Sunday, January 29, 2012

St. Paul and the Single Ladies

Even some 4-5 years later, St. Paul still has my back.

Now, I don't want to talk about the fact that it was almost 5 YEARS AGO now that I took a leap of faith and entered religious life. Nope. I don't want to talk about that. Five years just does  not seem accurate so I just can't be bothered by that fact.

However, one of the girls I entered postulancy with did make her first vows this weekend. So I suppose the numbers don't exactly lie...

Shoot. That's kind of a lot to think about. I could have been wearing a veil right about now. And not like the ones on "Say Yes to the Dress." But how did I celebrate yesterday as my co-postulant friend was receiving her habit and vowing to religious life?

Um, I was at one of the bars that was very significant during my time of discernment 5 years ago. Naturally.

This is one of the items which I just noticed yesterday when at this illustrious establishment. This is my kind of home decor. WANT. 

Yup. About 4.5 years ago, my friends were sending me off with a "bachelorette party" at this bar and now, 4.5 years later, I was back, talking with one of my single friends about my decision to enter. And leave. Like it was just yesterday.

I just want to say my past 2 weekends have been great because they have been filled with quality time with some of my favorite single ladies. Last weekend, I drank some wine and played an epic game of trivia pursuit with a co-worker and then hung out at a bar listening to a 90s cover band with one of my favorite uber-Catholic YM friends. This weekend, different names, but kind of the same: lunch with an uber-Catholic single gal like myself and then shopping/dinner/drinks with another co-worker. All single ladies. All fabulous gifts to me right now in my life!

So my coworker last night was asking me over beer (and next to this amazing table piece above!) about why   I decided to enter religious life in the first place. I still kind of can't believe that 4-5 years later I'm still talking about and processing this, but I guess it's going to be a fact that I discuss the rest of my life since it was a significant decision in my life.

I articulated to her for the first time in a long while that I had done it because I want to give of myself in a special way. Of course, there was more than that and there are many ways to do that type of giving without signing up for an order. But it was good to hear myself say it again and remind myself that I still want to give of myself for God in a special way.

And I believe I am doing that now with the single vocation and the way I am living my life through teaching and trying to be as holy as I can be (while still drinking at bars now and again ;)

St. Paul gave me an extra boost years ago when I was discerning and he gave me more insight today with this second reading at Mass:

Brothers and sisters:
I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband. 
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

This reading definitely affirms me in my focus on "things of the Lord" in  my singleness. As I think I mentioned before, our society today says that the advantage (if there is an advantage at all) to being single is getting to do all the UN-holy things. But here, St. Paul seems to say almost the opposite. We get to focus solely on our relationship with God and making ourselves holy while married people can become distracted. 

Now, of course I know MANY holy married people with families and they give me hope for the Sacrament of Marriage and that if I am called to that vocation, the beauty and grace that can be given in that call. But I like thinking of the advantages I have as a single person since society doesn't always seem to think there is one.

In the midst of my bar-evangelization conversation with my co-worker (my favorite kind of evangelization :) and the telling of my religious discernment story, she looked at me and said: "I just got a flash of what a good mom you would be. I think you are going to be a mom." To which I said:


For now, I just want to focus on living this vocation that God has placed me in with the focus that St. Paul says it requires. Thanks, St. Paul!

And many prayers for Sr. Emily Beata on her first profession :)


1 comment:

Mad Hatter said...

I like how you contrast the world's view of being single with St. Paul's view of being single. Quite a contrast!