Celibacy: A Joy-filled Life in the Lord

October 4, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Uttar Pradesh, October 2, 2013: To help increase our warmth and our capacity to share love.

A Joy-filled Life in the LordFr. Joe Mannath SDB spoke at length of psycho-sexual integration to help us understand and live our celibate commitment in a joyful and meaningful way. He shared how to become loving, happy and God centered persons without the support of marriage and parenthood. He asked, “Are you bringing together your capacity as a woman to the celibate life? Our celibate life should help us live at a higher level for it is in giving of ourselves and for caring for others that we find our fulfillment in life and mission.

The Meerut CRI organized a full day meeting at Fatima Covent Auditorium, Mariamabad, in Ghaziabad UP on 29, September, 2013 for the 120 plus communities of the Diocese. Over 100 religious responded from even as far as Dehradun to listen to Fr. Joe Mannath the resource person who would deliver avery unique presentation and his most frequent seminar on Psycho-Sexual Integration.

Fr. Joe began with Human Formation as the basis of our human relationships, responsible use of freedom and contact with reality. When this is missing in our lives we lack emotional balance. And emotional balance is more important than the physical presence.

He also said, a happy celibate life is not possible without a faithful and heartfelt prayer life. Without an active prayer life, celibacy is very likely to fail. Celibacy makes sense only if it is a free response. Celibacy can be a very happy and meaningful life, not just a way of getting work done, provided it is centered on a relationship with God, sustained by personal prayer, expressed in loving relationships and a life of service. We need to pay more attention to our inner journey. God wants our happiness.

We choose celibacy not to become hard-working machines, nor cold, efficient bachelors and spinsters, but to experience God’s love more deeply and to bring that love to people in concrete, convincing ways. If we lose our warmth and our capacity to share love, we lose the best gifts God has given us.

The story of celibacy certainly contains heroic lives lived out with moving generosity and palpable joy. It also contains joyless lives of careerism and self-centered search for power and comfort.

He said, we need to provide adequate human formation to face the challenges and situations we face in adult life. We need to integrate, not deny or repress our sexuality in which are all the energies we have as women and men. Integration is a life-long task and challenge and is a process.

He invited us to take a peep into our individual journey from childhood till the present, asking us what helped us and what did not help us, who helped us and how? In which areas we find ourselves mature and in which we don’t or feel still confused.

Fr. Joe explained what it means to be mature and what are the signs of maturity and offered us helps to reach the goal. He also made us look at some commonly faced problems such as masturbation, pornography, homosexual tendencies, sexual abuse and offered tips to Formators and Superiors how to help persons struggling in these areas.

He also shared openly the healthy and unhealthy ways of handling our sexual feelings and signs of a genuine celibate life. Signs of those who have not integrated their psycho-sexual tendencies are: love of luxury and comfort and the lust for power.

Fr. Joe also explained the conditions for cultivating healthy heterosexual relationships, healthy man-woman friendships in celibate life and spoke of open and free man woman friendships to help us live our religious life well.

Most of us do not have an experience of Spiritual direction in which we open ourselves up for help. This is due to fear that what we reveal will be passed on.

A point Fr Joe Mannath emphasized clearly is the importance of confidentially when formees or others share personal matters with superiors, formators, spiritual directors, etc. What we know confidentially must remain confidential. It cannot be revealed to others, including superiors, house council, etc.

The seminar concluded with a meaningful Eucharistic celebration, in which we learnt from St. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy, and especially from the message to the women at Empty Tomb: “Jesus is alive! He goes ahead of you. You will see him.” Celibacy is a trusting, joyful walk with the Lord who is close to us.

The participants felt the topic was relevant to the time as the subject is not an often talked about. It helped each individual to be get in touch with oneself and make our ministry more effective by our loving and caring attitude.

There was no much time for Interaction but every now and again there were short sharings with the one next to us to make sure we understood the content and picked up the right message.

Many said, they were open to such open talk on Psycho-sexuality for the first time. This sort of talk is missing in Formation Houses.

Bro. Julius CMSFS, CRI Prsident did much to rally the religious of the Diocese and to make sure religious would benefit from this presentation.

– crib

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Comments are closed.