If I take a vow of celibacy, will I get very lonely?
It is true that the vow of celibacy can make a priest somewhat more vulnerable to loneliness in life. To some extent this is unavoidable for everyone, not just celibates, as ill-health, the death of friends, unresolved conflict, and so on, can affect anyone. Ultimately we all stand alone before God. Job states this well:
‘naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord’.(Job 1:21)
St. Ignatius of Loyola encourages young Jesuits in formation to cultivate chaste love by ‘loving all creatures in God and God in all creatures’. In other words, when you seek God with all your heart, mind and soul, then you will be more inclined to find Him and to love Him in others. This can give a priest a very strong sense of connection.
Most popular questions
- Are religious orders different from one another? If so, how are they different?
- What if as a priest I need to take time out to care for a relative or family member?
- What’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest in a religious order?
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- I feel I have a specific charism to youth outreach. Can I live this charism out as a priest, or must I follow the charism of the order I join?
- What is a deacon and how is it different than a priest?
- Why are there so many different religious organisations?
- School was never something I really liked. Is the study part of formation very hard?
- What does discernment mean when we’re talking about vocation?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?