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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Selfless Singles?

I keep coming across the same message; in prayer, in Liturgy of the Hours, and in random articles. It's the message to live for others.

That happens to be a big failure of mine. Even when I’m doing something good for others, I think I’m still really doing it for myself, and it’s hard to shake that selfish motivation. For many of us, even when we don’t realize it, we are often doing what appears to be completely selfless things, while in the back of our minds we’re thinking, “What’s in it for me? How will this advance ME?”

I don’t mean to suggest that the good feeling that comes with doing the right thing, or for acting for someone’s betterment is wrong; I’m just suggesting that "what's in it for us" is not the factor that should motivate us to do ANYTHING. Loving others means putting them first and living our lives for them. It means letting our comfort take a back seat to the needs of those around us without considering whether or not we ourselves obtain some kind of temporal or spiritual benefit through our actions.

I think that’s one of the harder things in the single life; we tend to be more self-centered, probably because, not only do we not have people in our immediate vicinity that need us to respond to them, but because we have to survive. Just as we have no one to look out for, we also have no one to look out for US! In that kind of survival mode, we must be self-centered to a certain degree for our own practical protection.

The challenge is to find the balance; to find where it is necessary to indulge that survival mode, versus where we can and should drop that wall and fully engage in devoting ourselves for the benefit of those we say we love, whether it's our own family, our friends, or the neighbors next door.

I often consider the freedom I have as a single woman, and how blessed I am in so many ways. Yet I also feel guilty because I KNOW there's something more I should be offering, or perhaps I should be taking more notice of those around me who may need something that I can provide.


liturgy said...

Have you visited
& seen the LOH material there?
& thought of linking

Adoro te Devote said...

liturgy ~ I mean no disrespect, but to be honest, you have things on your site that I find objectionable from an orthodox perspective, so in order to maintain the integrity of my blog I can't link to it.

When I update links I will likely be adding the info to LOH sites such as Universalis.

Thank you for your comment, and for reading. God bless you.

liturgy said...

Thanks for visiting my site “Adoro te Devote”.
Most understand that links are not an imprimatur, nor a declaration of agreement with everything on the linked site.
Most using the internet are intelligent, discerning adults who draw on what they find useful and gently leave what they do not.
Universalis, of course, uses texts not approved in the Catholic Church. In advocating this, some of your readers may think you are leading people astray into thinking that they are fulfilling their obligations and praying the approved liturgy.
My point is: standing by everything written on all the sites you are linked to will give you sleepless nights – or cause you to remove all links.