A Conscious Decision
So I was having a conversation with a close male friend regarding my decision to become celibate. Religion does play a role, however not as significant a role as self reflection.
As I mature I realize what a great role model I have in my mother. I share her ideologies regarding premarital sex. It’s a bit ironic that I find myself agreeing with my mother. She and I are completely different breeds; she’s what I would consider ultra conservative and deeply religious. On the other hand, I consider myself a non-conformist and am spiritual. Although I am not an extreme liberal I’m a ways away from my mother on the political spectrum. Nonetheless, her views on premarital sex and many (not all) topics are on target.
Let me preface what I’m about to say by saying that I love sex. I love expressing myself sexually. I must say that I am pretty good at the craft. However, as much as I would love to be able to maintain an equal beneficial sexual relationship with someone, it’d never work. Somehow I’m always falling for people who are exceedingly unworthy of this gift. Not so much sexually, but mentally, & spiritually also. I’m a giver. I give a lot; in the form of time, money, encouragement, moral support… I just have a heart for people. More often than not, in sexual relationships, I fall for dishonorable people which has always resulted in shattered emotions.
My desire is to be an immaculate wife. My purpose as a woman and a partner is greater than sex!!! If I consider myself a Queen I can only share myself with a King, and I don’t know very many men who’re at the realm. I think about sex often. Nonetheless, I know the ways I desire to please my husband, and the way I desire for him to view and appreciate me. Many of the ways I’d choose to express myself sexually are only to be encountered by my King. A vow isn’t enough. A spiritual, mental, and an insane physical connection is necessary. What’s left to share with my King if I continue to cave in under the pressure of being sexually frustrated? Nah I’m cool. Miss me with the “friends with benefits". This vajewel belongs to my King. This Queen awaits her King :)
My Life, Blow By Blow
I’m thinking about living a celibate life. Yes, I’m only 18 and this sounds completely f****d up to some but I’ve noticed one glitch in why I can never find a good thing that lasts with someone; we get physical too soon. I’m the kind of person who goes with a flow in a perfect moment. But that’s probably my downfall. Because I don’t 100% know these people, because I haven’t had enough self control in situations to say no instead of acting on impulse….I’ve literally f****d MYSELF over.
So I’m gonna make a promise to myself, I don’t know how soon but I’m going to have a vow a celibacy. This way, I’ll be able to see who is willing to stick around for whatever amount of time due to my mind and not my body. This way, I can be aware of every single aspect of what I’ve been doing BEFORE going to another level. I’m not sure when, but I will most definately announce it when I choose my time.
This for me is yet ANOTHER step in the right direction because I honestly can’t afford to make anymore heart breaking mistakes. I once used sex as being in control. Funny thing is, I find this way more rewarding as far as control goes.
The price and profits
I know everybody has the choice to live a celibate life, but what's living in celibacy as a priest like? What are the challenges that go with it and how do you go by those challenges? And what are the blessings that go with it?
Okay, you asked a question that took a long time to answer, so please forgive me if this post goes on forever.
What is the celibate life like for a priest? Every priest will answer that differently. First of all, I do not have the pressures, worries, and challenges of coming home to a wife who is nagging me, fighting with me, disappointed in me, or cheating on me with some other guy, or on my case about our personal money and how we’re going to pay the bills. I don’t come home to kids who are moody, yelling, fighting, demanding I buy them things, and running around having sex with their boyfriends or girlfriends. I never have, under my own roof, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancy, abortion, birth control, domestic violence, or bitter feuds with in-laws and other family. I come home to a quiet house, except for the fact that my German Shepherd is crying and howling because he’s happy to see me.
My celibate life is even more unique because I do not live with other priests. I can run around my rectory and make noise, play music, sing songs, blast the TV, and walk around skimpy (sorry, TMI).
What are the challenges? I don’t have a wife to hold me, snuggle with me, laugh at my jokes, listen to my stories, wipe away my tears, fuss over how I dress, and satisfy other needs. Yes, I do miss that. That is the call of nature for most men, as God said in the Bible, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” I don’t have kids to teach, to play sports with, to hug and kiss, to yell at (LOL), and to be proud of when they make their First Communion, get their driver’s license, or get married and bring me grandbabies to spoil rotten. So, each day, I have to ask myself why I am a priest and I have to rededicate my life to Jesus and the Church. Each day I have to think of new ways of being in sync with my vows, and faithful to my promises to God and His People the faithful. They look up to me, and place upon me the awesome and very burdensome task of caring for their souls.
When I think of the thousands and thousands of souls that were put into my safekeeping by the Church, the thousands of people I have preached to, year after year, sitting in different parishes where I have pastored, eating and drinking the Blessed Sacrament I consecrated for them; when I think of all the couples I prepared for marriage and the dying whom I prepared for their judgment before God, I tremble. The challenge of my celibate life is to remember to keep my love for people and for God alive and kindled. Because there are people who walk around in towns throughout Central California and tell their priests, “I was baptized here by Fr. Angel” or “Fr. Angel married us 20 years ago” or “Fr. Angel gave me First Communion” or “I was taught confirmation by Fr. Angel.”
