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