After finally getting around to reading The Purpose Driven Life - since everyone and their mothers have read it by now - I have some reflections and notes to accompany my last post. Firstly, this idea of the celibate or Josephite marriage, whether or not it prophecies a literal end, it is an archetype of the Christian life generally. Unless you are at this very moment about to participate in the procreative act, waste no extra energy thinking about, preparing, longing for, or expecting sexual intercourse. Let nature come as it will and pass freely by you. Don't hold onto it, don't feed it. Bow your head in reverence of the mystery. Release it back to God with gratitude, and then pray for your many many many brothers and sisters enslaved to lust and at risk of hell. Sex is not an end for human love. Love does not need or require sex. Instead of burning with sensual passion, give your whole hope to having God in a new way and with a new joy, in a spiritual passion (this would be the proper attitude to procreate with as well). All of us are called to this single-heartedness, single, married, widowed, divorced, and celibate, the same. When or if you are called to the act, it will be in the service of the Kingdom and only after God initiates. Primarily, The Holy Spirit is your spouse, and this intercourse is always available after Baptism, protected by obedience to the commandments, fulfilled in perfect love of neighbor, and renewed by frequency to Christ's Sacraments. Chastity is an expression of Purity of Heart, that is, to seek and find and rejoice for God in all things at all times. This is the true purpose driven life.
Warren's thesis is that we must all answer life's Five Great Questions:
1. How do I worship?
Making God the beginning and end of every moment; making God my closest and greatest friend
2. What is my character?
The sum of my habits over the span of my life, enhanced by faithfulness to my words
3. What is my service to the Church?
My unique combination of spiritual gifts, desires, talents, personality, and experience given freely
4. What is my mission for the world?
The habit of evangelization counters reliance on worldly possessions, accomplishments, and status
5. How do I fellowship?
Warren says the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship are: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), encourage each other (mutuality), support each other (sympathy), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make each other a priority (frequency).