Chastity August 19
(The Crosier) renounces natural and legitimate sexual pleasures, abstaining from them for life, for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of God (Profile of the Congolese Crosier).
The Rule of St. Augustine calls the confreres to spiritual rather than carnal love. Spiritual love is the model for all the relationships of religious, within as well as outside the community. Excluded from the celibate vocation are genital relationships, the object of which is the arousal and satisfaction of erotic desire. Genital relationship is carnal. Excluded also from the celibate call is a relationship which, while avoiding genital expression, cultivates romantic communication. Two persons behave as lovers without actually having sex. This is also a carnal relationship to be avoided. On the level of spiritual relationship, there is, first of all, “friendship,” which, in its classical sense, is neither genital nor romantic. For a celibate, true friendship is possible with the opposite sex, but this demands extraordinary care. It requires maturity, rigorous self-honesty and behavior that is beyond suspicion. Spiritual direction can be helpful here. Actually, the spiritual relationship par excellence is one founded on Gospel love, “agape.” This kind of relationship is characterized by universal love and self-forgetfulness in the Spirit of Christ. It’s the ideal to pursue in all celibate relationships.
No one can row two canoes at a time. (Duala)