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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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Living life to love

A friend of mine suggested I post some words to a song I wrote recently.  The first bits that came were a few chords, a rhythm and some wo o o o o’s, but a few days later I got thinking…  Both my parents are in their 70s now and before long I’ll be hitting 40. I suddenly started to grasp just how short our life on Planet Earth is and felt so grateful for knowing God in my life.  It also made me want to give my best for the next 40 years or so, as it’s the only chance I’ve got and there’s the whole of eternity to enjoy.  So, here they are…(without the wo o o o o’s)

Flowers fade, but Your love remains; we’re growing older, but You stay the same.

Time’s passing by like the blink of an eye; want to give us my life for others God.

We’ve only got one life to live and there’s and endless stream of love to give.

When I die, my life has passed me by, I want to say that I walked with You my Lord.

Each passing day, help me to live Your way, so I’m storing some treasure up above.

We’ve only got one life to live and there’s an endless stream of love to give.

When we stand there, New Earth’s breezes in our hair, a perfect bride at Your side;

Round us there’ll be those we helped to be free.  They’ll be weaving together worship harmonies.

We’ve only got one life to live and there’s an endless stream of love to give.

So let’s give it!

 
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Posted by on Tue 30th Oct 2012 in Snippets

 

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Don’t Go For Silver When You Could Go For Gold

Download the single here – Don’t Go For Silver.

 
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Posted by on Thu 25th Oct 2012 in Poetry

 

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Quote – Heini Arnold: the undivided heart

‘The fact that some feel called to remain single for the sake of Jesus points to a special act of love and is a sign of an undivided heart … The undividedness with which a person gives up everything for Jesus brings about a special relationship to Him. Such a person suffers for the sake of Jesus because the soul wants to be like Him in all things …’

Heini Arnold, 1977
In the Image of God – Marriage and Chastity in Christian Life

 
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Posted by on Sat 1st Sep 2012 in Quotes

 

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Is celibacy for anyone or just a select few?

Gift of CelibacyAnyone, certainly, but not necessarily everyone.

The New Testament says that spiritual gifts are determined and given by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:11).

And yet we are also told to ‘eagerly desire the greater gifts’ (1 Cor. 12:31).

So gifts are given by God, but they are also to be desired and received by us. It’s a two-way operation.

So in that case, all spiritual gifts – healing, prophecy, tongues, intercession … and other gifts too – must surely be for anyone. They’re available to us all, if we so desire them.

I have found myself desiring particular spiritual gifts at different times throughout my Christian life; and then, some when down the line, I’ve been surprised to find that I’m using them! I’m sure God awakes in us the desire for certain gifts and that process is all part of him giving them to us.

It’s similar with the gift of celibacy.

Perhaps we find ourselves longing to give everything for the kingdom of God, longing for a close walk with God, longing to be like some of the celibates that we see around us, longing to be more fruitful. God awakes a longing in our heart for the things which celibacy embodies and – for those that dare – this is all part of receiving the gift. So in that sense, celibacy is for anyone. Although many will not choose it or receive it, it is available, even offered, to all.

Jesus said that only those to whom it had been given could accept that it’s better not to marry; but then he also said in the same breath that some would make themselves eunuchs (choose to stay single) for the sake of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 19:10-12). So there’s a receiving of a gift in celibacy, but there’s also a very definite making of oneself celibate.

It would be wrong to say that celibacy is supposed to be for everyone – the Apostle Paul himself says that it is wrong to forbid people to marry (1 Tim. 4:1-4). However, I think it is right to say that it can be for anyone, whatever their age, race, sexual orientation, abilities or background.

The gift of celibacy is not for some kind of gifted, higher-class elite, but it’s open to be received, and enjoyed, by all.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

 
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Posted by on Wed 29th Aug 2012 in FAQ

 

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Celibate Heart: Married to Christ the Lamb

One of a selection of poems written by people in the Jesus Fellowship about celibacy

I have a gift which brings me joy,
Purchase of Jesus’ blood,
My life a sacrifice poured out
To build the church of God.

      A gift the Spirit keeps renewed,
      My soul knows one desire,
      To speak the power of Jesus Christ
      And bring revival fire.

            Always this gift I'll recognise,
            I pledge to Him again,
            My will, my heart, my all is His,
            "Married" to Christ the Lamb.

 New Creation Farm, Northamptonshire. 1994.
 
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Posted by on Fri 24th Aug 2012 in Poetry

 

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