Monday, 19 March 2012

A map of celibacy

Around twenty-five celibate men and women met together recently in Coventry to celebrate and further explore what it means to be committed, lifelong celibates, living for Jesus. Apart from eating grapes, drinking punch and worshipping God, one of the things we did was to map out celibacy, each sharing something we felt was important for the celibate. The picture above is what we came up with together - a map of celibacy made from snippets from everyone about what we each saw as important regarding celibacy.

Interesting that nobody said that celibacy itself is important. Being celibate is a means to an end - not the end itself. In fact, as you can see from the map, it's a means to many different ends.

Or is it really just one single end?
Celibacy is not an end, but a means. The end is to love God and men with all one's heart and being. (Gregory of Nyssa 335-395 AD)
We also spent some time hearing God commit himself to us as celibates - without God's involvement and leading in it all, both the means and the end make little sense. But that's a whole other story in itself!

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