they can become everyone's favorite "aunt" or "uncle"
  • People will constantly try to set them up on dates or ask them why they don't get married. Do not expect a non-Traditionalist to understand the single vocation
  • They will many times be calumniated as being a sodomite or having "something wrong" with them
  • They come home to an empty house/apartment and can feel lonely at times
  • They need people to check on them if living alone in case of an accident or emergency
  • They will not beget physical children, but will have "spiritual children" from conversions and/or spiritual good works performed to the benefit and salvation of others 
  • They do not have a partner with whom to do things many times
The Single Person's Place in the Church and the World
The single life must not be thought of as a "default position" for those who can't find someone to marry, or don't have a priestly/religious vocation. It is true that there are three kinds of people who embrace the single vocation: (1) those who want marriage but cannot find someone suitable and (wisely) will not enter into a bad marriage; (2) those who sought the priesthood or religious vocation but couldn't make it for some reason; (3) those who feel called to be single from the very outset.

 Being single is everyone's state in life for at least a short time. Not everyone will become a priest, brother, monk, nun, or get married. However, every priest, religious, and married person was single until their ordination, profession of vows, or marriage. Those who fall into the first two categories of people who are single can accept their state without bitterness as a manifestation of God's Will, and thereby make their vocation as meritorious as those who choose it from the very start of their adult life. 

Pope Pius XII's above cited encyclical tells the wonderful place of the single person in the Church:
 And here We think it opportune, Venerable Brothers, to expose more fully and to explain more carefully why the love of Christ moves generous souls to abstain from marriage, and what is the mystical connection between virginity and the perfection of Christian charity. From our Lord's words referred to above, it has already been implied that this complete renunciation of marriage frees men from its grave duties and obligations... It is easy to see, therefore, why persons who desire to consecrate themselves to God's service embrace the state of virginity as a liberation, in order to be more entirely at God's disposition and devoted to the good of their neighbor. (Ibid, para. #20)

As to those consecrated virgins (including singles who ever remain such) the Pontiff adds:
 Finally, virginity consecrated to Christ is in itself such an evidence of faith in the kingdom of heaven, such a proof of love for our Divine Redeemer, that there is little wonder if it bears abundant fruits of sanctity. Innumerable are the virgins and apostles vowed to perfect chastity who are the honor of the Church by the lofty sanctity of their lives. In truth, virginity gives souls a force of spirit capable of leading them even to martyrdom, if needs be: such is the clear lesson of history which proposes a whole host of virgins to our admiration, from Agnes of Rome to Maria Goretti. (Ibid, Para. #28).

In the world, the single person can help many people in his/her profession in ways that only they are capable of doing. First, in order to perform some good work, no consideration need be made of a spouse and children or permission required from a lawful superior in religious life or the priesthood. They need only consider themselves and use their talents to help. As a lawyer, for example, more pro bono work can be done with greater ease as a single person. Singles can have multiple professions or a profession that requires great time and money. Since I was single for a long time, I was able to become both a teacher and a lawyer. A single person could become a neurosurgeon and with no worries of raising a family, live a more modest life, take time to pay back their student loans, and give medical care to those who can't afford someone of their stature as a work of mercy performed for the love of Christ. 

Finally, careers that don't pay much can be undertaken with great love since you only need to meet your own needs. Extra time can be given to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. What a magnificent vocation for those who choose it. Those who have lived a dissolute life, while not virgins, can still live the single life in chastity, and with great merit, as a penitent soul. The Angelic Doctor teaches that chastity can be regained by contrition and penance. The reason is that chastity is essentially a virtue of the will, and so the violation of chastity can be repaired by opposite acts of the will; by a firm will to live a chaste life in the future. (See Summa Theologica, Part 2-2, q. 152, a. 3).   

Conclusion
My friend Rob (now in his 50s) is still single by choice. He told me when we first met that he never wanted to get married because "he didn't have the temperament to be a good husband and father." He enjoyed "being free to do what I want" and having the liberty to help society in the way he wanted, when he wanted. Now, as a Traditionalist, he sees that he was called by God to the single vocation. He has helped countless people as a lawyer, and has done a tremendous amount of pro bono work for indigent clients who got a top-notch attorney. He has given large amounts of money to the Church. Rob is an awesome friend, once (literally) asking for an adjournment on an important case, taking two vacation days, and travelling to New York at his own expense to help me out. My friend converted both his parents to the True Faith. His father died a few years back, and he takes excellent care of his mother (now in her late 70s) as a devoted son. They attend the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together each week. He is genuinely one of the happiest people I know, and has no regrets about his vocation.

