In preparation for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015 and the visit from Pope Francis, a catechism on family life titled “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive,” has been prepared. Each month CatholicPhilly.com presents a reflection on one of the 10 chapters of the catechism. Previous monthly reflections are online here.
“Love is our mission” for everyone — not just those who are married. Catholic marriage is a beautiful sacrament, but it is not necessary for a fully human life. In any society, many will be marginalized if marriage is seen as mandatory, as if one needs a sexual partner in order to be complete. Celibacy in the Church resists this misleading idea, insisting that life outside of marriage is also meant to be beautiful, social, and sacramental.
Catholic celibacy and marriage have the same inner rationale, for in both cases, love commits us to service and joins us to the cross. A life of celibacy may be lay or ordained. Celibacy can be chosen, as in vowed religious life, or the result of being unable to marry, due to disability or circumstance.
There are many ways of being celibate, each with important distinctions, but to be fruitful, they all require a similar internal motion of soul, an offering of our heart to the Lord. Wise, mature celibates and spouses practice many of the same spiritual skills.
Celibacy and marriage both proclaim that sexual intimacy cannot be a temporary experiment or conditional audition. Both celibacy and marriage create solidarity between the sexes, rejecting sex in the context of what Pope Francis called the “throwaway culture.” To create communities where unmarried men and women experience joy and live their mission is something Christians need to do for one another.
These teachings have further implications for family and parish life – see chapter six in “Love Is Our Mission” for details.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103