A Catholic Girl's Litany of Humility

Oh, to be female, single and Catholic! A state of great ambivalence (or may we say, distress!) for all too many in today’s world. With the feminine desire to make a gift of herself through marriage in a society where people flee commitment, and with deep longings to bring forth life amidst a culture of death, the future for the devout Catholic female can sometimes look a little grim. While the problem of prolonged single-hood is deep, multi-faceted, and cannot be blamed on (nor solved with) one sex, race, or generation, what do we single Catholic women do while we wait for the desire of our hearts?

Like Mary, we say “yes” with a whole heart to Jesus Christ, who is Love itself, hope with joyful expectation, and learn to love right where we are.

We long for love, but sometimes we’re more focused on being the recipients. We want to be pursued, romanced, courted and carried off into the sunset—which is only natural, as it’s how God made us. But as women, we are called not only to receive love, but also to give it freely. Even now as we wait.

Perhaps this time of waiting for so many is a time of purification, as God refashions our hearts to seek to love rather than seeking to be loved by those around us. We need women today in our world who are willing to love sacrificially without counting the cost—for the sake of the other, and not for what that person gives them.

Can we young singles lay down the desire to be on pedestal for the desire to serve? Can we dare to put others before us? Dare to put Christ first? Dare to be content right where we are, to embrace our lives with gratitude as they are today, trusting that we are in God’s will? Can we dare to be humble?

My roommates and I recently wondered what a Catholic single girl’s Litany of Humility would look like. We came up with this:

From the desire of being stared at…

From the desire of being called, messaged, emailed, tweeted, Facebook stalked or Instagramed…

From the desire of being told I’m gorgeous…

From the desire of hearing there isn’t, never was, and never will be anyone else quite like me…

From the desire of a four-carat diamond ring…

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being alone…

From the fear forever being a bridesmaid…

From the fear of gaining 5 more pounds…

From the fear of my ticking biological clock…

From the fear of the single life being my permanent vocation…

Deliver me, Jesus.

That others be pursued more than I…

That others get asked out more than I…

That others get married before I do…

That others have children even when I don’t…

That others be happier than I, provided that I become as happy I should…

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, unafraid to be single till the day you died, hear us.

It hurts to stop looking for the love we long to have, to stop demanding love, and instead, search every day for ways we can offer it to the world around us. But as a priest once told me, “In becoming a woman, you must be the one to love, to serve, to give, and you will find the joy you are looking for.”

-Kara Klein