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Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Celibacy Myth:Loving For Life: Part 4

Continuation of the outline of the book: The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life; Charles A.Callagher and Thomas L. Vandenberg. St Paul Publications. England. 1987

This is an excellent book written mainly for Catholic priests but it has relevance for all celibates.

 Chapter3: Bachelor or Bridegroom?

A priest or Christian leader should not be described as a ‘man of God’ but a ‘man of God’s people’ and Celibacy is a way of loving for life” …When living in relationship with his people, his (i.e. the priest’s) basic human emotional needs for love, belonging and self-worth will be met.

The more we lose ourselves in love and move in self-giving, the more we find our identity as people. Marriages that are successful are not based on ‘my-need’ but on self-giving.  It is no good getting married for what is ‘in it for me’. ‘Give and it shall be given to you’ is a recipe for successful marriage i.e. you have to be the one who initiates the affirming and loving process. It is all too easy to compensate for lack of relationship by busyness, career etc. – and before you know it the relationship drifts apart.

Priests become leaders in order to express self-giving to the people of God. It is not a job, it is a relationship; the priest is taking a Bride.  As the priest offers himself totally up for his people, his own heart is filled. He does not think in terms of self-fulfilment but in terms of what he can give to the Bride. Celibacy can only be understood in terms of love commitment to the church – not in terms of what has to be sacrificed. A celibate’s needs are fulfilled among the people of God.

When a celibate senses a need in himself to be loved, he must reach out in love to his people. He must take responsibility for meeting his needs, and he does so by giving of himself.” As celibates we need not fear our negative feelings of loneliness and anger. They are God’s call to us – into a deeper relationship with His people. Priests must not compensate for unmet needs by being needlessly busy.

As celibates, we have to fight the independent spirit. It’s easy to withdraw and become aloof – especially when one’s self-esteem becomes low.  At such times, like a married man has to rekindle his love for his wife, a faint-hearted celibate “can choose to refocus his attention on his beloved people by loving beyond his hurts and disappointments. When his sense of self-esteem is wanting, a priest can remember that he is part of something bigger than himself and can choose to affirm, praise, and build up his spouse, the people of the church.”

celibacy myth

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on Fri 22nd Feb 2013 in Books

 

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The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life: Part 3

Continuation of the outline of the book: The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life; Charles A.Callagher and Thomas L. Vandenberg. St Paul Publications. England. 1987

Chapter 2: Matrimony and Celibacy: Adversaries or Allies?

 celibacy mythCelibacy and marriage have a great need for each other.

Celibacy, according to the New Testament, is for the Church, for furthering the Kingdom of God. Marriage, too, is for the Church, for furthering the Kingdom.

Celibacy is not a private affair between oneself and God; neither, is marriage. Both are to enrich the Church.

 “When a priest it totally taken with his people, absorbed in them, then celibacy becomes ”of course’ instead of ‘I have to’.” In this way celibacy is no different from faithful marriage. A faithful man promises commitment to one woman and that ‘narrowness’ enhances that one relationship.

It seems that the higher marriage is upheld, the more too is celibacy – and visa-versa. Both marriage and celibacy are a calling, a sacrament. To uphold the sacredness of one is to uphold the sacredness of the other.

Matrimony and celibacy are church experiences; they are complementary life styles meant for each other.”

Celibates need a relationship, friendship, with happily married couples – not just with ones who need their advice because they have problems.

Of both celibacy and marriage: Together, they are reeling from the shock waves of a society that has turned its back from the very notion of commitment itself.” Where marriage fails, so will celibacy and visa versa.

To be continued.

 
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Posted by on Fri 15th Feb 2013 in Books

 

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Link

I decided to write a little song to encourage myself and some of my celibate friends. It’s mainly taken from Hebrews 3 and Isaiah 56, with a few Holy Spirit inspired fill-ins. Hope you like it …

Click here to listen to the audio version: https://soundcloud.com/jenniferp/the-call

Therefore holy brethren who share in the call,
Fix your eyes on Jesus, the apostle of all.
He was faithful to the one who appointed Him,
Was found worthy of honour and was free from sin.

