Yesterday evening, as I was returning from Mountain Home after Holy Mass, I turned on the radio in my car. Yes, I do not listen only to Baroque music and Corsican Polyphony, things that we do not hear often on the local radios of North Arkansas. Instead, there was a protestant Pastor who spoke on the station – and this happens often on the local radios of North Arkansas. I listened to him, out of curiosity, to know what our separated brothers have to say. In fact it was a commentary of the Our Father and the Pastor said many good things that Catholics can receive. Then he came to the subject of our personal relationships with God and with others. He explained that we must acknowledge a hierarchy in our relations with others. Our relationship with God must be above all other kinds of relations with others. In fact, our relationships towards others must be grounded on our relationship with God, but on the other hand, our relationships with others affect our relationship with God. As Catholics, we can only agree.
Now this Pastor said that as a minister, he follows this order of relationships: first with God; then with his wife and children; finally with his flock – I am not sure of the word he used, but he meant the people he has care in his ministry. So, his family comes right after God and before his ministry. He is right. This is the right order that everyone should follow. So, I thought that this protestant minister, certainly even without thinking about that, gave a very good point for the celibacy of the ministers of Christ. The consecrated celibacy is truly a richness of the Catholic Church. Men and women who have embraced it are signs of the Kingdom of God, as Matrimony is… but in a different manner. Let the priests of Jesus Christ be totally dedicated to their flock. Thanks to this protestant minister for helping us to remember this, even though it was certainly not his intention!