Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chastity as celibacy ... and why would you do this?

People really notice this one.

Even if they don't know about poverty or obedience, chastity gets their attention. In our culture, amid scandals in every walk of life, advertising and programming that borders on pornography and rampant pornography itself, this stands out as unbelievable, unlivable or just plain strange.

That's not new, of course. The human race has been disordered, more than a bit, in the area of sexuality since about ten minutes after the Fall. We are indeed a mess.

Part of the reason "Why?" is the same balancing issue as for poverty. If avarice and acquisitiveness are overbalancing a world, the abuse of our sexuality only tips the scale further and more radically. It touches our very persons. Our bodies. Our hearts.

But the love piece comes even more radically to the fore. If I love him enough to give him all my "stuff" - to give up all things to follow - how much deeper the impulse to give him all my love. In the vow of chastity, I say to the Lord: "I love you with all of me. It would not be fair to a man to marry him - you take all my love."

It is normal for a woman to want to husband and children. Not wanting that is no reason to enter the convent. It's just that we are called to an amazing love that cannot limit to one spouse and some few children.

Loving in this way - the love normally reserved for a husband is given to the Lord, completely. The love given to children is empowered and expanded and given over to his people.

We become mothers of the world - of all the sad, and sick, the broken and the confused. We come to love each and every child of the Father of Light.

No, there is nothing negative really about it. It is all about being whooly consumed by love of God and of his people.

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