For those of my readers who are married, please be kind and respectful of those who choose the single vocation. They are not to be thought of (or spoken to) as "someone who can't find a spouse." Being single is noble and people are called by God to live their life in that way. It is a state superior to marriage

For my readers who are single and still wondering if the vocation is chosen for them by God, remember there is nothing wrong for praying that God may send you a suitable spouse (if it be His Holy Will), or for praying that God may grant you entry into a convent or seminary (if it be His Holy Will). Always be resigned to God's Will for you. In addition to praying for a particular vocation, it is wise to pray that God will guide you to where He wants you to be. The following prayer, taken from a 19th century Manual of Catholic Prayers should be recited daily by all such single people:

God of Wisdom and of Counsel, Thou see in my heart a sincere desire to please Thee alone and to conform myself entirely to Thy Holy Will in the choice of my state in life. Grant me, I humbly implore Thee, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, my Mother and my holy Patrons, the grace to know what state in life I should choose and to embrace it when known, in order that thus I may seek Thy glory and increase it, work out my own salvation, and deserve the heavenly reward which Thou hast promised to those who do Thy Holy Will. Amen. (See in modern English online here:ourcatholicprayers.com/prayers-to-choose-a-vocation.html). 





84 comments:

  1. I wouldn't recommend marriage to anyone.
    Please,stay single,you'll regret getting married as there is literally nothing good about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Literally nothing good about it? That's an uncatholic, and I think heretical thing to say. That's an insult to Christ Who elevated Matrimony to one of the seven sacraments

      Delete
    2. @anon5:30
      Sounds like you are/were in a bad marriage, and for this I'm sorry. However, your remarks about the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony are heretical. There is plenty good about it, first and foremost the procreation of children which will be raised in the Church. Some might do great things in service of the Church. Many people are called to marriage. There are MANY good things about my marriage. Please don't let your bitterness become sinful and even heretical.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    3. Marriage has been destroyed by the sex revolution.

      Delete
    4. @anon5:59
      Marriage has been denigrated like never before. Sex education, sodomite "marriage," divorce and "re-marriage" have made a mockery of the Sacrament. However, as one of the seven Sacraments it shall remain intact (at least by some) until Christ returns.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    5. To echo your thoughts Introbio, does marraige even exist in this country? It seems to me that the state has anointed the woman to be the head of the household with all the domestic violence laws, divorce laws, custody laws, and the zeitgeist of out times. Furthermore the wife can leave the husband anytime and get control of the kids and force the husband into financial servitude for the rest of his life. Now I'm not a lawyer but in your opinion do you think what we call marraige can even be called marraige from a legal standpoint?

      Delete
    6. Im sorry but after 16 yrs of this unbearable miserable dysfunctional nightmare supposedly called "marriage" my faith + belief that God loves people has been removed from my mind.
      All these people tell me that I should love suffering as they recall falling in love,how spouse n kids saved their lives,and gleefully talking about their vacation weekends etc...Its obvious they have no clue how cruel hopeless lonely
      depressing misreable cold and loveless marriage can be.
      Not only that but living with nothing but remorse regret and knowing nothing will ever get better,it can slowly drive a person to dark places spiritually.
      Want my advice?
      Stay single + enjoy life.

      Delete
    7. @anon8:49
      My friend,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. I will pray for you and ask all my readers to do the same. May the Christ Child give you some relief and hope this Christmas.

      You may not believe it now, but ANY SITUATION can get better by God's Grace.

      Please hang in there my friend,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    8. Ryan,
      From a LEGAL standpoint I agree with you that marriage was effectively killed in 2015 with the Obergefell decision. That was the final death blow that made marriage all about hooking up with whomever. There is no legal reason (as the late Justice Scalia pointed out) that "group marriages" (e.g., four bisexual perverts) can't be "married." Add all the rest that you mentioned (and other factors), marriage as a legal institution is GONE.

      My wife and I see marriage as not a creation of civil law, but of DIVINE LAW (which it is). To have a happy marriage you MUST marry someone who believes this and is committed to it. Those will be the only real, Sacramental marriages that will last until Parousia.

      Merry Christmas,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    9. It is a fact that we humans make mistakes and may marry the wrong person. Some people may rush into a marriage at a young age to flee an abusive mother or father. Some people may unwittingly fall into the hands of a jekel and hyde personality. After marriage perhaps a spouse changes and becomes a drug addict or alcoholic wrecking havoc on the marriage, or becomes a complusive gambler. Perhaps a spouse starts having extra marital affairs, etc, etc, etc. Marriage is not cut and dried. Not all marriages were made in heaven. Why a person has to live in a literal hell of a marriage because they made a mistake, and not get a second chance for a second marriage is not understandable, or charitable.