Let no Eunuch say ‘All my life has drained away’,
Or ‘I’m a dry, dry tree’ – that’s not our destiny.
There is a promised rest; where there is faith our lives are blessed,
And while we’ve got today, our hearts will hear God say …

Therefore holy brethren who share in the call,
Fix your eyes on Jesus, the apostle of all.
He was faithful to the one who appointed Him,
Was found worthy of honour and was free from sin.

Let no Eunuch say ‘All my life has drained away’,
Or ‘I’m a dry, dry tree’ – that’s not our destiny.
And when we’re found in Christ, our spirits come alive;
He’ll give an everlasting name, that always will remain.

 
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Posted by on Sat 9th Feb 2013 in Snippets

 

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The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life: Book Outline: Part 2

Continuation of the outline of the book: The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life; Charles A.Callagher and Thomas L. Vandenberg. St Paul Publications. England. 1987.

Chapter 1: Privation or Privilege

Christian celibates do not concentrate on what is to be  given up but on what is to be received and moved into. Celibacy is not a privation but a privilege.When people talk about celibacy they seem to view it as something negative e.g. abstaining from marriage, not having sex etc. but this is not a definition of what celibacy is.

Celibacy is about relationship – the relationship of a priest with his people. He is especially given over to his people in the way a married man is particularly given over to his wife and children.

Celibacy is nothing to do with ‘a job’ or even having more time for ‘the job’. It is far more than that. There must be a real quality and depth of relationship between a priest and his people – a relationship that is far more than doing the job. It is about commitment and a deep bonding with a people.

“Rather than being the operator of a spiritual filling station, a priest is more like the conductor of an orchestra who enables the talents of his people to emerge for the glory of God.”

 A priest does this because he is in communion with his people. A priest is not above his people, but is in the centre with them. He is like a father in a family; there is value in what he does for his people, but it cannot replace who he is with his people.

Celibacy must facilitate this relationship (between priest and people) and from that the Bocelibacy mythdy of Christ (the church) is built up.

This series, outline of ‘The Celibacy Myth’, to be continued.

 
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Posted by on Fri 8th Feb 2013 in Books

 

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Quote

Where there is no love pour love in and you will draw love out – St John Of The Cross

Where there is …

 
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Posted by on Tue 5th Feb 2013 in Quotes

 

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Events for Christian celibates: February 11: UK

silver ringJust to let you know:

The Jesus Fellowship in the UK has evening events on Monday 11 February for Christian celibates and those interested in celibacy. For us, singles, widows, widowers, divorcees and single parents can all embrace a celibate call which brings fruitfulness, fulfilment and family as we aim at single-hearted devotion to Jesus together.

Come and find out more! Come and get inspired!

The events are in London, Northampton, Coventry, Sheffield, Oxford, Birmingham and Leicester.

For more information:

Email: info@jesus.org.uk
Tel: 0845 123 5550 (UK local rate)
+44 1327 344511 (International)

 
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Posted by on Mon 4th Feb 2013 in Contemporary

 

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The Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life: book outline

celibacy mythThe Celibacy Myth: Loving for Life; Charles A.Callagher and Thomas L. Vandenberg. St Paul Publications. England 1987.

 This book is an excellent inspirational book on celibacy, particularly written for Catholic priests. However, it has great relevance to men and women who feel called to celibacy from every tradition.

 Below is an outline of the book (and will be in several parts).

 Introduction: Celibacy is for the Church, it is to further the Kingdom. Celibacy does not imply that marriage is second class. Indeed, Celibacy and marriage are to be equally supportive of each other.

 A commitment to celibacy only thrives through relationships. If the Church’s central focus ceases to be relationships then celibacy will lose its power and meaning:

 “The point of celibacy is not to show people how to live alone but to facilitate their living together. Celibacy is not an excuse to hang a ‘Do no–Disturb’ sign in front of the parish house. To the contrary, it is a gift of the Spirit that invites a priest to be accessible to his people. While he is bound to benefit personally, celibacy is ultimately for the sake of his people and for the building up of the church as a community of faith. Of its nature, celibacy is not meant to be lived in private. It is a call to relationship.”

However, a relationship with God is also all-important:God alone is the reality that can give purpose and meaning to a celibate’s life. Without a life of communion with Jesus, he is bound to lose his way.”

The way for celibates is not so much about God entering our lives but us entering God’s life.  We do not merely want to live for Him, but to live His life for the sake of others.

To be continued

 
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Posted by on Fri 1st Feb 2013 in Books

 

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