- ICCN Co-Directors
Reflection on Sexuality and Celibacy
The workshop we recently attended on sexuality and celibacy, given by Sr. Lynn Levo, CSJ, basically pointed out to me that to live life fully I am called to know my identity, have self- awareness and self-acceptance, relate to others and make choices. It enabled me to reflect on who I am (my identity), to like myself enough in terms of all situations, love others and accept being loved by others e.g., my family, community, adult friends and with other people I minister with. Also, it reminded me that what happened to me in the past does not damage to me. As I choose to be celibate it means to be relational and that celibacy only makes sense if it leads me to be transformed to love and being a relational person. Because we, as humans, are created as sexual beings, we need relationships. As religious, this means that in our relationships, we find ways to express ourselves that are different from that of a monogamous sexual relationship.
I was touched to understand that sexuality is an energy that God gives to me as a gift, and the energy inclines me into a relationship with others while not losing myself (being authentic). It means being present with my ability to make a choice of how to use my energy of being sexual in human wholeness, enjoying my being as a woman, and to living a committed life as a celibate. My sexuality must lead me to give my life as a blessing to others finding joy and happiness in my everyday encounters and extending the joy; not being a bitter person in living my celibate life. I am challenged to learn how to be present to myself God and to relate in healthy ways to others in the community.
The discussions on sexual orientation enabled me to reflect on identifying my sexual orientation and to discover my sexual attractions and patterns. It also taught me to understand more deeply about the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity and how the church and society view the diversity of people who identify as homosexual, bisexual, transgender, etc. We are called to love them like God loves them, recognizing their human dignity; not discriminating, avoiding or rejecting them. Also, we are not to see their behaviors as deviant, rather, we are to be just to them as one in Christ. We are called to not make judgments of who they are or be quick to offer advice about changing their orientation so that they feel they belong as they are.
I was reminded about how to maintain personal and ministerial boundaries, which includes watching my reactions to others in my every day journey and not pushing or separating myself when my feelings are hurt. Working on my boundaries means to become flexible and have healthy boundaries. As I invite others into my life, I need to give myself the space and know that I need to have relationships so that others can support me as I develop my authentic self.
It was a great workshop and this session on the whole was very helpful to me as it stirs me to be consciously aware and to accept my sexuality as a fully functioning human and choose actions and express it in an appropriate way that suits my identity. It encourages me to choose imitate and appropriate and healthy friendships with those who accompany me on my journey, in other words, to live as a joyful and peaceful celibate young woman that I choose to be.
Sr. Juliana Wuur
Sisters of the Precious Blood