See the daily excerpt from the preparatory catechesis for the 2015 World Meeting of Families, “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”
103. Celibates — and to a limited but somewhat analogous extent, infertile couples — also enjoy a unique freedom, an attractive liberty for certain types of service, friendship, and community. Celibates and the childless are relatively more available for chaste experiments in community living, for careers which demand flexibility, for prayer and contemplation. Celibates, couples without children, and even healthy elderly people (perhaps with grown children) have gifts of time in ways which parents typically do not. Such people can entertain catechetical work and other parish ministries, or even apostolates and witness in dangerous situations that would be impossible for families with children. The unmarried or otherwise childless enjoy an availability which gives them somewhat more discretion and creativity about the possibilities for hospitality and friendship. When Saint Paul counsels celibacy, he thinks he is offering a possibility which has its challenges, but it also has its benefits and freedoms: “But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distress in this life, and I would spare you that…. I want you to be free from anxieties.” (1 Cor 7:28-32a, NRSV)
In its introduction, the document says its aim is to present “Catholic teaching in a way that is fresh, insightful, and accessible to contemporary Catholics and all people of good will.” The catechesis “offers a narrative beginning with our creation, soberly noting our fall and the challenges we face, but emphasizing God’s plan for our salvation. Love is our mission, and it is by loving God and one another that we will be fully alive.”
Each day in CatholicPhilly.com’s World Meeting of Families section you can reflect on the official Catholic teaching on the family presented in the catechesis, pray a special prayer together as a family or individually, and stay on top of breaking news about the events coming Sept. 22-27, 2015.
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