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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Priestly Celibacy – Celibacy in the Holy Family

If we are to properly appreciate priestly celibacy then we must first correctly understand the extensive meaning of marriage. This may sound like a “no brainer” and yet what many think they understand, they really do not. Sex outside of marriage essentially says that the matrimonial institution is expendable. It is not. Legislation permitting so-called same-sex marriage gives the impression that we have charge to redefine marriage and that its meaning is infinitely expandable. It is not. Marriage is often defined by conservative voices as the necessary institution to insure propagation, secure family life, and to safeguard civilization from the anarchy of the beast. It is more. God leaves his fingerprints upon creation. While there may be no Platonic world soul, we find emanations of the cosmic in the particular or small. Every good father reflects something of the Fatherhood of God. Mothers find their paradigm in Mary and in Mother Church. The creative focus of motherhood even touches the image of the Jesu-Pelican caring for her chicks with flecks of its own flesh and blood. We are also reminded of the Holy Spirit as personified Love. This Spirit hovered over the waters of creation, made possible the miracles and resurrection of Christ, preserves the Church in the truth, and gives efficacy to the sacraments. The triune nature of the family: father, mother and child is a figure for the divine Trinity. The love of husband and wife signifies the relationship of Christ, the divine bridegroom, to his bride, the Church. Husband and wife are figures for the dynamism and tension we find in nature. But the two become one flesh, the creative poles of the universe are joined. As Christians we do not subscribe to an Oriental or pagan dualism. The apparent ying-yang in vogue within Eastern philosophies has no quarter in the concept of the Judeo-Christian deity.

God is good. Evil is a privation and it has no place in God. God always takes the initiative and has infinite power or jurisdiction. The devil is a creature and by definition not creative. Evil cannot be creative, only corruptive. The initiative of God is most evident first in creation itself and then in the new creation made possible by Christ. God comes into the world and joins himself to his creation in a holy virgin. The Creator and creation are made one. The course of salvation history changes. While a child is usually conceived though sexual congress; in this case the Holy Spirit conceives the Christ in an immaculate virgin. Indeed, Mary becomes the most famous virgin in the history of the world. This creative act gives a special consecration to virginity and celibate love, realized in Mary, then in good St. Joseph and finally in the ultimate model of Jesus Christ.