Author Topic: Celibacy in the world  (Read 1451 times)

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Offline Exilenomore

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Celibacy in the world
« on: April 09, 2012, 12:08:28 PM »
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  • I am interested in the subject of living celibate lives in the world with the intention of staying unmarried to serve God more perfectly, in imitation of the ascetics in the early Church who practiced a form of religious life without being cloistered as monks or nuns.

    In the papal encyclical Sacra virginitas, the Holy Father mentioned with praise those generous souls who, while not being called to the clerical or religious state, have deprived themselves of the right to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Such souls may perhaps serve as a prophetic sign, showing to the world that it is possible to lead a life of perfect chastity, even for those who are for some reason unable to join a religious house.

    St. Casimir is a beautiful example of a Saint who sanctified himself in such a state of life. He chose to preserve the pearl of his virginity, while living at the royal court as a secular prince.

    In the present circumstances in a world where impurity tyrannizes souls even from their youth, I wonder what practical means we can employ to foster, protect and discern such beautiful vocations to celibacy consecrated to God. The obvious and most direct answers are of course prayer and the guidance of a spiritual director who has the proper formation for such a task. But I wonder what more can be done, and also what forms or structures can be given to such a life. I believe that this does not receive enough attention.


    Offline Caraffa

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    Celibacy in the world
    « Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 08:37:34 PM »
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  • Although he eventually married at 34, might Louis Martin, the father of St. Thérèse of Lisieux come to mind? He wanted to enter religious life but was refused.

    Pray for me, always.


    Offline Raoul76

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    Celibacy in the world
    « Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 09:46:13 PM »
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  • Exilenomore said:  
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    showing to the world that it is possible to lead a life of perfect chastity, even for those who are for some reason unable to join a religious house.


    The fact there is no sede religious house kind of makes this form of life inevitable if you want to remain celibate, no?

    The destruction of religious orders isn't going to stop me from being a monk, at least in spirit!  I work for CMRI doing translations, just like a monk might do, working for the Church.

    Yes, I know CMRI has  a monk or two, but I find it hard to consider that a monastery.
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS

    Offline Maizar

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    Celibacy in the world
    « Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 06:33:27 AM »
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  • Quote from: Exilenomore

    St. Casimir is a beautiful example of a Saint who sanctified himself in such a state of life. He chose to preserve the pearl of his virginity, while living at the royal court as a secular prince.

    In the present circumstances in a world where impurity tyrannizes souls even from their youth, I wonder what practical means we can employ to foster, protect and discern such beautiful vocations to celibacy consecrated to God. The obvious and most direct answers are of course prayer and the guidance of a spiritual director who has the proper formation for such a task. But I wonder what more can be done, and also what forms or structures can be given to such a life. I believe that this does not receive enough attention.


    St. Casimir lived a life of fasting and from what I recall reading about his life, he walked around in peasant clothing and helped the poor and the sick, and as such was much loved by the public which was not used to a personable nobleman such as he. So he rebelled against the errors of his day, but it was arguably easier then than it is now to live a chaste life. He had no television or Internet. However the surrounding population in the 1400's was very new to Christianity, the region only just having undergone conversion through its monarchs. They would have needed a leader like him and so he would have been spurred on by this calling. Motivation is very important in all of this! I don't know about the kinds of temptations and such he may have faced or how he overcame them, but he did use the method of fasting to (what people today say is) an excess. I read that he may have died of tuberculosis, which he would have made him self susceptible to by not eating properly.

    I think a major point in all of this is that sin is much easier to overcome if one does not bσɱbard the brain with temptation. So the only way I can imagine that happening is to move away from any city that has lax advertising standards, cut off the television, limit the Internet to a very small range of sites to visit, and then go down the path of the tried and true method of prayer, fasting, penance and the sacraments.

    However, if one fasts until one is sick, thus eliminating any sex drive, that is probably not quite what God had intended when he demanded self mastery.

    Offline Exilenomore

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    Celibacy in the world
    « Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 06:33:57 AM »
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  • Quote from: Caraffa
    Although he eventually married at 34, might Louis Martin, the father of St. Thérèse of Lisieux come to mind? He wanted to enter religious life but was refused.


    Well, I specifically mean those whose vocation is to remain unmarried. We may thank the Lord for giving us St. Therese through the marriage of her parents, but like I mentioned in the OP, I fear that the celibate secular life does not receive enough attention, and this while celibacy consecrated to God is certainly a more perfect state of life than the married state.

