sense only in the larger context of
a life marked for and by profound
availability to respond to the urgent
promptings of God toward the care
of all of creation. Celibate loving
frees me to respond to that urgency.
Communal living provides compan-
ions along the way.
I don’t know why, but I’m ful-
filled in this life and that alone is
Mystery to me.
Who I’ve become
When I dated in college I didn’t
I have found that while celi-
win any prizes for Most Attentive
Girlfriend. The time, energy, and
attention that is needed to explore
and build a lasting, exclusive rela-
tionship felt limiting and confining
to me. When I began experiencing
myself in community and in minis-
try I felt as though my love, passion,
Neither authentic celibate love
nor authentic married love hap-
pens overnight. We grow into each
of these loves each day through the
choices that we make and those
that we don’t, through the manner
in which we relate to ourselves and
others and God, and through our at-
tentiveness to what’s going on inside
of us as we negotiate the complexi-
ties of life and love.
bate love contours and shapes my
religious life, it is not the whole
of it. For me celibate love makes
reflections at a liturgy
celebrating the jubilee,
anniversary, of one
of her community
I seek friendships and relationships that honor who I am and the
commitments that I’ve made. It
means that I surround myself with
people—both in and outside of
my community—with whom I can
share honestly and deeply about my
life and receive the same from them.
It means that I am free from the
rights and responsibilities of marriage and family life, and I take up
the rights and responsibilities of a
vowed life in religious community.
It took me a long time to grow
into the awareness that celibate
loving is a gift. As with any gift, it’s
up to us to decide if and how we’ll
receive it. As with some gifts that
don’t seem to fit, we sometimes
need time to grow into it.
I don’t know any sister, brother
or priest who has ever set out from
the beginning to make the celibate
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as Mary did.
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