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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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Priesty Celibacy – Qualified to Speak on Marriage

No doubt due to the extensive infection of secular humanism, neither Christian marriage nor celibacy is popularly understood or lived out. People think they understand marriage and human sexuality when they actually do not. A person condemns celibacy because the lover left and he or she was forced to abstain. Celibacy is judged in light of their personal experience of abandonment, loneliness and sexual frustration. But, of course, what they endured was not true Christian celibacy. It is as upon the subject of spiritual poverty.  A materially rich person may live simply and exhibit tremendous generosity.  A poor person might be green with envy, dreaming dreams of wealth and a life of luxury.  His heart is troubled because he is only poor by accident or laziness.  This is all very different from a person who deliberately embraces poverty.  Celibacy can be similarly compromised.  There should be a harmony in desire and in action.

Moving on, a person might claim expertise in sexual matters, not because of any philosophical or ethical awareness, but because he has become practically proficient in the mechanics of “love-making.” I recall a person arguing that I was not qualified to prepare couples for marriage because I was not married. “What do you know?” she asked pointedly, “You have never been in love!”  She was presumptuous about my heart.  As she continued, her illogic both shocked and made me shake my head when she said, “I know all I need to know about marriage; after all, I was married three times before!” She must have thought that practice made perfect. Unfortunately, a history of failed marriages testified that she had not learned from her mistakes. It would be funny if it were not so sad.  If anyone needed the full regimen of counseling, she did.