      Delete
    10. @anon9:24
      Christ instituted the Sacrament of Matrimony to be Indissoluble. Just as Christ shall never leave His bride, the Church, so it is for us. A marriage, once ratified and consummated, lasts until one of the spouses dies as per the express wording of the vows.

      People make mistakes, but not all mistakes can be rectified. Some people, to escape abusive parents, rebel and ruin their health taking drugs. Is God "required" to restore their health because they made a mistake? What about the promiscuous who contract an STD? Is it "unfair" that they must live with those consequences?

      The person above with the horrible marriage does have the option (if all means to fix his marriage fail) to separate bed and board, obtain a legal divorce and live a celibate single life if/until the spouse passes away.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    11. Introibo,
      "Some people, to escape abusive parents, rebel and ruin their health taking drugs. Is God "required" to restore their health because they made a mistake?"

      What about second chances? Perhaps the one who rebeld and ruined their health taking drugs, stopped taking the drugs, confessed their mistakes and turned their life around, shouldn't they be given a second chance? Where is the Grace? Are they deemed to a life of judgement due to a mistake? Are any of us perfect? If it wasn't for Grace perhaps that drug addict could be you or me.

      Delete
    12. @anon10:29
      You don't understand what I'm saying. Yes, there is a second chance for the drug addict morally, but his HEALTH is ruined with no second chance. Likewise, a person who enters into a bad marriage can separate bed and board and live a happy life as a celibate single, but the permanent nature of marriage does not permit divorce and "re-marriage." He must live with that consequence.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    13. I guess choosing the single life is best as if one makes a mistake and marries the wrong person, or if the person changes for the worst after marriage, you're stuck with the "consequence" of that marriage.
      If most choose the single life, I guess the consequence would be not many children being born.

      Delete
    14. One of tbe only things I like about the Eastern Orthodox is their allowance of 1 remarriage.
      Especially nowadays considering a lot of us don't nor have ever had parents or a guardian to talk with about Life.

      Delete
    15. anon@5:18

      You're saying you like heresy?

      Delete
    16. Referring to living with "consequences", what about those who fall into the hands of a pedophile? They have to live with the "consequences" of something that wasn't their fault. What about those, who at a young age, are given drugs or alcohol by adults, and become drug addicts or alcoholics as a result? Aren't they living with the "consequences" of being introduced to drugs or alcohol at a young age? What about the young women who are human trafficd and end up with "stds", aren't they living with the "consequences" of something beyond their control? Not everything is so cut and dried as one would like or assume.

      Delete
    17. To anon@11:53 PM,

      You must differentiate between the temporal order and the supernatural order.

      Supernaturally speaking, God provides sufficient graces such that *every* person has the possibility of attaining to eternal salvation, merited by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Likewise, so long as one possesses a spirit of true contrition and repentance as taught by the Church, forgiveness of one's sins is also always possible.

      However, on the temporal order, we always pay the consequences of our past actions. Sometimes, those past actions have lifelong effects.

      For example, there are certain prerequisites that must be met before any particular event can occur. For example, I would be unable to play professional football at my age, given a lack of athletic ability and experience in the game, as well as a lack of desire for same. Playing pro football (or any other professionals sport) is closed off to me for the rest of my life, as a result of choices I made as a youth.

      In like manner, the nature of matrimony is such that a marriage exists so long as both spouses are alive after having validly married each other. Thus, another "marriage" after the fact would be invalid so long as the other spouse from the first is alive, and that's the simple reality of the matter.

      With regards to your other examples (drug addiction, human trafficking, etc), the same logic applies: although we always have a "second chance" in the eyes of God so long as we live, there may not be a "second chance" at certain aspects of our mortal life, simply due to the temporal nature of this world.

      To use a popular analogy: even though a boy playing ball accidentally breaks a rectory window, and even though the priest forgives him...the boy still has to pay for the broken window.

      Sincerely,

      A Simple Man

      Delete
    18. You evidently don't understand what a victim is.

      Delete
    19. To anon@10:51 AM,

      Assuming that you're responding to me: I most certainly do. For those who are subjected to terrible atrocities through no fault of their own, the guilt of such actions are not imputed to them. However, that being said: the temporal consequences still remain. Even if someone was forced to take methamphetamine (to use an extreme example), the consequences of that action would still remain afterwards, even if they did not consent to it.

