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
- If I request information about joining a religious organisation, will I be pressured into joining?
- Can I become a bishop or cardinal and not 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?
- Can a gay man become a priest?
- As a priest if I decide that I no longer want to do something, such as work in a specific parish, do I have any say or is it all out of my hands?
- What’s the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest in a religious order?
- The idea of public speaking is very challenging to me and I avoid it if possible. How can I be a priest when I hate public speaking?
- Why are there so many different religious orders?
- Can I still join the priesthood if I have personal debts?
- What can I do as a priest that I cannot do as a layperson working for a charity or NGO?