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A number of years ago, a young man came to me because he was in crisis: He had been having an affair with his girlfriend and she had become pregnant. For a variety of reasons, marriage was impossible. The pregnancy would have an irrevocable impact on a series of lives, his girlfriend's, his own, their families', not to mention the child who would be born.
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The cross of Christ is like a carefully cut diamond. Every time you turn it in the light, you get a different sparkle. It means so many things: Its depths can never be fully fathomed. More meaning always spills over.
Twenty years ago, I wrote a book on loneliness. I was young then, lonely myself, restless like all young people, and still searching for many things. So, despite leaning heavily on Augustine, Aquinas, John of the Cross and Karl Rahner for my insights, the book was probably as much autobiography as spirituality or theology.
A friend of mine recently left the priesthood. He loved being a priest and was a good one. His problem? He was a man who worked with his hands and fashioned beautiful things out of wood. At a point, rightly or wrongly, he felt that he couldn't be really creative if he remained celibate: "I can't be creative without sex!" is how he put it.