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Celibate Marriage: Why I Should Stop Blogging | Catholic Life

Celibate Marriage: Why I Should Stop Blogging

I blog because it is good for me. So it does not really matter whether it is useful for anyone else. And honestly, it is a good thing that I am not one who sees it as “an apostolate” or some such thing because I would collapse under the burden of my own failure.

Remember the other day when I rambled on and on about why Periodic Abstinence For All of Marriage could be okay for some couples? I used lots of words and convinced no one. Instead I simply should have given Allison a quote:

Serious motives, such as those which not rarely arise from medical, eugenic, economic and social so-called “indications,” may exempt husband and wife from the obligatory, positive debt for a long period or even for the entire period of matrimonial life. -Pius XII

Yeah, the first dude to actually say that NFP was okay (Pius XI only half counts) said that if it is okay it can be okay for all of marriage. Okay? Pope wins. I should let him do the talking. So why on earth didn’t I? It isn’t like I was pulling stuff out of a hat, so why not just send you all back to the sources? Silly me.

And then I somehow felt the need to stop trying to come up with a good post on celibate marriage and just post basics. And I went back through my sources, you know, Augustine, the Church Councils, JPII, but I did not bother to check if anything had been posted online since the last time I checked, almost a year ago.

So, of course, once I do start to post others not only chime in and say things better, but Josh finds a post that includes almost all of the older stuff (1930s-now is new) I had been re-reading. I still intend to post some quotes, but really, it would have been much more effective to simply send you all over here: check it out.

Would you find it useful if I posted more quotes and less of my own rambling?

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27 Responses to “Celibate Marriage: Why I Should Stop Blogging”

  1. practicinghuman 03. Sep, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    I appreciate your blog, and you open up things I think about in very different ways. Quotes are one thing; how a person interacts with them are a different thing. Keep up the blog.

    • Rae 04. Sep, 2010 at 7:56 am #

      Thanks for your comment. I started to think that perhaps others would find it rude so I privatized it, but by then you had already commented, so I thought I should put it back with some minor edits. Then Josh read it and thought it quite amusing, so up it stayed thanks to you.

      • practicinghuman 04. Sep, 2010 at 8:37 am #

        Yay! Go me and my desire to comment on everything 😛

  2. Fr. Christian Mathis 04. Sep, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    I agree 100% with practicinghuman. Keep up the blog. My feeling has always been the blogs are places for conversations. Even if no one agrees with your point, or if someone may have already written on the subject you are discussing, only you can bring your unique voice to the conversation. The celibate marriage posts made me have to stretch myself to see if there was something I was missing and in doing so, showed me some things about the Church I didn’t know. Plus you gave me a good excuse to talk with some of my brother priests on theology!

    • Rae 04. Sep, 2010 at 7:58 am #

      Thanks. It is a pity that we need excuses to talk theology, isn’t it? I completely agree about public blogging and conversations, though I sometimes wonder which conversations are fitting to have in which contexts. I don’t think that going into the minutia of canon law is fitting for those who read my regular blog, which is why I love having this one.

      • Fr. Christian Mathis 04. Sep, 2010 at 8:08 am #

        Yes, I suppose I don’t have that problem with my blog, though I also tend to normally steer away from the minutia of canon law. One of our elder priests who I talked to yesterday was happy to have the conversation as he mentioned it wasn’t that long ago in his memory when the only thing priests talked about on the phone was baseball scores! And I understand the need for perhaps more than one outlet, that’s why Ashley and I have the humdinger blog.

    • Davenport Daley 15. Jul, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      I think it hardly necessary for you to offer such defense of celibacy while the general public is already well aware of the horrors and cruelty often produced by the supposed celibate. Is being celebrate not rather like becoming a living corps with no passions! Is the celibate not lifeless, like an undead body roaming about meddling in the affairs of others, causing ruin of self and others? Much outrage has been done in the name of celibacy by celibate, leaving whole houses in sorrow and ruin. Why should any credibility be paid to one who vows celibacy and thus trades a wife for statues with cold, marble thighs. Is it not an illness of sorts?

