The Catholic Defender: The Importance Of Celibacy For Our Times
When we think of celibacy, we always think of the Catholic Priesthood, at least the Latin Rite. That is what most people would associate celibacy with, but in truth, we are all called to celibacy at certain points in our lives.
Certainly, before marriage, this is the standard in God’s law. Premarital sex (fornication) is a serious mortal sin (Galatian 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:1-6).
During times of separation, like military deployments as an example, while you are away, you are called to be celibate to honor God’s command and to honor your vows to your spouse.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do does not apply. It is a matter of being faithful to your spouse.
How tragic it is when someone feels that no one is watching so they go out on the prowl thinking it is OK, but what they don’t expect is catching a terrible disease like HIV. Your wife certainly does not deserve this, I’ve seen it and it is a terrible situation.
The foundations for celibacy in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church go all the way back to the time of the Apostles.
St. Paul speaks to the challenges of married life and supports those inclined to the religious life.
St. Paul writes, “So this is what I think best because of the present distress: that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin, nor does the unmarried woman sin if she marries; but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life, and I would like to spare you that” (1 Corinthians 7:26-28).
Notice St. Paul refers to the “present distress”, the Catholic Faith was being persecuted first by the Jews and then by the Romans. It was difficult times to raise a family when your trying to survive.
St. Paul connects the problems associated between this distress and the afflictions experienced in this life.
If St. Paul were here today, he might say the same thing for different reasons.
Our society has progressed so far to the left that it is difficult to see anything holy in marriage or outside?
The attacks upon marriage has had it’s affect.
St. Paul continues: “I tell you, brothers, the times is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
St. Paul seems to be writing as if there was another Passover taking place, we must be on the ready, much like that first Passover when they ate with their loins girt, sandals on their feet, and staff in hand.
The Israelites were commanded to eat like those who were in flight.
This seems to be the feel that St. Paul was giving because of that “present distress” and that fierce persecution.
St. Paul continues, “I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy in both body and spirit. A married woman, on the other hand, is anxious about the things of the world, how she may please her husband” (1 Corinthians 7:32-34).
Clearly, St. Paul sees being unmarried as an advantage in overcoming the present difficulties experienced in the world.
Today, the Catholic Church echos this sentiment wanting couples asking to be married to discern if this was truly what the Lord is wanting in their lives.
It is so easy to marry for the wrong reasons, especially because of the glorification of self gratification.
There is so much immorality today that it would be difficult to find an unmarried woman who is a virgin?
If sex was love, then the United States would be a very loving country?
Critics of celibacy will attack the Catholic Faith for promoting something that is so out of date, it is not expected or realistic to think that anyone could possibly remain faithful in their celibacy.
Some will even say that Jesus himself never supported celibacy?
Matthew 19:12 Jesus says, “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
Jesus is clearly showing that those who renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven “ought to accept it”.
This is the position of the Catholic Church! It is a calling! Luke 18:29 Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not receive back an overabundant return in this present age and eternal life in the age to come.”
A religious who chooses to live the religious life as a priest, brother, or sister are accepting for their lives the higher reward from the Lord in their service to Him.
It is coming from His holy Catholic Church the mission and God’s grace to fulfill this mission.
The enemies of Christ hate the purity of what celibacy means to the servant of God. To put God first in all things is something the progressive liberal cannot accept.
It is a contradiction to the world that says you can’t do it, that you must be liberated from the kingdom of God.
Celibacy actually represents liberation from the bondage of sin and it’s power.
No question celibacy is a challenge and the religious have to overcome many temptations, but the secularist can’t reason this for the modern age.
Yet, celibacy is a deep sign of the love for God in his service.
Notice the hatred displayed here by George Lujack, an anti-Catholic who spills this kind of hate on Facebook:
“There can be no doubt that homosexuality is CONDONED among the Catholic clergy. They certainly DO NOT condemn it, except in the pulpit, but then they must believe that this “perverted sin,” along with pedophilia, is something that they as Catholic priests are entitled to.”
People like this are devoid of anything Christ like.
They are filled with hate for the Catholic Faith. It is interesting that during the midst of the “priest scandal” the media, the Church, the law, went back 50 years wanting to uncover every rock and the most they found was about 3%.
George and company will condemn the 97% who were innocent.
This terrible happening is evil and wrong no matter who is guilty of it. What I find abhorrent is how Lujack and Company are quick to condemn while at the same time can't see the much larger beam in their own eye.
Speaking to the priest scandal, the real problem faced by society is that many homosexual’s seem to connect and are often times associated with Pedophiles. They are stalkers who look for opportunities to find victims. They will go where children can be found such as day care centers, schools, families. In fact abuse comes mostly from family members and the victims know their abductors.
We need to protect our children and the Catholic Church is a leader today insuring that anyone who is a leader in the Church, priest, religious teachers, must have security background checks and training to be able to lead bible studies, prayer, picnics… This helps everyone involved.
Dr. James Dobson of “Focus On The Family” took an inward study of their own and found that within Non-Catholic Pastors, there were something like 30% of sexual sin to include child molestation.
This ranks far worse that what was uncovered against Catholic Priests.
Not only this, but Protestant Ministers have a divorce rate about 50% near the national average. That would play havoc on a Catholic Parish.
Even though Non-Catholic Pastors have a married clergy, they have a much higher incidence of sexual immorality.
The attack on celibacy is not because of celibacy itself, it is because it is coming from the Catholic Faith.
Anything that the Catholic Faith does, the world will attack no matter how pure and good it is.
We as Catholics must remain strong united in the same mind and purpose (1 Corinthians 1:10).
On the question of Marriage, the Catholic Church lifts it as a Sacrament, it is holy.
Like celibacy, marriage is under attack as is the family. Deepertruth wants to help lead the prayer for our religious as well as our families!
Gracious and loving God, we thank your for the gift of our priests. Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments. Help our priests to be strong in their vocation. Set their souls on fire with love for your people. Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom. Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel. Allow them to experience joy in their ministry. Help them to become instruments of your divine grace. We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest. Amen.