Are You Faithful to Your State of Life? God Knows.

Your state of life is the position in life in which God has placed you, at least for now.  There are four states of life: marriage, the single state, the priesthood, and the religious state.  It goes without saying that our state of life is God’s plan for how we should live right now to reach our goal: happiness on earth and eternal much-greater happiness with God in heaven.   If you faithfully follow the state of life in which God has placed you, your life will not only be happy but meaningful and satisfying.  He will also give special graces needed for your state of life.

God gave us free will, so answering God’s call to your vocation is going to be a matter of much prayer and study.  Let’s lay out each state of life, starting with marriage.


As a Catholic Candle reader and an uncompromising traditional Catholic, you understand that it is a state of life in which the husband as head of the family, and the wife as his helpmate, work together for a higher place in heaven.  The married couple will receive extra graces to bring into existence a God-fearing and loving family, a family steeped in virtue and love of the traditional Catholic Faith.  If the family does not meet these goals, the husband as head of the family is most responsible and will suffer for it.

Q. What are the chief ends of the Sacrament of Matrimony?

A. The chief ends of the Sacrament of Matrimony are:

1.    To propagate or keep up the existence of the human race by bringing children into the world to serve God;

2.    To enable the husband and wife to aid each other in securing the salvation of their souls; and

3.    To prevent sins against the holy virtue of purity by faithfully obeying the laws of the marriage state.

What are the duties of the husband?  Here is what the Council of Trent Catechism teaches us:

It is the duty of the husband to treat his wife generously and honorably. It should not be forgotten that Eve was called by Adam his companion.  The woman, he says, whom thou gavest me as a companion.  Hence it was, according to the opinion of some of the holy Fathers, that she was formed not from the feet but from the side of man; as, on the other hand, she was not formed from his head, in order to give her to understand that it was not hers to command but to obey her husband.

The husband should also be constantly occupied in some honest pursuit with a view to provide necessities for the support of his family and to avoid idleness, the root of almost every vice.  He is also to keep all his family in order, to correct their morals, and see that they faithfully discharge their duties.[1]

 Now let’s consider the duties of wives.  Here is what the Council of Trent Catechism teaches us:

To train their children in the practice of virtue and to pay particular attention to their domestic concerns should also be especial objects of their attention.  The wife should love to remain at home, unless compelled by necessity to go out; and she should never presume to leave home without her husband’s consent.  Again, and in this the conjugal union chiefly consists, let wives never forget that next to God they are to love their husbands, to esteem them above all others, yielding to them in all things not inconsistent with Christian piety, a willing and ready obedience.[2]

The Single State

This is a wonderful state of life important in God’s plan for the human race.  Everyone starts in this situation.  But not everyone is strong or healthy enough to provide for the needs of a family.  If a person chooses to remain single, he or she would be able to serve God better without the pressing daily demands of a family.  An unmarried woman is more intent on being holy, both body (i.e., virgin) and soul, making this state permanent by means of a vow.[3] 

In The Catechism Explained[4], the author explains regarding the unmarried state:

The unmarried state is better than the married because those who do not marry have far more opportunity[5] for attending to their spiritual welfare, and can attain a higher degree of glory hereafter.


The Priesthood

God calls a young man to the priesthood to dedicate himself wholly to caring for the spiritual life of the members of His Mystical Body, especially by offering Holy Mass.  He is a mediator between God and man.  He brings great gifts to man via the seven Sacraments for salvation.  The greatest gift he brings is Christ Himself in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

The Religious State

God calls men and women to enter the religious state as brothers and sisters, and to consecrate themselves to Him by vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  They more directly live for God.  Christ said: “If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell what thou hast and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come follow Me.”  St. Matthew’s Gospel, 19:126-130.  

A priest can combine his priestly vocation with a religious state to combine the advantages of both states of life.

