St John's Q&A

Friday, December 16, 2005

The love of my life

Tomorrow is the big day!! It's a big day for many reasons, but one of the biggest will be that it's when I make my promise of celibacy. I have spent the last 12 years of my life "discerning whether or not Christ is giving (me or any seminarian) this gift", as John Paul II put it. He has led me to this momentous day, and I truly believe He is offering me this precious gift of celibacy. Yes, celibacy is a gift!! My last day and a half on retreat focused on celibacy. I meditated on Matthew 19:10 and Song of Songs, chapter 4. Here are some insights.

Mt 19:10 - I am called to celibacy "for the sake of kingdom"
- my life should point to the kingdom of God
- my bride is the mystical Body of Christ (the people of God) and the eucharistic Body of Christ; my spiritual intimacy is with the people, physical intimacy with the Eucharist

- this realization cut right to my heart. I have been thinking for so long that I will marry the Church in a spiritual way. This is true, and I want to be spiritually intimate with many people. My heart is built that way. But, I also desire (like we all do) physical intimacy. I need to be able to see and touch the One on a regular basis. Celibacy means that Christ is the One. For me, specifically, it's Christ in the Eucharist. I see, touch, taste, smell, and hear (in my heart) Him every day in the Eucharist. The Eucharist has been the love of my life for 13 years; this retreat helped to rekindle that love. I want to give my life to Jesus in the Eucharist (and the Church). I will promise Him my life tomorrow, and then that promise will be consummated as a priest each time I offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

This is the sweetest love on Earth! The Song of Songs is one of the most beautiful descriptions of the intimacy God desires with us. God invites each one of us to be married to Him in Heaven for all eternity. He invites me (and all religious) to a special intimacy with Him on Earth as well. Truly, truly, an incredible gift from the Lord!!


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