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by Abigail Van Buren

Amorous Couple Stirs Widow to Light Up Her Lonely Life

DEAR ABBY: Your correspondent signed "Cherished Memories," who is presently attending a Catholic university and would give anything for a relationship with her philosophy professor who happens to be a priest, wrote: "Priests are only human, after all, and they probably don't relish the celibacy part of their commitment."

Unfortunately, some priests do not relish their celibacy and consider it a denial of their sexuality. Sad to say, many laypersons take this same negative approach.

Rightly understood, however, celibacy is not a denial, but a positive attitude that gives celibacy the aspect of a "treasured gift" offered to God through Jesus Christ. It is the "giving of one's self" in much the same way as the "giving" of a woman and man to each other in marriage. What greater gift can one give than the gift of one's self?

Celibacy is a positive choice, and a priest who approaches his commitment in this light is happy in his calling. -- FATHER X IN WISCONSIN