Vocations: Celibacy vs.Sex


#1

I have been trying to discern my vocation, and I have read that the celibate or consecrated virgins "resemble the blessed in heaven the most." That celibacy is a noble and holy calling. I just can't help but think that the people who are given marriage as a vocation are being...shortchanged, I guess? We have sex to procreate and unite, but it makes us less pure or, dare I say it? That God loves the pure more? :(


#2

[quote="TheCuriousMouse, post:1, topic:272751"]
I have been trying to discern my vocation, and I have read that the celibate or consecrated virgins "resemble the blessed in heaven the most." That celibacy is a noble and holy calling. I just can't help but think that the people who are given marriage as a vocation are being...shortchanged, I guess? We have sex to procreate and unite, but it makes us less pure or, dare I say it? That God loves the pure more? :(

[/quote]

God gave us our sexuality and the gift of procreation, whereupon He pronounced the union of man and woman to be "very good." The vocation of marriage is no less a calling to sexual purity (i.e. chastity) than that of celibacy. A marriage license is not a pass for all the free sex you can handle and then some. It is, in many ways, a call to master one's sexual urges so as not to be controlled by them. Any couple practicing NFP will admit to this.

According to John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" it is even possible for spouses to look lustfully at one another. :eek: In other words, it is possible for spouses to reduce one another to objects for sexual pleasure and release, rather than recognizing and respecting their personhood. Herein lies the great challenge for marital chastity. Chastity doesn't have to mean just abstaining from sex. Chastity within marriage means engaging in marital relations at the right time for the right reasons, as well as abstaining from those relations at the right time for the right reasons. So sex doesn't make us less pure. When properly oriented, sex purifies us!

To say that celibacy is a higher calling than marriage is not equivalent to saying that marriage is a low calling, somehow degrading. If this were the case, then celibacy wouldn't really be that high of a calling. In order for celibacy to be a higher calling, it must first be recognized that one is giving up a great good (something that is "very good" according to God Himself) for a higher good.

One more thing to remember is that celibacy itself is not a Sacrament, whereas marriage is. Celibacy and the priesthood are not one and the same thing. In fact, there are many priests in the Catholic Church who are, indeed, married. This is most common among the Eastern Catholics, but it does happen from time to time among Roman Catholics as well.

The bottom line is that all Christians, especially we Catholics, have a vocation to love. We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. This calling is given equally to the celibate and the married alike. Celibacy does not de facto make one holy or pure. Nor does marriage and marital relations de facto make on less holy and less pure. Vocations are a calling from God. They are the path He gives us to tread in order to reach the ultimate human potential of love, and to contemplate His Face for all eternity. In that sense one vocation is as good as the next.


#3

I am married and I have no problem that Go will love more Mother Theresa of Calcutta. It is enough that God loves me. The quantity? It is total love. Even if it is a little tiny bit of God’s love for me it is more than enough.


#4

I don’t know if this will help, but while trying also to discern my vocation, I asked our Lord Jesus in prayer, if he would love me more if I chose to give up Holy marriage. I heard in my heart: I would not love you more, nor will I love you less, but if you choose this, You would have loved more.

Again, I hope this helps. I’m not an authority on the matter.:shrug:


#5

[quote="TheCuriousMouse, post:1, topic:272751"]
We have sex to procreate and unite, but it makes us less pure or, dare I say it? That God loves the pure more? :(

[/quote]

The Church does NOT teach that spouses are impure when they have sexual relations. Those with a vocation to marriage are NOT "less pure" than those with a religious vocation.


#6

[quote="TheCuriousMouse, post:1, topic:272751"]
I have been trying to discern my vocation, and I have read that the celibate or consecrated virgins "resemble the blessed in heaven the most." That celibacy is a noble and holy calling. I just can't help but think that the people who are given marriage as a vocation are being...shortchanged, I guess? We have sex to procreate and unite, but it makes us less pure or, dare I say it? That God loves the pure more? :(

[/quote]

St. Ambrose
There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.137

SAINT AUGUSTINE
I thought that continence was a matter of our own strength and I knew that I had not the strength. In my foolishness I did not know the word of your scriptures. No one can be continent except as a gift from You.

