Shalom to you all

Discuss general issues pertaining to the Catholic faith.

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
Thoma
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:12 pm

Shalom to you all

Post by Thoma » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:41 pm

Shalom, I Have a little question and i hope its okay to ask it in this forum :
What is your stance regarding celibacy? is it still a way of life among modern catholics? do ordinary people beside clergyman and monks also chose this way of life? is it a legitimate way of life outside of the monestary?
to tell the truth im a jew, technically, i do not practice the jewish commandments. i feel that judaism cant get me near to god. I Studied about Judaism and also Islam, but both religions are too worldly, in the case of Judaism even somewhat a crude worldliness. (sanctification of the mundane). a religion that lacks celibacy is not a religion that i can connect to. so what do you think? is celibacy still hold a key element in catholic life?
Thanks! sorry if the question is irrelevant in this forum.

Hadassah
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:12 pm
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: In the world, certainly not of it :-)

Post by Hadassah » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:07 pm

Hi Thoma,

To me, it seems to be a great question! One of the moderators might want to address this in detail, but I think that it's important to think of chastity as the larger context for celibacy. All Catholics, even those who are married, are called to live chastely ~ that is with a proper and unselfish understanding of God's gift of sexuality. For unmarried Catholics (those who have taken religious vows as well as lay people) this necessarily includes celibacy, because sex only takes on its proper and God-given context between husband and wife.

Religious vows include a lifelong vow of celibacy. Some lay people consecrate themselves to the Lord by taking a lifelong vow of celibacy as well.

God bless,
Hadassah

Ariel
Site Admin
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:28 am
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: Jerusalem

Post by Ariel » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:14 am

topic moved to section: The Catholic Faith
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Athol
Moderator
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:08 am
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: Australia
Contact:

Post by Athol » Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:18 pm

Catholicism also includes the sanctification of the mundane- this is what opus dei is about- a way of sanctifying ones daily work or tasks even the most mundane.

Cheers Athol
Adore Wisdom

Hadassah
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:12 pm
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: In the world, certainly not of it :-)

Judaism, Marriage, and Celibacy

Post by Hadassah » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:33 pm

Actually, Athol, if you have time...

Thoma's comment regarding Judaism sort of "lacking" celibacy (perhaps I am not getting that exactly right, Thoma, and I apologize) raised a question in my mind. Perhaps you (or someone) can describe briefly the way in which celibacy and marriage are viewed in Judaism?

Hadassah

Ariel
Site Admin
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:28 am
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: Jerusalem

Post by Ariel » Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:09 pm

shalom Thoma and welcome to the forum!

Your question is a very good one. First, celibacy is of course as relevant today as it always was in Catholicism. Even though marriage is one of the seven sacraments and therefore very good and holy, the calling to celibacy was always considered to be 'higher' as a form of complete consecration to Christ - a way of forsaking a human spouse in order to be totally dedicated to loving our heavenly spouse.

And so it's an eschatological sign - pointing to our ultimate destiny of being 'married' to God forever, whereas human marriage is but a pale sign of this heavenly wedding feast.

You can read about the consecrated life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, from par. 914 on.

Jews usually have a really hard time understanding our concept of celibacy, because the commandment to 'be fruitful and multiply' is so central in Judaism. They can't really understand the idea of spiritual marriage, or that one can be fruitful in other ways than having kids. So they view celibacy as a really unnatural contradiction of what is most basic to human nature.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lewis

Hadassah
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:12 pm
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: In the world, certainly not of it :-)

Post by Hadassah » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:03 am

Ariel wrote:Jews usually have a really hard time understanding our concept of celibacy... So they view celibacy as a really unnatural contradiction of what is most basic to human nature.
But most certainly it is clear that prohibitions against fornication and adultery are not New Testament inventions. There must be a corresponding concept of chastity in Judaism, particularly as it relates to unmarried people, even though marriage might perhaps be a blessing and preferred. And on a spiritual level, there certainly must be an understanding of the subjugation of our own will, no matter how strong the "natural" impulses may be, to the will (and law) of the Lord.