      To acknowledge that temporal consequences (either negative or positive) result from a given action (regardless of one's consent to it) is not to necessarily assign guilt or blame. It is to simply acknowledge how the world is.

      None of the above has anything to do with the spiritual regeneration that comes with accepting Christ and His grace; however, barring a miracle, new life in the spiritual sense does not reverse or negate the temporal consequences of actions taken before or after.

      That was my point.

      Sincerely,

      A Simple Man

      Delete
    20. So give someone the desire to be in love + sexually active with a spouse they love but if they marry the wrong person and live in literal Hell for 15 yrs or more,they can split,and never ever be allowed to experience what everyone else gets to experience,and be misreable till they die?
      Can you see where there is no hope and God hates certain people?
      Some people never have parents or anyone around them who cares about them and they make 1 major mistake and miss out on life and pay for it till they die.
      Im losing any hope in God as it seems some people are cursed.

      Delete
    21. @ASM,
      You are very blessed my friend.
      I can tell by your words you haven't lived in a nightmare living Hell for over 2 decades.
      I can see how you trust and love God so much.
      Im very happy for you.
      Please be thankful to God for your blessed life.

      Delete
    22. Calling something that is not eternal damnation "literal" hell.
      And there's another one that is (probably) saying that heresy is ok if you're living in a nightmare living hell (which just makes it worse), and you don't need to be thankful to God if you're not in a blissful life.

      Delete
    23. @anon4:16,
      Why are you living in "hell" for fifteen years or more? You have the right to separate bed and board, obtain a civil divorce and live as a celibate single. Being married is not "missing out on life" Tha would mean all singles, priests, nuns, monks, and brothers are "missing out on life." Marriage has trials and hardships--even the best of them--and I can tstify to that. If my wife left me, I would live as a celibate single once more, and offer the hardship up to expiate my sins and those of others.

      Because you want what you want, and in the manner you want it, any Divine Law that conflicts with it (made for the benefit of humanity) must be unjust because you can't be happy. Therefore, God is unjust unless he makes you happy in this life. That's what you want to hear. This life is "mourning and weeping in this valley of tears." The greatest saints suffered much, to be glorified all the more in Heaven. This world is not our home.


      ---Introibo

      Delete
    24. To Anon@4:16 AM (who is assumedly the same as the Anon@4:22 AM),

      Although I sympathize with the difficulties you've apparently experienced, your perception of the matter cannot be countenanced. To wit:

      - You perceive your temporal difficulties with your marriage as living in "literal Hell". This dramatically undersells the reality of Hell, which is a place of eternal suffering and torment by hellfire; consumed by hatred for God and man, the damned and reprobate never experience even the least real pleasure, per the consensus of Catholic theologians in light of Scripture. Hell is not something to be trivialized.

      - "they can...never ever be allowed to experience what everyone else gets to experience" For those who are called to the single life as their vocation (whether it be as a priest, a religious, or a celibate layman), this lack of "experience" with sexual intercourse and natural progeny isn't a dealbreaker, as they are willingly parted from it in order to pursue different goals and objectives.

      - "...and be [miserable] till they die? Can you see where there is no hope and God hates certain people? Some people ...make 1 major mistake and miss out on life and pay for it till they die." This implicitly condemns chastity as a burden to be avoided; your choice of language with regards to those who are - per the words of Our Lord and the teaching of the Church - bound to live celibately if (by some misfortune) their spouse leaves them...well, it says a great deal about your priorities. Those who live celibately are without "hope"? Those who live celibately are condemned to a life of misery? It's an intrinsically carnal mindset.

      Speaking as someone who does desire to get married one day, I still continue to live celibately as a virgin until that day comes (and given the other endeavors I'm involved with in my personal life, it's quite possible that marriage may never come for me, and I've accepted that). If it were a matter of "experience" to satisfy sexual desires, there are more than enough ways to pay for that "experience" in modern America...but that's not the point. The point is to live as Christ would, and to obey His Church to our utmost; for such is the key to everlasting salvation in Heaven, where the pains of this life will seem like nothing by comparison.

      Sincerely,

      A Simple Man

      Delete
    25. Introibo, I didn't know it is permitted by the Church even to obtain a civil divorce?