  3. Thom 04. Sep, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    You’re not an aggregator; you’re a writer. To be frank, if I wanted to read another place, I would just do so! I appreciate your perspective more than is probably obvious.

    • Rae 04. Sep, 2010 at 8:00 am #

      Thank you. Blogging will always be about me and writing because it is good for me, but I think that it is occasionally good to check and see how much of the public aspect is good, and how much I should just keep private.

    • Iammichee 31. Jul, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      Thank you so much brother Dan. Back there at UNIZIK, you pelalnsory were a great source of inspiration to me to work hard. I am still and forever grateful to people like you who I saw how hard they worked and I was inspired to work hard.I will keep doing my best and let us pray to God that we get there – Thanks brother and God bless.

  4. catholicmutt 04. Sep, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    Don’t really stop blogging! Your title kind of freaked me out! :)

    • Rae 04. Sep, 2010 at 8:02 am #

      Oh no, I won’t stop blogging. :-) The first version of this post made that clear, but then it seemed a little too inhospitable (as in, “why are you wasting your time reading this?”) so I removed a bit. And the title was more of an indirect way of praising the work of others, though I was not seriously thinking that my posts were worthless since their worth is in me writing rather than others reading.

      • Unter 31. Jul, 2014 at 9:49 am #

        Sep20Jnur2007 Ya Ikwaati! The Ikwaati al Muslimeen Umaati Muhammad Salaahualahi Wa Salaam needs to unite under the deen of ALLAH, let’s remember our betrhors and sisters in our dua’as, this is a powerful weapon against the open enemy shaytaan the accursed one! TOP TEN NASHEED OF ALL TIME, BY FAR!!!! SALAAMU ALAAYKUM BROOKLYN, U.S.A.

      • Aksay 26. Feb, 2015 at 6:42 am #

        Hi, Cheyinka! Glad to have your point of view. I really do utnnrsdaed where you’re coming from; for someone who accepts the idea of marriage as a vocation, I can see how that works. And I can see how a priest might counsel a devout Catholic woman about possibly having a vocation as a nun if she absolutely couldn’t get pregnant. But for me what it amounts to is a statement that because I drew the short straw in the realm of health, I don’t get to have a sex life. Since I see that as a pretty basic right, it comes across as very, very oppressive and denying of who I am as a person. And quite frankly, since the Church hasn’t always been that great about making sure that women had choices, I wonder how many women in the past have had an experience like mine. I’m willing to bet quite a few.

  5. Dawn Farias 04. Sep, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    “And honestly, it is a good thing that I am not one who sees it as “an apostolate” or some such thing because I would collapse under the burden of my own failure.”

    Hmmm….yes. I have often collapsed under this burden for this exact reason.

    • Rae 06. Sep, 2010 at 8:48 am #

      It seems like you’re at a good place now. I hope it continues!

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      • Irene 18. Feb, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

        I am certainly not arinugg that all members of the Catholic hierarchy are consciously or deliberately using fear to control women. But I think, functionally, that is what happens. I suspect that some people partially realize that and are okay with it, to different degrees, and that a small number of people consciously recognize it and think it’s a Good Thing. Plus, I think the Church has been made aware of it enough in the last century or so that if they really didn’t want their actions to have that outcome, they could have reconsidered their actions. As for sex being a right, well, I think it’s part of who I am and of my biology, not something that can be turned on or off at will. Therefore, I think it’s a right to have a positive, healthy relationship with those aspects of my body and mind, and that trying to deprive me of that is useless at best and extremely harmful at worst. With that in mind, if the Church wasn’t so explicitly against any kind of sex other than married hetero PIV, I would have less of an argument here. But that’s the real problem I’m supposed to simply deny, ignore, and suppress one whole aspect of my being, one which is very important to me, a part of my identity, a fundamental part of my joy and delight in the world. If I, personally, wanted that, I can see how it could be a part of a religious life; but for me, it sends the message that I am broken, and I don’t deserve to be myself or have that joy or deep form of relationship with anyone else.