Athol
Moderator
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:08 am
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: Australia
Contact:

Post by Athol » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:40 pm

There are certain very holy rabbis who because of their absorption in Torah didn't marry. The Jewish tradition allows for this for certain chosen individuals for sake of Torah. This is an exception to the first of the Taryag mitzvot of Being fruitful and multiplying. in a sense they are spiritually fruitful in Torah and multiplying it. In Second Temple times of course there were celibates such as the Essenes etc but with post Temple Judaism survival of the people was paramount so celibacy was discouraged except for certain exceptions.
Adore Wisdom

Hadassah
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:12 pm
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: In the world, certainly not of it :-)

Post by Hadassah » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:24 am

Athol wrote:The Jewish tradition allows for this for certain chosen individuals for sake of Torah.
Is there a corresponding idea in Jewish mysticism to the mystical marriage, which might for some lead to forsaking all others for the Divine Spouse?

Thoma
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:12 pm

Post by Thoma » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:05 pm

Thank you all for responding to my question and giving me some insight.
I Knew some of this stuff from general readings, but it is totally different when reading about actual thoughts and feelings coming from genuine catholics, concering this great matter. (and for that i thank you)
Some of the comments here regarding judaism and its treatment to celibacy as a way of life are very accurate. there is actually a conepct of what can be called asceticism in judaism - a person who accepts certian vows for spirtual cleansing - but it is only for about 30 days or so and basically it involves abstention from wine and sometimes fasting. even this practice is understood to be ultimately negative.
I Am familiar with some orthodox jews (Haredis mostly) and from what i perceive - modern judaism is frozen in its spot, it is no longer regarded as a moral and religious opposition to corruption manifested in society ( especially in Israel, when a secular state is gripping religion and makes it only a mere instrument of enforcment)
I Think the church has conceived a great idea by instituting the monastic life and concept of celibacy in general. (and i was very impressed with the Pope's last statement regrading the "new gods" of our time - money and power)
i'll ask this bluntly and i hope that its okay - do you think that a person without faith, at least not a faith that identifies itself with a certian religion - should live by the code of celibacy? to put it in other words - should someone embrace celibacy even if god is out ot the picture?

Hadassah
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:12 pm
Please enter the fourth number in the list (eight): 0
Location: In the world, certainly not of it :-)

Post by Hadassah » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:06 pm

Thoma wrote:...to put it in other words - should someone embrace celibacy even if god is out ot the picture?
Oh, God is never out of the picture :-). Whether one listens, responds, and embraces Him is entirely another story, but He's never out ofthe picture. What happiness we'd experience if we lived our lives entirely guided by the will of God.

Do you mean by your question, "should people of no faith take a lifelong vow of celibacy?" (that is, remain unmarried for the sake of some higher purpose). If so, I suppose I could see that some might do this. What might be the meaning of such a move for a person of no faith, though? Perhaps simply to remain distant from "complications" and "entanglements" or perhaps to keep a "clear head" for some other purpose? That would be all fine as a personal choice, but I wouldn't have a real opinion on it one way or the other.

If your question, however, is more along the lines of, "Should single people of no faith who may become married at some point remain celibate until marriage?" then of course, I would have an opinion on that. While society tries it's best to deny it, it seems to me that even someone without faith in God can recognize the extremely intimate nature of the relations between man and woman. Though many try to fight it, I think that people of no faith can also come to an understanding that these relations are meant to bind two people in a special way and to build upon their relationship of love by bringing children into the mix. How muddled does that all become when one relates to any number of people in a way that he or she is intended to relate only to a husband or wife. The fact that many people do not acknowledge God's plan for sexuality does not make it any less true, even for those without faith. He has created and wired us all ~ whether we respond to His call to faith or not.

Thoma
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:12 pm

Post by Thoma » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:04 pm

Hadassah wrote:[
Oh, God is never out of the picture :-). Whether one listens, responds, and embraces Him is entirely another story, but He's never out ofthe picture. What happiness we'd experience if we lived our lives entirely guided by the will of God.
I Was actually aiming to the first notion of celibacy that you presented - complete abstinence - even though i totally agree with what you said concerning the importance of marriage. thank you for sharing your opinion on the matter :)

Post Reply