This year the Church is celebrating as a Year for Priests, I subscribe to a daily inspirational quote from a priest. Today's quotation is about marital love and celibacy. I think this gives us a new way to look at our vocation and how we express love in marriage and celibacy.
Many people think that vocations are only to the religious life or the priesthood. However, each one of us has a vocation or special calling from God. Our individual vocation will help us most to grow in holiness and experience salvation. The main goal in life is to be in union with Christ. Full union with Christ will happen in Heaven and nothing on earth can equate to that perfect union.
Marriage however is the mirror image of the trinity, so in a sense marital love is the closest we get to experiencing that complete unity on earth. Many people through their marital love can find that complete union and bring their spouses to a deeper understanding of that ultimate unity which we will experience with Christ.
When people take a vow of celibacy they are putting that sexual passion aside and experiencing an even more intense passion out of their love for God. It can be viewed as a sacrifice but it is really a matter of love. Celibacy is the ultimate realization that nothing on earth can compare with our complete union with God in Heaven.
"Marital love uses sexual energy to express exclusive, sexual love between a married woman and man. Celibate love uses sexual energy to express inclusive, nonsexual love to everyone. Celibacy does not reduce love, but multiplies it. Celibacy is the hardest when one falls out of love with God.... Once we see it in relation to God, then it is less a problem and more a matter of love. Celibacy is not the absence of a passion; it is rather the intensity of a passion."
- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen