Yesterday I spent some time with a couple of friends whom I've known since elementary school. Both have families now. The one whose home we were visiting has two children: the older one is a rambunctious toddler and the younger is only five months old. Almost every space in their home is overtaken with child related stuff and the atmosphere is generally chaotic. They are very happy. It's interesting to see people with whom you grew up, both friends and family, as parents themselves. They are the same people, of course, but are somehow transformed. They are renovated by the original blessing God pronounced on our first parents: "Be fruitful." The original blessing is on all of us, because we all derive from the compound marriage of the will of God and the bodies of Adam and Eve.
Perhaps it's when we forget about all this that we celibates get ourselves into trouble. Marriage is an option, but generativity is not. If we do not care for our spiritual lives and cultivate our own re-creation in God, we will be sterile, unable to conceive spiritual children. If we lose our missionary edge, the command of the Lord to make disciples of all nations, we can easily turn in on ourselves in eccentricity, comfort-seeking, and entitlement. All of these are disaster for the celibate soul, which is why we always need to remember that our vocations are not given to us for ourselves, but for the sake of those to whom God wishes to give us as spiritual mothers and fathers. Here the chaotic house filled with toys and childcare equipment is a good reflection for the celibate. Am I willing to surrender every space in my life to God, or do I hold back certain areas for myself?