      Delete
    26. @anon2:33
      Yes, you may obtain a civil divorce in extreme circumstances, but must live as a single unable to date and perfectly chaste. For example, a woman's husband becomes a wife-beater, putting her life at risk and refusing to reform his ways. She may obtain a civil divorce and get a restraining order. She is sacramentally married nevertheless.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    27. What about pre-Vatican II Priests that left the Priesthood to get married? Didn't they take vows? How can the vows then be broken?

      Delete
    28. @anon12:47
      Pre-Vatican II, only very rarely were priests dispensed from their vows (and they rarely asked for such). The difference between priestly or religious (nun, brother, nun) vows, is that the vows are not sacramental. The exchange of vows in marriage is what makes the contract. Pert of that sacramental contract is Indissolubility for as long as both parties are alive. The priests vows are not part of Holy Orders. Nevertheless, if a dispensation is granted, the priests is forbidden to be recognized as a cleric, wear clerical garb, receive Church support, and he may not use his sacerdotal powers unless someone is dying and asks for confession when no other priest is available.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    29. Introibo,
      Holy Orders are a sacrament. Priests have been known to leave the Priesthood and get married.

      Delete
    30. @anon1:26
      You obviously did not understand what I wrote above. Vows are not part of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. You can validly ordain a man a priest without him taking any vows. In Holy Matrimony, the exchange of vows between the couple (which includes Indissolubility) is what makes the marriage contract and without which there is no marriage.

      Big Difference.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    31. Just for clarification, though I don't think it's necessary, just want to tell I'm 2:33 and not 12:47 (who seemed to talk as me) or 1:26, who I think is (or are) not understanding it

      Delete
  2. Intro, I too think that there is a great merit in the single life.
    I have some friends who are single, and they have borne or are bearing heavy responsibities in their lives as siblings or adult children using much time, energy and resources caring for family members with lifelong disabilities. That is a labor of such intensity it couldn't be best done when a person has a spouse and children of their own.
    I have often thought, especially lately, that the world is full of people who were born to couples who may not have been meant for the married state. Too often the children are "accessories" to the lifestyle in today's world, and they in turn perpetuate that mentality.

    This may sound ignorant, but I am wondering about God's command to Mankind in Genesis: to be fruitful and multiply. What would that mean in regard to choosing one of the vocations other than marriage?
    Jannie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...I am thinking that command was directed just to Adam and Eve and their immediate progeny.
      Jannie

      Delete
    2. Jannie,
      That's a salient observation regarding children born of those not meant for marriage. Unfortunately, people follow the world instead of God. They feel pressure to get married, or do it because it's "what's expected," and the children ("accessories" as you aptly put it) will suffer and perpetuate the cycle. Such is the sorry state of our world.

      I, too, know of those brave souls who are single to help family members who need to be cared for; those will be richly blessed by God. As to God's Command in Genesis, it was a a command of "General Applicability." In other words the human race as a whole must be fruitful and multiply, but it does not apply to each and every individual. Remember that God does not Command those things incapable of fulfillment. What about people who (through no fault of their own) are sterile? What about the Church's universal disciplinary law regarding celibacy? The Church cannot give that which is evil, so celibate priests and religious cannot be evil or contrary to the law of God. Hence, the command of Genesis is meant for the MAJORITY of humanity, but not to each individual person.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    3. Parents who beat their children down emotionally and psychologically,while expecting them to be their perpetual caretaker and using any means of subterfuge to prevent them from leaving are worse than irresponsible parents who love their children but were never taught any better on how to raise them.
      I myself went through this and it's becoming a big problem now with single parents,male and female.

      Delete
    4. @anon9:27
      You make a great observation. I agree with you completely.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  3. I am single but it is not a life choice. I was raised by a rather stifling mother and a not overly emotional father, I was bullied in my youth, and while there were girls I found beautiful and attractive, I never dared to ask a girl to go out with me. Too embarrassed ... I stayed like that until today, at 44. My forced celibacy has undoubtedly resulted in some bad things that I still struggle with today. Perhaps a consequence of unfulfilled desires ... I keep my old parents in my house, taking care of them in their old years, but when they are no longer in this world, I will most likely find myself alone. I don't know if I'll find a wife, but if that happens, I won't have children. It takes too much responsibility and I do not want to take on this for the time I have left on this Earth.

    Merry Christmas !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simon,
      Let me begin by wishing you (and all my readers) a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

      * Be glad God has given you the Grace not to be like those despicable men calling themselves "Incels" (meaning "Involuntary Celibates") on the Internet. They are misogynists and misanthropes. You are a good person who follows Church teaching.

      * If you feel called to marriage, may I suggest that you go on one of the many Christian dating websites. They are cheap and I've known people who met their spouse that way. It is perfect for shy people because you can message someone and if they don't respond, you never met them so there's really no hurt feelings.

