We are never abandoned even when we are still waiting for a spouse.
Despite means at their disposal (dating sites, social relations and parish network), some people seem destined to celibacy. Little by little they become weary and discouraged by the perspective of never finding their one true love. The question that sooner or later crosses their minds is “Does God wish for me to be celibate?”
God does not destine any particular person to either remain celibate or to get married. God has not created us to be machines. He has given us free will, and with it the amazing power to develop our personalities. Actually, the real human drama is the free will to do good or evil. At the end of his or her life, any person can say: “I’ve shaped my own life. I’ve never been a puppet manipulated by Almighty God”.
God, in His goodness, accompanies every person along the path they chose, without undermining their free will. So, why do some people remain single despite all of their efforts? They dream of founding a family, going out on dates. They pray, asking God to send someone to love. Why do all their efforts seem to be in vain?
The following questions are intended to help the single person more deeply understand his or her situation:
Because men are free, many things depend on the contingencies of life. A single person who wants to find his or her soulmate must ask a few simple but unpleasant questions.
- Am I partially responsible for this situation? Have I been simply waiting for God to send me a spouse?
- Do I secretly fear living with someone? Do I really want to be in a couple? (Many singles avoid meeting potential partners!)
- Have I really tried to meet a potential spouse in places I go?
- Am I approachable enough? Do I flee people’s company?
- Do I fear opening up to people? People love those they admire but how can they admire someone they don’t know? If I fear opening up to them, how will they get to know me?
- And finally, have I been aiming too high, searching for perfection that does not exist? (There are single people who spend their lifetime looking for a knight in shining armor or a fairy tale princess.)
Where is God in all of this?
Some things depend on people; other things depend on circumstances. Perhaps the right person hasn’t arrived yet? Many singles find fulfillment in endeavors that give meaning to their lives: developing their artistic talents, becoming active in their community or the Church, helping those who suffer. There is nothing like the joy of making those around us happier.
Whatever path we take, God provides us with gifts that correspond to our circumstances. He is like a GPS system. We select the destination, and the GPS helps us to get there. If along the way we decide to change the direction, it readjust. In other words, God will provide His blessings in every new situation all along our journey, ahead of the joy of the “Heavenly feast” by the side of the perfect Bridegroom.
When did priestly celibacy begin anyway?