Celibacy: Our Radical Choice


Our annual summer silent retreat is underway, and we are going to share it with you.

You can make this retreat at home, if you wish, by reading each reflection and taking time to reflect, journal, sit in silence or walk quietly through a beautiful place.

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

The most counter-cultural thing we do – according to many in the wider community – is practice celibacy. It’s always been a part of monastic life. It speaks to our need for solitude as we seek God.

Thomas Merton called it a way to make a vacancy within for God.

Celibate life is in stark contrast to today’s “Cult of the Body,” where people long for physical perfection, go for endless body makeovers, save up for Botox and fillers.

It is antithetical to the pornography that can be accessed everywhere.

In making room for God, we make room for others.

Healthy celibate life promotes deep friendship, as a truly graced friendship brings us closer to God. It enhances freedom, both to give and receive love.

Can a celibate life be lonely? Of course. But single life and married life carry with them the same danger.

Christian sexuality is a gift from God. It needs a different value system than the way of the world … and the way it is expressed should celebrate God’s love.

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