      * Marriage must be open to children, but you might meet a woman who can't have children or who is a widow with older/grown-up children and is no longer able to have children.

      * As long as you have the True Church, you are never alone. Christ walks with you in the single vocation. You also have friends who care. I hope you will consider me one of them.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    2. Absolutely, you are a good person who gives good advice because you are following the teaching of Christ and the true Catholic Church.

      Sometimes I think to myself that it's better to stay single than to be with someone who's not the right fit for us. Discernment is important because marriage engages man and woman for their entire life, in the Catholic Church at the very least, because the V2 sect encourages marriage annulments, sodomite civil unions and soon, who knows, the "sodomite marriage".

      Delete
  4. "They need people to check on them if living alone in case of an accident or emergency"

    I was always thinking about this. Can I ask as to how some saints who completely lived alone, living in deserts, arranged what would happen in case of an emergency or something like that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon6:50
      They trusted in God's Providence to an amazing degree, which explains why they are canonized saints! I knew a Benedictine hermit displaced by Vatican II. He lived in Spain, not far from a convent of nuns. He lived with nine other priests. The nuns would drop off food rations for them each day. They would pick up their vestments and clothes to wash outside the door each week. In case of emergency, there was a loud bell they could ring, and the nuns would send a medic from town to go and check on them.

      In my life, I had my best friend and his wife who would call me each night, and I had an emergency call number to alert them. They had my springing power of attorney and health care proxy. That changed when I got married, of course.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  5. A fantastic article. Will definitely share!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very good Introibo! Very opportune some have told me after sharing it. Lots in the traditional movement are struggling with this.

    Canon X definitely condemns Antipope JPII’s Jovinian heresy which the Vatican II sect and Opus Dei follow to extol the married state as being equal to virginity/celibacy.

    God bless!

    —JCA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JCA,
      Thank you and Merry Christmas!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  7. Now can you do one on the married state if you havent already? Many times I feel overwhelmed as a husband and a father of a 3 year old.(Everyone says terrible 2's but so far the 3's are rough! Lol) Honestly sometimes I'm terrified because I feel solely responsible for their salvation. I wasn't really rooted in the Faith as I was still a confused heretic when we got married, now I find myself wondering how am I gonna help save my wife and son when I didn't really seek God's council in the first place? How much responsibility is God gonna place on me for the decisions of my wife or son? Since my true conversion I've been really trying to fight the good fight. But my wife still isnt at that point yet and I'm afraid to constantly preach to her about taking the Faith seriously as i dont want to feel like she is being forced to, i want her to want a close relationship with God by her choice, not by mine. For now I just pray for her to have true contrition and that God will reach her with a genuine interest in learning more about the Faith and taking all aspects of it seriously. Any advice would be great.

    God bless my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David M
      Just going by what you have sketched out, I have this to say:
      First, dont allow discouragement to gain a foothold. Pray. Do not burden your conscience unreasonably. It's like the instruction about the oxygen masks on a flight - put yours on first. Find your own peace. Then help others. Your example is the prime mover in teaching what you want your loved ones to know. As an adult, your wife gets to make her own decisions, and you dont have to "preach" to her, just show by your own behavior that what you believe is worth believing.
      Now, your child is dependent on your good hands-on example. You can read good Catholic childrens stories to him and practice patience. I've been in your shoes four times over,though as a mother, so I understand.
      As long as your wife doesnt put up any actual impediments to his Catholic upbringing, try not to worry too much.
      I hope that this helps.
      We will be praying for you.
      Jannie

      Delete
    2. David M.,
      I've been having the same struggle as you, literally word for word, except I'm trying to convert my Brother and my Mother (and I'm single).
      I'm a miserable sinner myself, weak and inconsistent. I often tremble at the thought of how many God-sent graces I've squandered since I rejected the Vatican II sect, how many excuses I made. My sole consolation is the fact that, despite my spiritual infirmities, God in his Mercy would still send me the most precious gift of the True Faith of which I haven't been worthy at all; I reckon God does have His great plans towards me and my Family and so He does about Yours, David.
      I'll be keeping you in my prayers!

      God Bless You,
      Joanna S.

      Delete
    3. David,
      I might do a post on the Sacrament of Matrimony next year. God only requires us to try our hardest and do our best. In this you seem to be succeeding. You are correct in not coercing your wife. Let your good example as head of the family bring he closer to Christ.

