This is an excellent book written mainly for Catholic priests but it has relevance for all Christian celibates.
Chapter 7: Despair or Hope?
The writers tell us that we must deal constructively with our hurts, to look them in the face and address them. Failure to do so will lead to pessimism, negative attitudes and despair. We have to take responsibility for our lives in this.
Despair is looking on the world with a sense of powerlessness. It is battling against insurmountable odds. Yet, we are not alone and Jesus said ‘Fear not’ to the pessimist and to the one in despair. We must overcome negativity, pessimism and the consequent loss of vision; God is with us and we live in faith and hope. Whilst we love, we have hope but when we cease to love we also cease to long, to hope, to have faith. Lack of love and pessimism go together.
The battle is for the Church, for a strong brotherhood with deep bonds of pure love: with this celibacy will win or fail. The question at the heart of the Church is this: will we all chose to love, to forgive, to be reconciled? Will we fight to make it work, not as an institution but as a living body? Celibacy will only work in the context of the Church being a ’living Body of Christ’.
As celibates, we chose “a way of loving for life.”
A married leader’s primary intimacy is with his wife. A celibate’s primary intimacy is with the people of God. In this way a celibate is that more given over to the Church. A celibate’s life should be totally centred on his people – there is no tension and conflicts of interest.