The Sacred Heart, the Help, Perfection, and Goal of All States in Life

It is obvious each state of life will have problems and challenges, but regardless of their state in life, Our Lord has made 12 Promises to St. Margaret Mary for souls devoted to Him and His Sacred Heart:

1.    I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.

2.    I will establish peace in their families.

3.    I will console them in all their difficulties.

4.    I will be their secure refuge during life, and more especially at the hour of death.

5.    I will shower down abundant blessings on all their undertakings.

6.    Sinners shall find in My Heart a Source and Boundless Ocean of Mercy.

7.    Tepid souls shall become fervent.


8.    Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

9.    I will bless every place in which the picture of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.

10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.

11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, and they shall never be effaced therefrom.

12. I will grant the grace of final repentance to all those who shall communicate (i.e., receive Communion)[6] on the first Friday nine months consecutively.  They shall not die in mortal sin, nor without having received the last Sacraments, for My Divine Heart will become their secure refuge at that last moment.

God will not place you to your state of life without much help to fulfill it for His greater honor and glory.  He wants very much for you to succeed in His vineyard, and you can depend on Him to help you, as He indicated in these words:

         “Come to Me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.”[7]

With strong and serene hearts, let us strive to live perfectly the state in life in which God has placed us!

[1]           Catechism of the Council of Trent, section and subsections: Sacraments, Matrimony, Duties of Married People, Duties of a Husband, Joseph F. Wagner, New York, 1923, p. 352.

[2]           Catechism of the Council of Trent, section and subsections: Sacraments, Matrimony, Duties of Married People, Duties of a Wife, Joseph F. Wagner, New York, 1923, p, 352.

[3]           The single state is clearly a “state” and everyone enters the world in this situation from the beginning of his life.  Undoubtedly, God intends some persons to remain single all of their lives.  One clear example (out of many) is a man who lives his entire life paralyzed.  Further, cognitive or other inabilities, dramatic societal upheavals, and perhaps other situations might prevent a person from answering a call of a religious, sacerdotal, or matrimonial vocation.


There is a provisional character to the unmarried state unless it is fixed by a vow answering a religious or priestly vocation.  The single state is the condition of not having responded to God’s calling (i.e., a vocation) to the religious life, to the priesthood or to matrimony. 


One can see the provisional character of the single state by the fact that a person can change his mind over the years, thinking that he is called to be a monk and begin searching for an uncompromising monastery to enter.  Later, he can believe that he is instead called to the priesthood and begin looking for an uncompromising seminary and bishop.  Then after that, he can come to believe God Wills him to be married.  Only when his vocation is fixed by a vow does it become clear in what vocation he will serve God during the remainder of his life.  (Of course, the analogous circumstances can apply to a woman considering God’s Will for her in the convent or marriage.)


This single state is better in its opportunity, i.e., better in its potential, as compared to matrimony, because it affords the opportunity to serve God more full-time and more directly than is possible by someone in a married vocation out in the world, through an unmarried person’s living life under a vow of consecrated virginity.


As to whether the single state is a separate vocation apart from vocations to the priesthood and religious life, that question is beyond the scope of this article.  We note, however, that the Church provides particular rites and vows for those entering a priestly vocation, a religious vocation or a married vocation but not for laymen who simply remain in the single state by pursuing none of those vocations.

[4]           The Catechism Explained, Spirago, Benziger, 1921, Section II, The Sacraments, subsection 7, Matrimony, subheading: The Unmarried State, p. 667.

[5]           This single state is better in its opportunity, i.e., better in its potential, as compared to matrimony, because it affords the opportunity to serve God more full-time and more directly than is possible by someone in a married vocation out in the world, through an unmarried person’s living life under a vow of consecrated virginity.


[6]           Most people in the world, including the members of the Catholic Candle Team, do not currently have access to an uncompromising priest from whom to receive the Sacraments.  But we should all be at peace about that, for as long as that is God’s Will for us. 


Even if we don’t "feel" content with our feelings, nonetheless with our will and intellect (the important faculties) we should be perfectly content without the Mass and Sacraments when they are not available without compromise.


We urge all Catholics to not compromise by attending any compromise group to get the Sacraments, even where the group has valid Sacraments.  The Sacraments of compromise groups do not please God.


We encourage our readers to do what we do: we sanctify the Sunday at home using this method:


[7]           Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis; Bk. IV, Ch. 1.