“The Mystery Of Love For The Single.” Fr. Dominic J. Unger, O.F.M. Cap.
The sub-title is “A Guide for Those Who Follow The Single Vocation in the World.”
First published in 1958. Republished by TAN BOOKS in 2005.
This book is unique because it speaks to singles that plan on living their lives in the world but remaining single for the kingdom. Some of the topics covered include:
- The mystery of man’s love for God
- The single vocation in the world
- Spiritual nuptials through perfect chastity (one of my favourites)
- The manner of dedication
- Careers and home life
- Some basic helps in safeguarding purity
Fr. Dominic writes of a joyful life for those choosing a celibate lifestyle: one that blesses the church, the world at large and the person living this call to the utmost. He writes:
“One does great honour to God and, besides, such a vow to live chastely brings stability to one’s life and adds strength, psychologically”. (p.60)
In most books about celibacy the bent is toward those in religious orders; this is not so with “The mystery of the love for the single”. From the first chapter to the end it speaks to modern people who come to this call in a variety of ways. It gives practical advice such as for careers, housing and social life. The chapter on ‘manner of dedication’ is full of wisdom in taking this call step by step, recommending a temporary promise for the first year then evaluating one’s own heart before making a final promise. It supplies different prayers and ideas for the dedication.
The chapter on ‘safeguarding purity’ is most helpful. A quote worth remembering is “moderation always”
Here are a few more quotes
“The Heavenly Spouse cares with special solicitude for those who follow Him in virginal and perfect chastity, He protects them, consoles them, helps them, rejoices their hearts.” (P81)
“Single people in the world are ..freer than priests and religious. They do not have to wait for the counsel or command of superiors before taking care of urgent works of mercy.” (P68)
“Precisely because such single men and women are so beneficial to the Church and are such a power for the church’s apostate do the heretics oppose them and persecute them.” (P39)
“All this excellence and reward of virginal and perfect chastity adds up to one thing: a life of genuine peace and joy already in this world, and of hope for even better things in the next.” (P94)
I am unsure if I am doing this book justice. For me I was struggling in this calling, like walking in the dark, often feeling out of step with the world around me. Then I found this book which I almost didn’t buy because I didn’t like the cover!
I have re-read this book often and learn something new each time. I will end with what I wrote on the inside cover when I first finished it “A great book! A gift from God, the author of all that is good”