For the sake of the Kingdom

Patricia Snow has penned an excellent article in defense of celibate vocations at First Things:

In the short run, it does no harm and possibly much good to try to strengthen monogamous, lifelong marriage. But to think that this is the answer to the Church’s problems is to think as man thinks rather than as God thinks. In the long run, if the vertical to which the horizontal relationship of marriage is ordered comes down, not only marriage but the Gospel itself will fall. When the Church stresses relationships between creatures more than the relationship of the individual to God—when she treats marriage as an end rather than as a seedbed for vocations—the Gospel message itself is compromised. The hard Paschal truths at the core of Christianity are suppressed: the truth that the natural family is never fully commensurate with Christ’s new family; the truth that a man’s enemies will be members of his own household (Matt. 10:36) and that in order to be Christ’s disciple he must hate not only father and mother, wife and children, but even his own life (Luke 14:26). And in the atmosphere of tribalism, human respect, and sentimentality that ensues, an illusion of human sufficiency creeps in, an illusion that, in our human strength, we can meet one another’s needs.


In our relational lives there is only one absolute good, and that is our relationship to God, a good denied to no one, lay or religious, who seeks it, prioritizes it, sacrifices for it, holds fast to it. Relative goods, on the other hand—including health and success, marriage and children—man cannot demand. God dispenses relative goods as he sees fit, in order to help man find his way to the final good of eternal life with him.

About Josh W

Scribbler and doodler
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