Ever spoken to a priest or nun in confidence and thought, “They’re celibate, and here I am going on and on about my kid and my relationship. They probably have no idea what I’m talking about.” Sister Sunday understands. You asked. She answered. Read Ask Sister Sunday here:
Dear Sister Sunday,
It bugs me when priests talk about sex and marriage. They’re celibate! What could they possibly know about sex?
Sick of Listening
Well, dear, if by sex, you mean the mechanics of it, priests probably know as much as any American who’s ever (1) gone to a movie (2) watched the Superbowl half-time show or (3) seen a Cialis ad. Which is, by my count, all of us.
But the mechanics are not where most of us, to continue the metaphor, break down. And that’s perhaps because the bedroom is finally not where most of life is lived. Sex may be the icing on the cake, but someone still has to bake the cake.
And that’s where most of life is lived, in the mixing bowl, amidst the bills, paid or ignored, the toothpaste spat into the sink and left to harden, the clothes on the floor, the toilet seat in the upright and locked position, the snoring, the in-laws, the argument over whose turn it is to change the baby, take out the trash or clean up after dog.
Most of the problems we have stem from our attempts to live with other people. So, don’t fret too much about celibacy. Look for a priest who lives in a rectory or a monastery, who has spent years negotiating space with men who leave the milk out and the lights on (except after nine o’clock, when he requires complete silence and utter darkness in order to sleep) and who are allergic to every single one of your priest’s favorite foods. Then, consider that he didn’t choose the men he has lived with; he was assigned those men. I’m guessing he’ll have some wisdom to share about relationships, even yours.