The Taser's Edge


Loving Catholics 2
October 8, 2006, 12:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
So I was serious about taking time out to be Catholic. This is Post Dos for today, and although this may mean that most of you don’t read Posto Uno, I think that I can deal. But you should.
                                                                                                                                  
Although I am not always sure what kind of Protestant I am, I am very definitely a Protestant. I can’t get escape it.  Among the results of this is my general, “What is up with the celibate priesthood?”
 
And the answer I had always heard quotes Paul’s letters, like 1 Corinthians 7:28b, 32-35:
 
But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this…I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.  I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
 
And, being married, I think that Paul is probably right about divided attentions (sorry for that, ye unmarried).  I also know that I am living in a marriage to which I was directly called. Plus, I’m in love (sorry hot lady Taserketeers (although most of you are related to me anyway, so you don’t care)).
 

In my Church History class, there is a brilliant man named Joe, who plans to enter the Catholic priesthood (I actually tend to think that the “brilliant” and the “plans” are directly connected to each other, and to the freedom from distraction that Paul speaks of). In this class, and more specifically from him, I gained a new insight into the reason for a celibate clergy.
 
Looking to Jesus’ words, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matt. 22.30, cf. Mark 12.25), Catholics and Orthodox Christians believe that in choosing celibacy, their clergy are actually choosing to live in a higher, spiritual sense. I think that the symbolism is beautiful (albeit difficult for both me and my non-liturgical readership, as well as the priests themselves).
 
As Joe put it in class, the clergy person becomes “an eschatological sign,” or a sign of the end times, in which humans will become like the angels in at least that respect. It is a constant reminder to all believers of Christ’s statement that the kingdom of Heaven is both within and among us.

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