  6. Trena 04. Sep, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Ramble on sister! And I agree, blogging is good for ME. As busy as I am, blogging is my sanity. :)

    • Rae 06. Sep, 2010 at 8:49 am #

      Thanks. And for you it is also a great record for your daughters someday!

  7. Owen 04. Sep, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Interestingly this question “Would you find it useful if I posted more quotes and less of my own rambling?” is irrelevant because “[You]blog because it is good for [you].” Am I wrong? So, blog on. :)

    • Rae 06. Sep, 2010 at 8:50 am #

      Good catch. I had another paragraph in there that served as something of a connection between the two, but I cut it because it risked seeming rude. So now I guess I am inconsistent rather than rude. 😉

  8. Rebecca 06. Sep, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    I’ve just read and caught up on all the comments on this series of posts and my 2 cents on quotes vs. your own words is this:
    1 – quotes (not necessarily ones you use, just in general) can easily be taken out of context and I don’t often have time to go back and read the entire source, so they can be misleading (again, not in ANY way saying you do this, just a though in general about quotes)

    2 – I’d much rather read what and why you think something than just have a quote thrown at me.

    So, as everyone else has said – keep it up :)!

    • Rae 08. Sep, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

      Thanks. :-)

  9. Philippus 06. Sep, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    You know what, I am glad to see other people besides my very, very close friends discuss this issue. My brush with celibacy in marriage came soon after the birth of my first child. My job cost an arm and a leg to add my wife and child to my insurance so we decided to get my wife and child another private health insurance.

    We couldn’t find anyone that would kick in right away. There was a 6 month period of probation where the insured is not covered for any pregnancies. Spelled out in English, it was telling us not to get pregnant for the next 6 months.

    I felt violated. I couldn’t believe a insurance company would go that far. I even called to try to explain to them that I am Catholic and it is against my faith to live my life subject to such a ruling. After all, I have to be open to life. I mean, what if we used contraception (I explained this to them–even though I wasn’t planning to, but just having them see my logic through their illogic.), and perhaps by “accident” my wife got pregnant?” Would she be out of insurance because of this? Or, I thought to myself, what if while practicing NFP, we both give into weakness or miscount or misread? There are just to many factors!!

    Believing as I do, NFP was certainly not an option. It just had too much of a mechanized feeling to it and I did not want to be actively avoiding pregnancy. After much praying and deliberating with my wife…and against the advice of a priest, I felt a calling to embrace continence–temporary celibacy instead. So, for 6 months, my wife and I were living as “brother and sister”. In the end, I think it was a blessing, but a very hard one that included lots of mortification and offerings. I would do this again and again if the Lord asked me to or granted the desire to me.

    What crazy burdens the insurance companies today put on couples. We are forced to embrace a contraceptive lifestyle so that we can get services? Catholics need their own insurance companies..one that embraces life without costing the insured an arm and a leg or, his soul.


    • Rae 08. Sep, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

      I think the insurance example is yet another bit of evidence of how far our culture is from understanding the value of children in marriage! I have no idea whether the new regulations will end this practice (since technically they would refuse to cover pregnancy based on the same principle as a pre-existing condition, right?) but if not, I think that we as Christians need to fight for health care that recognizes children as good!

      I really admire your stance. While I believe that NFP is permitted by the Church, I completely concur that those who do not find it right for them should consider complete continence rather than self-indulgence at the cost of their families and future children.

    • practicinghuman 10. Sep, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

      Your choices were certainly commendable. In the Orthodox Church, marital couples are strongly encouraged to avoid marital intimacy during fasting periods. But 6 months is still a lot longer than 8 weeks!

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