There’s an element of hypocrisy in me pontificating about the meaning and value of celibacy. This post, I’m going to let people who are in a better position to speak on such things do so.
My good (internet) friend Romanos drew my attention to this particular quote. It is from an adherent of the Orthodox tradition.
“Fleshly marriage is not marriage worthy of man’s nature or his expectations: it means ultimately becoming one flesh with some other mortal being and producing more mortal beings, all of them – parents and children – condemned to death. Formed by God and having the divine breath within him, man has need of God. He wants to live with Him. It is then that he has a normal relationship with himself, his brethren and the whole of creation.
Just to live with one’s fellow men, with temporary, fleshly and restricted interests, is a torment: it is a meaningless coexistence or the jostling of a crowd filled with noise and loneliness. But ‘it is not good for man to be alone’: man needs divine company.”
And from the Cloister Walk, “Here are the words of a Benedictine sister, startled to be asked about the power of virginity. “This is something I carry very deep within… that I carry very secretly… virginity is centered in the heart and could be named ‘singleness of heart.’… Virginity is a state that returns to God in wholeness. This wholeness is not that of having experienced all experiences, but of something reserved, preserved, or reclaimed for what it was made for. Virginity is the ability to stay centered with oneness of purpose.”