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Why Priests are Celibate

At all-hands meeting on Wednesday, I shared with a colleague that I had spent the Holiday weekend with a cold, lying on the floor watching movies. He himself had taken in “Lawnmower Man,” with it’s “gratuitous sex.”

Before remarking upon the similarities to “The Kids Are All Right,” I let slip: “As much as I remember about sex.”

I am single, but women make it obvious that I am attractive. It’s the sudden pause in their activity when I come around a corner, the frown and determination in their eyes when they look away, the staring when I dance.

It happened twice at the store on Christmas Eve: coming around the corner of an aisle to receive a woman’s astonished regard, frision all over my extremities focusing inwards as she fell into my heart.

As David Koresh did, I could make a real mess in the world. But I understand it this way: it’s not me. They are falling into the light that shines from me. They hunger for it because it promises surcease from the dirt that the world pours over them – the lust, the sloth, the greed. Freed from those burdens, they can manifest their most virtuous aspirations.

What I recognize, though, is that I can’t guarantee that to them. It is their right, but it is a right secured only in relationship with the Most High.

I am only a window that they can look through. They are responsible for securing the relationship.

And so I am single because I refuse to submit to their desire that I be responsible for that relationship.

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