My wife and I, we have four children, all younger than 7. Ours is not a quiet house.
A house of screaming and a house of endless snot, it's also a house of love, grown and multiplied every few years. In a house of little sleep, my hobby these days is simply to sit down; fellow parents know what I mean. Just like that loud and beautiful Kelly family gone viral out of South Korea recently, ours is a perfectly normal family, "normal" understood, of course, in relative terms. It's both exhausting and energizing, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is the form and gift of my life, my family.
But here's what's strange about us: I'm a Catholic priest. And that is, as you probably know, mostly a celibate species.
Now the discipline of celibacy, as a Christian practice, is an ancient tradition. Its origins belong to the very mists of early Christianity: to the deserts of Egyptian monasticism, the wilds of ancient Christian Syria and to Luke's gospel. For priests, celibacy has been the universal legal norm in the Catholic West since the 12th century and the de facto norm long before that. Saint Ambrose in the fourth century, for example, wrote about married priests, saying they were to be found only in "backwoods" churches, certainly not in the churches of Rome or Milan.
Speaking to the Soul: Alleluia! Alleluia!
6 hours ago