A few Biblical quotes about celibacyJesus calls celibacy a gift that is given to some for the sake of the kingdom of heaven :
The disciples said to Jesus, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”
St. Paul was celibate and urges those who are so called to follow his example :
1 Corinthians 7:7-9
For I would that all men were even as myself. But every one hath his proper gift from God: one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I. But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt.
A little while later in the same letter St. Paul explains how celibacy enables service with undivided heart :
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord: how he may please God. But he that is with a wife is solicitous for the things of the world: how he may please his wife. And he is divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord: that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she that is married thinketh on the things of the world: how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your profit, not to cast a snare upon you, but for that which is decent and which may give you power to attend upon the Lord, without impediment.
Priests, Brothers, and Sisters freely sacrifice spouses, children, and the other joys of married life for the Lord’s sake :
Then Peter answering, said to Jesus: “Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?” And Jesus said to them: “Amen I say to you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting.”
Whether we are called to the married life or the celibate life, we all must live for the pearl of great price—the kingdom of heaven!!!
“Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.”A paragraph from the Catechism :
(1579) All the ordained ministers of the Latin Church, with the exception of permanent deacons, are normally chosen from among men of faith who live a celibate life and who intend to remain celibate “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 19:12) Called to consecrate themselves with undivided heart to the Lord and to “the affairs of the Lord,” they give themselves entirely to God and to men. (1 Cor 7:32) Celibacy is a sign of this new life to the service of which the Church’s minister is consecrated; accepted with a joyous heart celibacy radiantly proclaims the Reign of God.
Article by Matthew Pinto: “Why are Catholic priests not allowed to marry?”