In Muto's book, I have not only found insight and strength, but also a new found and genuine joy.
While the dated cover of this book (it was written in 1985) made me skeptical of it's relevance, I have been so pleasantly surprised at the depth of wisdom that Muto imparts. When I actually finish the book, I want to write a book review on IOG, but for now I want to share some of my favorite quotes as I read them.
I can honestly say that this is one of the most refreshing items that I have read on the topic of Catholic/Christian single life. Why? Because most things that I had read focus on helping the reader to cope with being single; most authors and speakers on this topic treat singleness as a transitory phase to be remedied as quickly as possibly, even if they do not explicitly state this. Granted, singleness is a transitory phase for most people, but there are a small few who God calls to the single life for a lifetime. Whether or not one wants to be single, there are beautiful callings unique within the life of a single person which deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated.
What Muto does in this book is describe what it means to live the single vocation not as simply a deprivation of some other good (such as marriage or family), but as it's own beautifully dignified state of life. Some of her insights on the special duties, responsibilities, gifts, and characteristics of the life of a single person are aspects that I had never even thought of before. However, as I read each chapter, it's like I am internally nodding my head, thinking "That makes so much sense! Of course that is one of the unique gifts of the single person!"
"This option to live in tune with reality in a more reflective way has to be chosen at some point by single persons. They simply have more time to confront life's limit's and possibilities than does the person who is committed to family or institutional life. This confrontation with reality happens in common ways. For instance, because there is no one face to whom the single person is bound by marriage, he or she may perceive more sharply the faces of other people. I walk along a busy street or sit observing travelers in a station, aware of the emotional scars on their lines faces. Life's limits are written there for one who takes the time to read them. So too are life's small, fleeting joys as revealed in moments of reunion. "
Stay tuned for more!
Maria's sidenote: Just a little disclaimer...although it seems as though Muto is solidly Catholic overall, at some points in her book she seems to be a little more liberal leaning. Just thought I should mention that -- I would still recommend that all Catholic singles check out this book for its pearls of wisdom.