Navigating My Way as a Single, Catholic, Millennial in the World Today
It has been a challenging, yet often joy-filled journey navigating my way as a single, practicing Catholic, who is also a young adult, in today’s world. As a Catholic I have found much consolation and peace in Christ Jesus as I grow closer to Him in prayer, and most of all in receiving Him in the Eucharist, but at the same time it is a struggle to be a part of a world where the culture has become very toxic and hostile to Christians.
We live in a world that celebrates that which is gravely offensive and an abomination to God, such as the murdering of innocent unborn babies, the utilization of women’s bodies to rent-a-womb, and same-sex marriage. Society and unfortunately even some of our fellow Catholic brethren believe that we mere mortals have the ability to change Divine Revelation, that which God has revealed to us Himself.
One of the most common hardships that I have faced over and over again, along with many other practicing Catholics, is the battle against what is now considered normal in this world. There is constant pressure to surrender and comply with the “norms” that have become a part of this modern day culture of heathenry. Right has become wrong, and wrong has become right, and the young people of this world have lost all sense of morality because they have removed God from the picture. If there is no God, then we can define our own truth and enforce that so-called truth upon others without any consequences.
I have found it even difficult to explore the world of dating because of my Catholic faith. I am not willing to surrender my core values and standards as a daughter of the King who belongs to Him and is a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. Most millennials, even some who are Catholic, do not practice chastity, and do not see their bodies as being temples of the Holy Spirit. There seems to be a common attitude that exists among young people that having sexual relations outside of marriage is appropriate and remaining chaste until finding a spouse is downright laughable. Our Catholic values are in constant combat with the ways of the world.
A significant difficulty that I have encountered is spending a lot of time alone. For Catholics singlehood is not a state of life to be celebrated, but is often looked down upon by those who are married as well as by even some of our priests. The hope is that being single is a passing state in life leading to either marriage or a religious vocation, but for some of us we simply do not fit into those two, neat boxes, and often it is by no fault of our own.
There are many single Catholics who have tried both vocations for them only to not work out, so we are left trying to figure out where and how we fit into the equation. In many parishes there are not even petitions for single Catholics read during the Prayer of the Faithful. Do we not need prayers too along with those discerning the priesthood, religious life, and marriage?
An incredible joy of being a single, Catholic millennial, is that I have a lot of time to devote to increasing and deepening my relationship with Christ. I am able to spend two nights a week at my parish participating in Bible Study and the Rosary, and I have the opportunity to go each day to Mass.
I lost my vocation to the religious life, but God has enabled me to continue much of the same as what I had done when I was in the convent, and that has been a blessing and a huge part of the healing process. I never thought I would see the inside of a sacristy ever again and be able to assist our priests, and maintain my prayer life, but this has continued to be a tremendous part of my daily life.
I have hope because of being a Catholic, and I place my trust and confidence in our Lord, knowing that He has a plan for me even if I do not know what that plan is right now. It is not easy being alone, and wondering whether I will find the one or if God will continue to help me to live chastely in the world. But I will continue on this current path dedicating my life to serving God and His Church in the same way that I was surrendering my life in the convent. I leave my fate up to God, and will not worry about it because I have no doubt in my heart that the Holy Spirit will always be there right beside me leading the way.