Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. These are some of the first words I ever learned to sing in Sunday School, some of the first words I remember ever learning. Jesus loves me, this I know. My calling to celibacy is not me holding on, white-knuckled, to a faint hope that God might take notice of me if I act heroically enough. No, it is the submission of trusting love that is elicited from me by the love of Another, by the love of God in Christ.
Like the farmer who lets the field lay fallow and refrains from sowing seed, celibacy brings to bear up on the life of the Church the witness of the rest of the seventh day, of the seventh year, of the seven Sabbaths of years. It speaks prophetically to the Church Militant of the Church Suffering and Expectant.
I have recently picked up again Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose. I started reading it a few years ago after a friend gave it to me when I moved to the Hudson Valley of New York. It tells the story of Susan Burling Ward who, upon marrying her husband Oliver, leaves behind her home, family, …
But what if celibacy can actually point to a more comedic vision of the Christian life? What if celibacy points us to the deep comedy of the gospel?