It took me a long time to grow into the awareness that celibate loving is a gift.As with any gift, it's up to us to decide if and how we'll receive it.The question was basically about me, about the manner in which I wanted to be in relationship. I don't know why I was made that way, but I do know that I was.
Celibacy alone does not make religious life and sex alone does not make a marriage. Neither authentic celibate love nor authentic married love happens overnight.
Then one night when we were saying good-bye, the kiss of friendship turned into something much more. I aced the graduate classes I was taking and seemed to get by on about three hours of sleep a night. I was daydreaming about what my life might be like . I was open and honest and frank with her and she was open and honest and frank with me.
During the summer of '92 I was in my fourth year of temporary profession with the Sisters of St. In my religious life prior to meeting David, I had found myself attracted to other men, but nothing like what I felt this time. Toward the end of the summer, as my classes drew to a close and my vow renewal loomed large ahead of me, I had a profound experience of God's presence that crystallized the whole situation for me. I still had no idea what I was going to do and my renewal date was less than three weeks away.
And, as with some gifts that don't seem to fit, we sometimes need time to grow into it.
I don't know any sister, brother, or priest who has ever set out from the beginning to make the celibate choice.