Remember whatever gender you are that you are leading the life of angels. Begin to be what you will be after life. Virginity shall shine in heaven. Wedded chastity shall shine there . Holy widowhood shall shine there. You will all shine differently but you will all be there, The brilliancy will be unequaled in heaven.

Do not say that you have chaste minds if you have unchaste eyes because an unchaste eye is the messenger of an unchaste heart.

Be thou subject to God and thy flesh subject to thee. Do thou serve Him who made thee so that which was made for thee, may be subject to thee.


#7

[quote="Busy_bee, post:4, topic:272751"]
I don't know if this will help, but while trying also to discern my vocation, I asked our Lord Jesus in prayer, if he would love me more if I chose to give up Holy marriage. I heard in my heart: I would not love you more, nor will I love you less, but if you choose this, You would have loved more.

Again, I hope this helps. I'm not an authority on the matter.:shrug:

[/quote]

I would suspect of your private revelations.
I would prefer to see God's will in reality. Go to prayer, go to the service of brothers in need, go to retreats, go to activities of your parish. Do you feel that that way makes you happy? Go ahead. Do you feel that Church's Life so deep is not what you want? Give up.
Marriage is a part of the puzzle. Give up marriage is for a cause not a good in itself. The cause is the cause of God's work and Brother's work.
Marriage in itself is wonderful and God does not love somebody more or less because he is or is not marriage. That is a false problem and you will get false answers.


#8

I heard that somewhere as well, I think St. Paul said it. However I don’t think celibates are necessarily more pure than those who’re not. I’m a unmarried celibate but only because sex doesn’t interest me in the slightest, so I see no point in marrying.


#9

In that case, please completely disregard the “advice”. Sorry.


#10

[quote="TheCuriousMouse, post:1, topic:272751"]
I have been trying to discern my vocation, and I have read that the celibate or consecrated virgins "resemble the blessed in heaven the most." That celibacy is a noble and holy calling. I just can't help but think that the people who are given marriage as a vocation are being...shortchanged, I guess? We have sex to procreate and unite, but it makes us less pure or, dare I say it? That God loves the pure more? :(

[/quote]

No, I think it is because the celibate have made such a HUGE sacrifice. Not only do they not get to have sex, they don't get to have children either. So I don't think married people are "less pure" because they are married. I think there is a certain purity of heart that causes you to give up sex and children. Think about how many men have posted on these forums about how they would want to be priests but want to be married. And I know women who won't consider religious life because they want to be mothers.


#11

Something to consider, Marriage is a Sacrament. Someone who has been called to the vocation of celibacy has one sacrament they can never take. As someone said above, it's not about God loving us less. he loves us all. It's about what God calls us to do and if we love him enough to do it. Sometimes being married is a difficult thing as well. It's not an easy vocation at times.


#12

Exactly! All vocations give the chance to be a coredeemer with Christ and attain holiness by fulfilling the purpose of our creation-to seek, find and love God, showcasing His goodness.
Everyone is loved inestimably by God, and it doesn’t matter what post you have been assigned to, the doorman or the chambermaid, or the Personal assistant. As long as we love we enter into complete happiness.

The essential thing is to know that no vocation is less important. However, the state of celibacy is the true state in Heaven. Marriage is a neccesity for life on earth, not for life in heaven. Whatever path is ours, we will be saints in proportion to how we have loved, and though I think celibacy gives one a head start, it doesn’t mean that one is holier or will get a higher reward in heaven for that fact alone.


#13

First, the reason people marry is not because they get to have sex. Sex is especially for the pure in heart too, because it takes purity to see it in it’s true light, and not just as a means for satisfaction.

Celibate people here on earth make the Church their family and their attention is totally focused on God’s work. The Church needs these people. She also needs people who will dedicate their lives to raising God’s creatures to know and love Him as humans. All vocations involve sacrifice. The merit lies in when it is done for God’s sake. The sacrifice for celibate people is in giving up exclusive human love.
The sacrifice for married people is to give everything for love of God by cooperating with another human being to do His will. Their lives and paths become intertwined and even one and the same.
Love always involves sacrifice, in the case of married people it is usually in many little things!


#14

i couldnt resist this. Celibacy is not a sacrament and neither is sex, and the thread reads ‘celibacy vs sex’. I get your gest though.
Ubenedictus


#15

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