And you know what makes those people very proud and spiritual joyful? They love it when their pastor says to them, “Oh really? He’s still around. He’s stationed up north now, still at it. I’ll make sure to tell him hello for you the next time I see him.” In other words, they want to know that when I consecrated my life in the vow of celibacy, I meant it and I work to set example for them to follow. I work to model for them what faithfulness to the Church looks like, year after year. So I have to avoid any activity, any scandals, any sins, and even the temptation to those sins, that would not only disgrace the Church in general, but would bring shame and disgrace to thousands of Catholics who still look up to me as a leader in their faith. In short, I have to know myself, know my limitations, know my weaknesses, know my downfalls, and what could lead me down the wrong path, and I have to honestly stay away from even getting on that path to begin with.
What are the blessings? To be able to have non-physical intimacy, cherished friendships, and deep love with people who would not feel comfortable to be close to you unless you were celibate. If a priest does not have a grudge over his celibacy, and does not allow his celibacy to turn him cold and resentful, then it produces a certainly quality of warmth and closeness to the parishioners.
The greatest blessing is to feel a certain consecration or anointing that priestly celibacy brings to your body and soul. When I go before Jesus in prayer, I know that I belong to Him totally, and He knows that too, and it gives a certain unique quality to our relationship. There is a unique love that you receive from Jesus when you have forsaken marriage for the sake of His Kingdom. Our Lord knows that being a priest is sometimes a thankless service, and that people can at times be extremely mean and cruel to their priests. So He gives to His priests, here and in heaven, a special grace of divine intimacy, if they call upon Him. In turn, the people offer a unique relationship to the priest who gave up having his own family in order to care for them with an undivided heart.
Last Saturday, I went to a former parish and offered a wedding Mass for a guy who, years ago, was my altar server. All of a sudden, when the wedding was finished, people started driving into the parking lot and asking, “Where’s Father Angel? Is it true he’s in town?” And then there was a steady stream for almost an hour of people coming into the sacristy to say hi, to hug me, and to catch me up to date. I hadn’t seen these people for nine years, and here they are driving down to church because someone got on a phone and said, “Hey! Fr. Angel’s in town to do a wedding.” I had to bite my lip, because the “feels,” the love, the affection, were overwhelming.
Even big college students who remembered me from when they were little were throwing their arms around me and saying how happy they were to see me. Wow. I’m going to get emotional at the keyboard. Jesus promised His Apostles that for giving up wives and children, He would give them even more family to surround them in the Kingdom of God. It’s true. God bless and take care!
~ Fr. Angel Stelo
Celibacy is a personal choice
A suitor asked me what the purpose was for being celibate. I told him it’s a personal choice. A woman may choose to be celibate for various reasons, but at the end of the day, it is HER choice, whether anyone else likes it or not.
He told me that he believed that it’s just an excuse for a woman to control men.
Ummm…what?????! I have a huge problem with anyone claiming that every woman’s goal is to control a man with what she chooses to do with HER body.
"I don’t get it. It’s dumb. If she did it already, what’s the point in stopping now? She’s obviously trying to control future men after what she dealt with in her past." He kept talking…
Sir, whether a woman had sex once or a billion and two times, if she decides to stop for her own personal reasons, respect her decision and don’t shame her for it. If a man had sex as much as he changed his boxers then decided to stop altogether till marriage, he’d be seen as God’s gift to Christian women everywhere. “Girrrl, he’s celibate. Yaaasss, honey. Thank ya, Jesus, for showing me a man who isn’t trying to hit it and quit it. He gets to really know me for who I am without the physical component until we’re both committed to each other forever…"
Well, why can’t it be the other way around as well? Why can’t a woman choose to restrain herself from sex if it could help her grow as a person, in her relationship with God, and/or in her relationship with whoever she may choose to be with? If a woman has ever had sex before, it doesn’t mean she has to keep doing it if she doesn’t want to. It doesn’t mean she’s damaged goods. She’s not. She’s a very valuable human being regardless of whatever happened in her past. If she chooses to wait till marriage from this day forward, don’t you EVER shame her for it. Uplift her, love her, and respect her. She is a jewel, and don’t you dare try to take away her sparkle.
March 15th, 2012
Spring cleaning: lust and gluttony go celibate.
the 12th of april is a pretty cool date, right? say yes. it’s my mom and boyfriend’s birthday. it also just so happens to be the date belden and i selected to mark the beginning of our year of celibacy. to be completely honest with you, i’m anxious. not because i don’t think our journey will be successful, but because i know it will be. i’m anxious to meet the woman i’m going to become because i’ve recently fallen in love with the woman i am. i’m anxious for the moments that we really have to be each other’s rock in a way that we haven’t over the past 8 years. i’m making room…for the spiritual growth that is bound to take place - this IS a spiritual journey. how could it not be?
i feel really fortunate to have a partner that is down to ride. no pun intended. but back to my point: i’m blessed. i’m anxious. and i’m making room. april is a few months away so we still have time to mentally prepare ourselves. how could i forget?! i definitely meant to address the title of this quite a few words ago: lust and gluttony are our deadly sins. he’s lust. i’m gluttony. we’re growing.