      Continue to pray for and WITH her. Would she recite a nightly Rosary with you? Will she go to the Holy Sacrifice with you? Can you do some spiritual reading together? It sounds corny but it rings true--the family that prays together stays together (and gets Closer to God!).

      I think you're doing everything right my friend; don't let a scrupulous conscience weigh you down. Thank you for the great idea of a Marriage post!

      God Bless and Merry Christmas,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    4. Thank you all for the encouragement! It's not like she is opposed as we go to Mass every Sunday and we always try to pray at night at least a few prayers with our son. Its more so the discipline of the Church, like fasting and abstinence and going to confession, also just learning more of the basic tenants of the Faith. She is a wonderful woman and I know God will help us, but it is probably because I tend to be overly scrupulous. I just dont want Our Lord to say at judgment that I failed as a father and husband, by far my biggest fear.

      Merry Christmas and God bless to you all!

      Delete
    5. @David M,
      Take yourself and your child to confession weekly to a valid Priest.
      If you all have access to is a Priest ordained before June 18 1968,go and go much as possible.
      God bless Merry Christmas
      -Andrew

      Delete
  8. Great article Introibo. I'll pray for the first commenter who has had a terrible experience and life based on the type of spouse he/she has had and to make wise decisions henceforth. Merry Christmas this Friday and may God bless us, everyone.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee,
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  9. Introibo,
    A very good article. I have a question about the relationship of the first way of St. Thomas to Newton's law of inertia. According to the principle of inertia, uniform rectilinear motion is possible without force. Does this not contradict the fact that movement requires an efficient cause, as St. Thomas after Aristotle? Is my understanding correct?
    I have encountered such accusations that "modern natural sciences have overthrown Thomistic philosophy (including the first way), which is based on the erroneous physics of Aristotle" and "scholastic philosophy are aprioristic theses".
    Interestingly, one of those people in Poland who ridicule the Thomistic philosophy is Fr. Michał Heller - Novus Ordo theologian, philosopher and physicist-cosmologist.

    God bless,
    Paweł

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pawel,

      The short answer is "no", since the notion of "mover" as St. Thomas uses does not perfectly line up with the notion of forces and causes as used by Newton.

      Ed Feser, although of the Novus Ordo, is a philosophy professor who specializes in (and strongly defends) the thought of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Scholaticism. For further investigation, I recommend the following post (with citations included therein): http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/12/aquinas-versus-newton.html?m=1

      Sincerely (from out of town),

      A Simple Man

      Delete
    2. Force is required to get the object to start moving in the first place.

      Also, friction would be acting against the object as it moves, so the object wouldn't be moving for very long without force anyway.

      Do people really make this argument against the First Mover argument of St Thomas?

      Delete
  10. May everyone have a very blessed Christmas.Thank you introibo for all your excellent articles.May God bless you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon2:24
      Thank you and Merry Christmas my friend!

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  11. Jesus, the Eternal Word of God has been born; rejoice in the Lord!
    May the Light of Christ remain always with us!

    Merry Christmas to all of you, and especially the lonely ones, unhappily married and hurt in any way.
    In all afflictions, let us confide in Our Blessed Mother so that, through Her most powerful intercession, our spiritual struggle may be meritorious before God.

    God Bless You,
    Joanna S.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanna,
      May the Blessings of the Christ Child be upon you now and in 2021!

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  12. Merry Christmas everyone!
    Bp.Santay offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in my area recently .
    His sermon + Holy Mass were edifying
    peaceful + inspiring.
    The CSPV are bleseed to have such a humble devout Holy down to earth intelligent Bishop.
    Merry Christmas
    God bless -Andrew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew,
      Yes, I know Bp. Santay. He is a godly bishop.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  13. Do You have some authoritative quotes about single life IN THE WORLD (i.e. not as a priest or religious) being a vocation? Some trads say otherwise and it's hard to convince them... SAP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. literally this article

      Delete
    2. anoniman,
      See para. #6 of Sacra Virginitas cited above. It deals directly with the single state as the context clearly shows:

      And while this perfect chastity is the subject of one of the three vows which constitute the religious state, and is also required by the Latin Church of clerics in major orders and demanded from members of Secular Institutes, it also flourishes among many who are lay people in the full sense: men and women who are not constituted in a public state of perfection and yet by private promise or vow completely abstain from marriage and sexual pleasures, in order to serve their neighbor more freely and to be united with God more easily and more closely.

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    3. Thank You, sorry for missing that!
      SAP

      Delete
  14. Have a Happy an Holy Christmas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @aono6:33
      Thank you my friend! The blessings of the Christ Child to you!