    St. Casimir, whom I mentioned earlier, desired to keep his virginity intact, refusing to follow the misplaced advice of certain doctors who suggested that he should marry. The saintly prince spent his life in prayer and penance until his death, which was at a young age.

    Quote from: Raoul76
    The fact there is no sede religious house kind of makes this form of life inevitable if you want to remain celibate, no?

    The destruction of religious orders isn't going to stop me from being a monk, at least in spirit!  I work for CMRI doing translations, just like a monk might do, working for the Church.

    Yes, I know CMRI has  a monk or two, but I find it hard to consider that a monastery.


    The problem of the widespread apostasy in modern society might perhaps generate several difficulties for those souls who discern a higher calling, and this is one of the reasons why I think the subject of this thread deserves consideration.

    Imagine armies of men and women who are not restrained by the burdens of the married life, and who devote themselves fully to rebuilding Christendom in the apostate societies. They are free to go wherever God wants them to offer their service to Him, and like earthly angels they work continuously to see the Regality of Our Lord Jesus Christ adored again among men. Souls who burn with ardent fervour, fighting the battles of the Lord!

    Perhaps something that may resemble a pious union of some sort could be a good idea? An international group of celibate Catholics in the secular life, who wish to devote themselves to such work, and who would thus have the support of other Catholics who share the same aspirations. It is just an idea, of course.

    By the way, Raoul, I also occupy myself with translation work at present. I think that is a good way to bring back authentic Catholic education. Over here it is very difficult to find good Catholic literature in our native tongue; I do not even know of any active traditional Catholic publishers in my country. My fathers shed their blood to defend altar and hearth, but how is my kin fallen today. It truly is a tragedy. The torch of hope burns brightly, however! It is one of the beautiful things of being a Christian: Hope.


    Offline Exilenomore

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    Celibacy in the world
    « Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 07:15:37 AM »
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  • Quote from: Maizar


    I think a major point in all of this is that sin is much easier to overcome if one does not bσɱbard the brain with temptation. So the only way I can imagine that happening is to move away from any city that has lax advertising standards, cut off the television, limit the Internet to a very small range of sites to visit, and then go down the path of the tried and true method of prayer, fasting, penance and the sacraments.



    For Catholics who have liberated themselves from the 'new course', it should go without saying that television is out of the question, married or not. That device cursed by the Most High should not be found among Catholics at all. So, you raise a good point regarding temptation. It is very important to flee occasions of sin.

    And indeed, we must fast to mortify what is inordinate in us, not to kill ourselves. In any case, since Pope Pius XII blessed the celibate secular life, it necessarily follows that it must be possible to bring such a life to it's intended end as well. I do not believe that the devil will ever have so much power that there will be no more virgins at all. He was overcome by a Virgin, and he will continue to be trampled upon by virgins. Grace is stronger than diabolical corruption.

    Certainly, vocations must always be discerned with prudence. But prudence ceases to be prudent when it (and then it is feigned prudence) suffocates real, genuine vocations in generous souls who would have been able to bring such a life to a good end, if they had not complied with the pusillanimity of those who attempted to change their minds.

    But you are right that there are many dangers, especially today. The guidance of an experienced director is very necessary. And such a state of life is, of course, not for everyone, but for those to whom it is given.


    Offline Soldat fem de Dieu

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    Celibacy in the world
    « Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 03:57:33 AM »
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  • Quote from: Raoul76
    Exilenomore said:  
    Quote
    showing to the world that it is possible to lead a life of perfect chastity, even for those who are for some reason unable to join a religious house.


    The fact there is no sede religious house kind of makes this form of life inevitable if you want to remain celibate, no?

    The destruction of religious orders isn't going to stop me from being a monk, at least in spirit!  I work for CMRI doing translations, just like a monk might do, working for the Church.

    Yes, I know CMRI has  a monk or two, but I find it hard to consider that a monastery.


    Perhaps it is time you start a new trend and join the two Monks  :smile:
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if other men follow who may consider the Priesthood but know it is not their calling but would like to still serve and join the Religious life?

    Offline Soldat fem de Dieu

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    Celibacy in the world
    « Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 04:21:47 AM »
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  • Quote from: Exilenomore

    I do not believe that the devil will ever have so much power that there will be no more virgins at all. He was overcome by a Virgin, and he will continue to be trampled upon by virgins. Grace is stronger than diabolical corruption.



    Beautifully said


     

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