I’ve been reading this wonderful book for a couple weeks now, a couple of paragraphs at a time, thinking, meditating, praying… Is this what You want of me, Lord? It seems as if I’ve reached a time where I must ask that question. It’s not what I want, it’s not what I’ve ever wanted, it still seems a bizarre and upside-down sort of life.
But I felt I had to ask. I felt I owe God that much, to be willing to look at it, examine it, consider it.
What I’ve learned is that the celibate life, deliberately chosen as a vocation, in response to a call from God, is an incredibly rich and even an extravagant love for Christ. The energy of self-donation that we practice in marriage and family life all goes to Him – we pour ourselves out for God as iberally as the woman who poured perfume on His feet and wiped them with her hair – that sort of extravagant.
I almost envy people who have the celibate vocation – for their ability to love God wholly, without needing human spousal love, family – who can see Him in all those capacities and give themselves wholly over to live only for Him. It is such a noble and heroic vocation…
But I still feel as if I’m on the outside looking in. I no longer feel condemned to be single, as I’ve felt in the past. Nor do I feel excluded from the blessings and consolations I’ve always associated with the married vocation. I feel rather suspended in time and space just now – not vocationally single, but not married either – wondering what God has for me, and how I can live so that my character, my heart, my life, are more fully conformed to Him.