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  15. Indissolubility of marriage was never black and white. Divorce was at times recognized in both the east and west. There have always been times when the church by God's mercy makes exceptions to rules, including baptism as you well know. It is simply a myth that the church never permitted divorce / remarriage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon @7:35,
      Would you please expound on your comment regarding divorce/remarriage. Very interesting.

      Delete
    2. Anon Dec. 27, 2020 7:35 AM
      There's no such thing as divorce in the True Church, that is the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
      The Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament; no one can undo a validly conferred Sacrament since it is Christ Himself who confers it.
      Neither the bogus 'annulments' of the Vatican II sect nor the invalid ones 'granted' by the SSPX can change that.
      Are you willing to provide any examples to support your (erroneous) claim?

      Joanna S.

      Delete
    3. @anon7:35
      That GOD at times permitted divorce and remarriage before the founding of the Church CONCEDED; that a sacramental marriage both ratified and consummated (ratum et consummatum) can ever be the subject DENIED.

      As theologian Pohle teaches, "The reason for the absolute indissolubility is that only of a properly consummated Christian marriage can it be said in the full sense of the phrase that husband and wife are 'two in one flesh' and that their union is a perfect symbol of Christ's mystic union with His Church, consummated by the Incarnation." (See "Dogmatic Theology" 11:200 [1924]).

      Only Protestant and EO heretics deny this truth. Pohle has a raft of citations to Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Magisterial teaching. The Pauline Privilege allows a non-Sacramental union between two unbaptized people to be dissolved if one converts to the True Faith and the other will not live in peace with them. The Petrine Privilege gives the pope the authority to dissolve a ratified marriage NOT YET CONSUMMATED. Once ratified and consummated, God has ordained that it last until one of the two spouses dies.


      ---Introibo

      Delete
    4. Introibo,
      thank you for your excellent explanation!

      God Bless,
      Joanna S.

      Delete
  16. I have a friend who got married in a V2 sect church by a "Priest". She married an Iranian guy who never converted. How can this be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon1:48
      I'm not speaking for the Vatican II sect (of course), but the situation you describe does occur in the True Church. While mixed marriages are discouraged, they are allowed provided that the non-Catholic party sign the two promises under oath:
      1. Not to try and convert and not to impede the practice of the Catholic partner's Faith
      2. All children must be baptized and trained in the One True church exclusively.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    2. How can a marriage where both are not Catholic be a sacrament?

      Delete
    3. @anon3:17
      It is not a sacrament, but there is a Natural bond. That bond the Church can break for very serious reason--the Pauline Privilege.

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  17. If a person obtains an annulment can't they then get remarried?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon8:45
      An annulment means that "contrary to all appearances to the contrary" the marriage was invalid from its inception--therefore, you were never really married even though you thought you were. Such is the case where, e.g., a man hid the fact he was married before and that woman is still alive. His first marriage still stands, and the second lady (who thought she was married) is still single.

      in 1958, there were less than 400 annulments worldwide. Today, there are hundreds of thousands granted per year. It is an invalid "divorce" granted by a phony "pope"

      ---Introibo

      Delete
  18. Hi Introibo. Do converts need to go through a catechism or period of instruction before being conditionally baptized and admitted? As someone who was never taught catechism, (though I do read myself, but not sure which I should read) do I need to do anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @anon2:37
      You need to understand the basic truths of Faith such as the Trinity and Incarnation. If you know the basic Baltimore Catechism or if you can get Fr. Laux "Chief truths of Faith" available on Amazon, that's all that is required as far as knowledge of the Faith. I strongly recommend learning as much as you can because we are all that is left of the Church.

      Please do not be content with knowing only the basics!!

      God Bless,

      ---Introibo

      Delete
    2. Thank you Introibo.

      Delete
  19. I think this is a very important essay, considering what a trainwreck the institution of marriage among the secular masses has become. Nowadays, women are essentially incentivized to divorce their husbands by exceedingly favorable settlements in divorce courts, and consequently men are disincentivized to marry at all.

    I'd recommend any traditional Catholic man to remain single unless and until he becomes financially independent and hits it off with a traditional Catholic woman, or the very, very rare non-Catholic woman who is open to converting. The vast majority of women out there have destroyed their pair-bonding ability with casual sex, rendering them divorce hazards in the making. And this could take years, and the man may have to consider significantly younger women. But being single is far, far better than getting wrecked in a divorce with a bad woman and being rendered ineligible for any further relationships.

    ReplyDelete